Sign up for newsletter
 

White serves up "Hoodoo"

Thursday, July 11, 2013 – Tony Joe White may be almost 70, but almost more than 50 years of playing music, he is not sloing down. White is set to release a brand new album, "Hoodoo," out on Sept. 17 via Yep-Roc.

White was born in Oak Grove, La. in 1943 and was raised on a cotton farm owned by his father. After he finished schooling, following a stint driving a truck in Georgia, he formed a series of bands and took to the road. A trip to Nashville in 1966 was marked by one lucky break after another, and his fruitful recording career began at the country-soul crucible of Monument Records.

His best known songs are Polk Salad Annie and Rainy Night in Georgia. Through the years, his songs have been recorded by everyone from Tina Turner to Elvis Presley to Ray Charles.

Culled from an initial stack of roughly 17 tunes, the 9 songs on "Hoodoo" was cut mostly live to tape with many first takes.

"There's some actual magic that came over all of us when we were doing this," White said. "I would sit down with my drummer Cadillac (Bryan Owings) and my bass player the Troll (Steve Forrest), play twenty seconds of the tune, and then say 'We're gonna hit record, and you just play what comes into your heart.' It's like everyone is getting the hoodoo sensation. Spontaneity is beautiful. And since it's our studio, there's no hurry: no one is over our shoulder saying when we gotta get in and when we gotta get out...we were the record company."

"Hoodoo" features autobiographical songs about his life growing up on farm and learning the blues (9 Foot Sack), tales of rural Mississippi (Alligator Mississippi) and a tale of his trek homeward after the Nashville flood of 2010 (The Flood).

"There's not a push nowhere," he said about any pressure. "Maybe I'll stop playing shows and making records when the songs quit coming to me. But they still come to me. You see, I don't work for a song, but once I get a hold of it I don't let go. I just keep writing, and when I do, I want to go out and play it for somebody. It's the songwriting that keeps me going."

Songs on the CD are:
1) The Gift
2) Holed Up
3) Who You Gonna Hoodoo Now?
4) 9 Foot Sack
5) Alligator, Mississippi
6) The Flood
7) Storm Comin'
8) Gypsy Epilogue
9) Sweet Tooth

More news for Tony Joe White

CD reviews for Tony Joe White

Hoodoo CD review - Hoodoo
It's the nature of the music biz that any artist that boasts only a handful of hits generally has a hard time sustaining a career for any more than a year or two, much less for four decades. So credit Tony Joe White for doing the unimaginable, maximizing the success he scored early on with songs like Polk Salad Annie, Rainy Night in Georgia and Steamy Windows, (the latter two written for Brook Benton and Tina Turner, respectively) and using them to spur a trajectory that's still going strong. »»»
The Shine CD review - The Shine
It's been just over four decades since Tony Joe White eased into the spotlight with Polk Salad Annie, a folk/blues song that established White as a swampy, gritty and slightly more dangerous version of Elvis Presley. At the same time, there was a hint of novelty in Polk Salad Annie ("Gators got your granny, chomp, chomp chomp...") that could have painted White in a corner, but he proved more versatile and durable than his big hit. And although he hasn't had a song nearly as big »»»
Editorial: Walking the talk – When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: Smiles galore, Chesney appears happiness – Kenny Chesney smiled often during his performance at The Rose Bowl. This wasn't some showbiz smile, either - it was sincere. Chesney appeared to be truly happy to be there. On a hot night in July, when Chesney brought his exuberant The Big Revival Tour to Pasadena, the joy he expressed while performing actually made you forget about all the heat... »»»
Concert Review: Carll needs no crutch – Hayes Carll didn't even play his best-known song, "She Left Me For Jesus," during his 95 minutes on the small stage. And while chances are that some were internally clamoring for the typical Carll sense of humor, no one could legitimately say that the lanky Texan short-changed them. At 39, Carll, who meanders somewhere between the... »»»
Subscribe to Country News Digest Country News Digest      Follow Country Standard Time on twitter CST      Visit Country Standard Time on Facebook CST

Elsewhere in the news

Currently at the CST blogs

No matter what you say, it's The Deslondes In the spirit of hard-hitting journalism, it seemed logical to ask Deslondes vocalist/guitarist Riley Downing the Mike-Wallace-from-60-Minutes question that has to be on everyone's mind: How the hell do you say the New Orleans-based band's name? "It's pronounced 'dez lawn,'" says Downing. "I know there's different ways that people have pronounced it over the course of history...... »»»
Watkins Family make time From their first, self-titled, major label release, the Allison Krauss-produced, "Nickel Creek," two-thirds of that trio - musical siblings Sara and Sean Watkins - have been in the musical spotlight continually since 1999. As for working with her brother off and on for most of their lives, Sara says, "We have been lucky...... »»»
Milk Carton Kids find themselves on "Monterey" Joey Ryan, half of acoustic folk duo the Milk Carton Kids, is girding his loins for the long trip from the band's Los Angeles home base to Australia. Although he's made this trip before, he's yet to acclimate completely to it.... »»»
The Blade CD review - The Blade
Ashley Monroe gains more acclaim for other projects than she does for her own solo efforts. Monroe is one third of side group Pistol Annies. She sang with Blake Shelton on his hit "Lonely Tonight." She received praise for her first proper solo album, "Like a Rose," in 2013, although that was a release that stood on the strength of the songs because three singles produced zero hits. Can "The Blade" turn the trick? »»»
Bittersweet CD review - Bittersweet
Australian songwriter Kasey Chambers has never managed to gain the profile elsewhere that she has Down Under, despite consistently releasing great albums as a solo artist and as a duo with her ex-husband. Almost a full year after initially releasing "Bittersweet," Chambers is giving the strong album an official U.S. release. »»»
Watkins Family Hour CD review - Watkins Family Hour
"Watkins Family Hour" is an immensely entertaining new release from siblings Sean and Sara Watkins (of Nickel Creek fame) and their musical compadres, collectively known as the Watkins Family Hour. Esteemed participants include vocalist Fiona Apple, Benmont Tench on keyboards, Don Heffington on drums, Greg Leisz on Dobro and pedal steel and Sebastian Steinberg on drums. The result is a refreshing romp with all of the participants taking a turn at lead vocals at least once. »»»
Something More Than Free CD review - Something More Than Free
Americana guitarist and singer-songwriter Jason Isbell started as part of Drive-By Truckers and is now a drive-by revolutionary. "Something More Than Free" is his sixth release outside of the band and a follow-up to his 2013 award-winning album, "Southeastern." Isbell carries his group roots with him as he also makes a voice for himself, exploring his southern origins with a progressive nostalgia that's in-touch with audiences of all generations. »»»