2008-08-21With a career that extends back to the 60’s and his hit "Polk Salad Annie", Tony Joe White, has long been the master of the slow, swampy groove. While recent projects matched White’s rich baritone with the cream of the female roots rock world (Shelby Lynne, Lucinda Williams, Emmylou Harris, Jessi Coulter and others on 2004’s "The Heroines") and with fellow guitar slingers ( Eric Clapton, J.J. Cale, Mark Knopfler and others on 2006’s "Uncovered") this set returns White to his roots with ten tracks from throughout his career given the re-mix treatment by his son, Jody White. With electronic loops and effects adding a sonic back drop to the live instrumentation, the songs simmer and crackle with funky energy. In keeping with White’s style, the cuts develop over time and get their punch from their deep bottom end and trance inducing groove. While this approach will certainly appeal to those who dig the raw, electric Hill Country work of the likes of Junior Kimbrough or RL Burnside, which is laid out to best effect on "Soul Francisco" and "Swamp Water", it can grow wearisome over the course of the disc or, in some cases, in the course of an individual cut. The instrumentals "Run with the Bulls" and "Homemade Ice Cream" break this mold with their light, almost cheerful, feel. "Aspen, Colorado" is also a change up by virtue of the strings and acoustic piano that help paint White’s word picture of a place and time. Smitty
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