Digitally remastered four CD set containing all three of White’s Monument Records albums in their entirety plus a slew of unreleased tracks, including ten 1969 Paris sessions and seven live performances from the Isle Of Wight. Recorded with such Muscle Shoals musicians as David Briggs, Norbert Putnam, and Jerry Carrigan, White’s first album, 1969’s Black And White, featured such originals as “Willie And Laura Mae Jones” and “Polk Salad Annie,” along with such covers as Jimmy Webb’s “Wichita Lineman.” Released later that year, White’s second album, …Continued, featured the same Muscle Shoals players, along with Mike Utley, Tommy McClure, and Sammy Creason. Tony Joe came out in 1970, revealing an absence of the horns that had been so dominant on the previous records, and anchored by White’s acoustic guitar. Following an electrifying performance at the legendary Isle Of Wight festival, White moved to Warner Bros.
JJ Cale’s back-porch rocker may have stilled, but there’s some solace in Hoodoo, which may be Tony Joe White’s best album. It’s a record full of laidback, shuffling blues and murmured intimacies, with the enigmatic “Holed Up” hitting a Cale-like hypnotic groove.”
Elsewhere are reminiscences of his childhood as a poor cotton-farmer’s kid (“9 Foot Sack”), two perilous extreme-weather songs, “The Flood” and “Storm Comin'”, and a warning never to linger in “Alligator, Mississippi”.
White’s trademark swamp-rock style is best represented by “The Gift”, in which ghosts of bluesmen past appear to him in a graveyard vision, perhaps drawn by the sinister scrawl of fuzz-guitar and the miasmic electric piano. A true original, at his very best.
Tony Joe White (born July 23, 1943, Oak Grove, Louisiana, United States) is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist, best known for his 1969 hit “Polk Salad Annie”; “Rainy Night in Georgia”, which he wrote but was first made popular by Brook Benton in 1970; and “Steamy Windows”, a hit for Tina Turner in 1989. “Polk Salad Annie” was also recorded by Elvis Presley and Tom Jones.
Tracks taken from the albums:
Black & White 1968 (1-5, 22-24)
Continued 1969 (6-7, 13-18)
Tony Joe 1970 (8-12, 19-21)