Thursday, August 11, 2011

Tony Joe White - Swamp Music : The Complete Monument Recordings (us swamp rock, 2006 rhino handmade lim. ed. 5,000 copies, Box 4CDs - MP3 320k & FLAC)

This overstuffed box not only includes all three of Tony Joe White's initial albums for Monument, but adds dozens of extra songs and outtakes, most of which have never been heard before, and includes a fourth disc of previously unreleased live and studio tracks.

It's a cornucopia of material, nearly all of it worth hearing, but due to its near obsessive vault clearing, the hefty list price, and its limited-edition status (only 5000 were pressed), it is clearly geared to the obsessive White enthusiast.

Even though the singer/songwriter/guitarist was signed to Monument in 1966 (both sides of his rare debut single appear as extras on this set's version of Black and White), his first album was not recorded until 1969.

By that time White had pretty much nailed the distinctive and ultimately trademark swamp sound that he mined for the rest of his career.

The musky yet melodic songs, evocative lyrics and mid-tempo rhythms married to White's baritone voice reveled in his scrappy Louisiana roots.

His first disc kicks off with "Willie and Laura Mae Jones", a steaming slice of the backwoods pop that, like most of his finest work, effortlessly combined blues, country and folk.

While others had worked similar territory previously, in particular Bobbie Gentry (her "Ode to Billy Joe" was a major inspiration for White), he infused a rock and R&B sensibility that drove the music with gritty authenticity and his "whomper stomper" wah-wah pedal.

Most impressive is the amount of material recorded during the period 1969-1971, the three years covered here.

Of these 64 studio tracks and outtakes, all but approximately 20 are originals and most are well worth hearing.

Billy Swan remained White's producer throughout these albums, and even though some critics find his strings and horns to be unnecessary embellishments, the sweetening seldom overwhelms the music.

White rather reluctantly agrees in his interview available in the informative 36-page book that brings additional value to this compilation.

The fourth disc features his entire seven-song performance at 1970s Isle of Wight concert.

White is joined by Jeff Beck's drummer Cozy Powell, who he had first met earlier that day, and the duo burn through a sizzling set highlighted by a six-minute version of his biggest hit, "Polk Salad Annie".

The compilers also unearth a previously unreleased, solo, ten track studio session recorded in Paris in March of 1969 where White covers Gentry's "Mississippi Delta" along with Bob Dylan, Don Covay and Joe Tex, along with a few originals.

Not quite essential, it's still more than worthwhile and fans will enjoy experiencing White in his most stripped down format.

It's a fitting coda for a long overdue and neatly packaged appreciation of Tony Joe White's significant influence on American roots music. (by Hal Horowitz from amg)


CD 1 (Black And White, 1969)

01.Willie And Laura Mae Jones

02.Soul Francisco

03.Aspen Colorado

04.Whompt Out On You

05.Don't Steal My Love

06.Polk Salad Annie

07.Who's Making Love

08.Scratch My Back

09.Little Green Apples

10.Wichita Lineman

11.The Look Of Love

Bonus Tracks

12.Willie And Laura Mae Jones [Alternate Version]

13.I Protest

14.A Man Can Only Stand Just So Much Pain

15.Toil & Trouble [Early Version]

16.Georgia Pines

17.It's Not What You Got

18.Prison Song

19.Hung Up On You

20.Ten More Miles To Louisiana

21.Let The Party Roll On

22.Watching The Trains Go By [Alternate Version]

23.Georgia Pines [Alternate Version]

24.Baby Please Don't Go

CD 2 (...Continued, 1969)

01.Elements And Things

02.Roosevelt And Ira Lee (Night Of The Mossacin)


04.Rainy Night In Georgia

05.For Le Ann

06.Old Man Willis

07.Woman With Soul

08.I Want You

09.I Thought I Knew You Well

10.The Migrant

Bonus Tracks

11.Watching The Trains Go By [Single Version]

12.Old Man Willis [Single Version]

13.Funky Fingers

14.Soul Britches

15.Dusty Marshmallow

16.Toil & Trouble

17.What Does It Take

18.This Guy's In Love with You

19.Woodpecker [Alternate Version]

20.Laying Out All Night

21.I Want Your Sweet Love

22.Keep A Movin' Train

CD 3 (Tony Joe, 1970)

01.Stud Spider

02.High Sheriff Of Calhoun Parrish

03.Widow Wimberly

04.Conjure Woman

05.Save Your Sugar for Me

06.Hard To Handle

07.What Does It Take (To Win Your Love)

08.My Friend

09.Stockholm Blues

10.Boom Boom

11.Groupy Girl

Bonus Tracks


13.Do You Want My Love

14.Gospel Singer

15.I Hate To See You Cry

16.Dusty Marshmallow

17.I Can't Stand It

18.Mississippi River

CD 4 (Isle Of Wight Concert & Unreleased, 1970 & 1969)

Barclay Studio, Paris 03/1969

01.Mississippi Delta

02.Chain Of Fools


04.The Ballad Of Hollis Brown

05.Blue Monday

06.Tobacco Road/Dead End Street

07.Caress Me Babe!

08.Dusty Marshmallow

09.Just Look At You

10.Skinny Legs & All

Bonus Tracks (isle of Wight, 28/08/1970)

11.Boom Boom [Live]

12.Roosevelt And Ira Lee (Night Of The Mossacin)[Live]

13.I Want You [Live]

14.Groupy Girl [Live]

15.Stud Spider [Live]

16.Polk Salad Annie [Live]

17.Save Your Sugar for Me [Live]

[ Rip and scans by COR ... many thanks mate ]

HERE (password is : phrockblog)


  1. Great artist. Great stuff.
    Waited a long time for this

  2. Is there any chance of a re-up for the FLAC files please ;-)