Album review: Tony Joe White, Hoodoo (Yep Roc)

 

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.

Download: The Gift; Holed Up; 9 Foot Sack; Alligator, Mississippi

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