Album: Tony Joe White, Deep Cuts (Munich)

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The Independent Culture

Swamp-rock auteur Tony Joe White is best known for "Polk Salad Annie", so it's surprising it's not on this set of revisitations.

But the rest of his Louisiana characters reappear, from the vengeful "High Sheriff (of Calhoun Parish)" to hapless "Roosevelt & Ira Lee" and downhome chums "Willie and Laura Mae Jones", in new arrangements framing White's baritone and distorted fuzz-wah guitar lines in beats and loops furnished by his son Jody.

The result is a series of evocative grooves, like the dark "As the Crow Flies" and the strangely sinister instrumental "Homemade Ice Cream". "Willie and Laura Mae Jones" becomes a sort of trip-hop swamp-funk, while his ambivalent celebration of hippie culture, "Soul Francisco", is a haunted miasma of organ, strings and fuzz guitar.

Pick of the album:'Soul Francisco', 'Willie and Laura Mae Jones', 'Swamp Water'