Call it swamp rock, or whatever you want, but Tony Joe White has created a style of music all his own and he’s parlayed it into a career that’s lasted over 50 years. He hit the top 10 in 1969 with “Polk Salad Annie,” and penned the soulful ballad “Rainy Night in Georgia,” first made famous by Brook Benton, but has been covered by countless performers.
He’s worked with everyone from Mark Knopfler, Eric Clapton to Jerry Lee Lewis and Joe Cocker. His latest album is stripped-down affair called Bad Mouthin’ from Yep Roc records.
White talks about the record that inspired him to start writing songs of his own. Plus, what it was like not only having Elvis Presley record three of his compositions, but also getting the opportunity to hang out with The King backstage.
“You’re as baaad as Eric Clapton, and I know Eric Clapton”
Those words were uttered by legendary bluesman Buddy Guy and he was talking about guitarist Peter Parcek, who’s been creating a name for himself playing shows in the Northeast and releasing several critically acclaimed albums, even being nominated as “Best New Artist” by the Blues Foundation.
Yet, it’s been awhile since we’ve heard from him – seven years in fact. He’s broken his silence with Everybody Wants to Go to Heaven, an album full of his gritty guitar and signature atmospheric blues sound. He’s backed by a stellar lineup of musicians, including Spooner Oldham and Luther Dickinson.
We discuss what took so long between releases, how some potent moonshine entered the recording process, and what he thinks of being referred to as “innovative and old.”
Founding member and vocalist for the Fabulous Thunderbirds, Kim Wilson, has enjoyed hit albums, sold out concerts and even videos on MTV, but his latest project takes him back to where it all started – Blues and Boogie Volume One is a collection of raw blues, done the old-fashioned way. The 16 tracks give Wilson a chance to honor some of his idols, like James Cotton, Little Walter and Sonny Boy Williamson, while also throwing in some of his originals which fit perfectly with the mood.
He reveals how he was able to channel that vintage sound on his new material. Plus, he talks the crazy success of the Fabulous Thunderbirds’ hit “Tuff Enuff.”
Folk-blues singer covers Black Sabbath on her new album
Austin singer Ruthie Foster defies classification. Her previous albums have featured covers from the likes of Johnny Cash, David Crosby and Adele, as well as her own originals. For this new project, Joy Comes Back, her first release in three years, the approach is equally eclectic: she tackles songs by the Four Tops, Mississippi John Hurt and, most notably, a Son House-flavored rendition of Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs.”
She’s also joined by several stellar guests, including guitarist Derek Trucks, bassist Willie Weeks and drummer Joe Vitale. We talk to Foster about how music got her through a tumultuous chapter in her life, plus why she quit the business and signed up for the Navy several years ago.
Delbert McClinton has made a career out of doing whatever he wanted. He got his start blowing harmonica on Bruce Channel’s classic “Hey Baby” – that was 1962, before the Beatles invaded America. In fact, that little old band from Liverpool actually opened for him on an early gig.
Not long after, he began leading his own band, and creating a body of music that defies classification, all the while winning awards in Blues, Country, and Rock. Delbert’s just released his 19th album, Prick of the Litter, and it’s easily one of the best of his long career.
We talk his love of classic music of the Forties and Fifties, from Johnny Mercer and Charles Brown to Jimmy Reed and Frank Sinatra. He’s also got his autobiography coming later in the year.
We chat with Stony Plain head Holger Peterson about a new Jeff Healey compilation – The Best of the Stony Plain Years. Healey was an amazingly talented musician, best known for his 1989 top five hit “Angel Eyes.” He lost his sight at an early age, picked up the guitar at three, and developed an unique style of playing the instrument on his lap.
The Jeff Healey Band showcased his talents as a searing blues-rock guitarist, releasing a series of albums in the late Eighties and early Nineties. But, as the decade wore on, Jeff became increasingly weary of the trappings of the genre. Amazingly, he switched gears, teaching himself how to play trumpet and immersing himself in traditional jazz of the Twenties & Thirties. Thus began a new chapter in his musical career – he issued a series of classic jazz & blues albums in the 2000’s up until his untimely passing in 2008.
Peterson, who was a longtime friend of Healey’s discusses this new compilation, Healey’s deep love for classic jazz and blues, and other releases he has coming up for Stony Plain.
Indianapolis singer Tad Robinson has a knack for creating soul records that just sound effortless. We raved about his last record, Back in Style, from 2011. Now he’s back with another CD called Day Into Night. Once again, he’s achieved that perfect blend of smooth R&B featuring Robinson’s soulful vocals leading the way. We chat the recording process for his new CD, which features a guest appearance by Anson Funderburgh.
Georgia bluesman Tinsley Ellis has carved out a name for himself in the last 25-30 years as a searing guitarist and expressive vocalist. His live shows have hit all 50 states, and he still plays around 150 gigs a year. His latest offering, Tough Love, is arguably his finest to date (read our review here), veering from shuffling blues, soulful ballads and psychedelic rock. We talk with Ellis about several “firsts” on his new record, running his own label, and his unique writing process.
Lisa Mills hails from Mississippi, and there must be something down there in the water, as she’s put together one of the finest, most honest records of last year. I’m Changing, is a mix of blues, rock, soul, Gospel and even a sprinkle of country. Add to it Lisa’s gritty vocals, and you’ve got the makings of a killer record. Yet, this isn’t a totally new project, as many of the tracks were started back in 2005. Mills talks about the long, strange journey that led to this new album.