The King of Swamp Rock, Tony Joe White, has returned for his 19th studio LP over his illustrious 50 year career, and the haunting guitars and deep voice that have defined both White's sound and the genre are still as mysterious and engaging as ever. During his many years of work, Tony Joe has worked with artists as varied as Eric Clapton, Tina Turner and the Foo Fighters and toured with Steppenwolf, Creedence Clearwater Revival, and Roger Waters, but on Rain Crow, it feels as if White never left his native Louisiana swamps.
From the first track, the energetic lead single "Hoochie Woman," the album hooks you with Tony Joe's signature Swamp sounds, with a voice that is mysterious yet down to earth and smooth electric guitar melodies that simmer just below the surface, only to come alive as each song gets closer and closer to its climax. The guitar work on the album is extremely well done, carrying the rythyms and melodies of the songs while maintaining a swampy atmosphere that almost borders as grungy on certain tunes, especially the title track "Rain Crow." All the tracks tell a story, whether it be about a peculiar girl from the swamps on "Conjure Child" or an frivilous and outgoing woman on the forementioned title track.
Overall, Tony Joe White's latest is everything a Swamp Rock fan could want and a testament to the timeless skill of Tony Joe. He pioneered the genre, and he still manages to be at the top of his game long after many contemporaries have faded into obscurity. Rain Crow is a joy to listen to and I would heavily reccomend giving it a spin once it is released on May 27th.