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Saturday 16 May 2009

Swamp Dogg

By now I imagine some of you are thinking "Enough of this Euro nonsense, let's have some proper music". Well, OK.

It doesn't get much more proper than the legendary soul singer, songwriter and producer Swamp Dogg (or Jerry Williams Jr as his Mum would know him). He made his first recordings in 1954 and he is still going strong 55 years later, with his most recent album - 2007's "Resurrection" - being generally considered one of the best of his career.

He has a reputation for being eccentric, which is perhaps understandable when one album cover featured him riding on the back of a giant white rat, but it would be wrong to dismiss him as "just" eccentric. He has created some great party sounds, and many first class loving and/or cheating songs, but there is also a thread of social and political commentary running throughout his work. It is that aspect of his career we are going to feature today.

The link below contains three songs:

From "Total Destruction In Your Mind" (1970): "Dust My Head Color Red".

From "Cuffed, Collared And Tagged" (1972): Swamp's version of John Prine's song about a Vietnam veteran, "Sam Stone".

And bringing it right up to date, from "Resurrection", is a heartfelt tribute to a recent US President: "They Crowned An Idiot King". This was one of the first songs I posted here but most of you will have missed it and it is worth another listen.

To complete the circle, here is a clip of Swamp on tour in 2007 promoting "Resurrection" playing another song from the "Total Destruction To Your Mind" album: "Synthetic World".

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