// June 16th, 2008 // News


The venerable swamp-rock auteur Tony Joe White — whose songs have been covered by Elvis Presley, Tom Jones, Dusty Springfield, Waylon Jennings and Hank Williams Jr. — roars back into town not only with an impeccable four-decade musical pedigree but also a positively brain-pulping new album. A master of dirty-toned electric-guitar eloquence and off-kilter, ultra-maxi groove mongering, White has consistently explored forbidding musical territory, areas fraught with menace and passion, and he has an abiding insight when it comes to matters of human folly. On the just-released Deep Cuts, the singer-guitarist’s perspective is as resolutely insightful and deeply funk-informed as ever; produced with tastefully apocalyptic doses of severe techno-distortion by his son Jody, it’s a kaleidoscopic mixture of instrumental thrillers and some startling remakes (“Soul Francisco” becomes an ominous, symphonic fuzz and wah-wah workout thrilling in its audacity and execution), all perfectly framing White’s richly muddy, near-subsonic vocals and lowdown, incendiary guitar style. White remains a fabulously individualistic artist, and one who rocks with a vengeful intensity that’s nothing short of wondrous. (Jonny Whiteside)

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