New releases from swamp rock titan Tony Joe White don't come along very often, and this one is special, indeed.
New releases from swamp rock titan Tony Joe White don't come along very often, and this one is special, indeed. White pays homage to his favorite female singers here, and it's a real treat to hear his spooky baritone mesh with the opposite sex. But the set is never lacking in grit. Shelby Lynne matches White soul to soul on the smoldering "Can't Go Back Home," and Lucinda Williams is a swamp-funk queen on "Closing In to the Fire." Emmylou Harris brings style and substance to the desperate "Wild Wolf Calling Me," and White thumps with authority with the great Jessi Colter on "Fireflies in the Storm." White honors women, though, even on his own, as on the appreciative "Ice Cream Man" and sly "Rich Woman Blues." He shows his mean streak on "Robbin' My Honeycomb" and the cantankerous "Chaos Boogie." White's guitar is a star as well, and the instrumental bookends ("Gabriella" and "Gabriella's Affair") are all mood and atmosphere.—RW
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