LOS ANGELES, Calif. — ”I’m just watching the world go by and reacting to it,” Swamp Dogg says of his new Alive Naturalsound release The White Man Made Me Do It, his first new album since the recent career resurgence that’s won the veteran R&B visionary an influx of new, young fans.
The 14-song collection, which will hit stores on January 13, 2014, maintains the edgy mix of sociopolitical commentary, slice-of-life comedy and sly storytelling that are the hallmarks of the artist’s large and beloved body of work. The typically uncompromising set encompasses the provocative racial insights of the title track and “Prejudice Is Alive and Well,” the earthy interpersonal observations of “Renae” and “Let Me Be Wrong,” the soulful uplift of “I’m So Happy” and “Light A Candle Ring A Bell.” Other highlights include the cautionary Sly Stone tribute “Can Anybody Tell Me Where Is Sly,” along with a trio of cover tunes — Sam Cooke’s romantic “You Send Me,” the Clovers’ wry “Your Cash Ain’t Nothing But Trash” and the Robins’ Leiber-and-Stoller-penned “Smokey Joe’s Cafe” — that continue Swamp’s long history of putting his unmistakable stamp on classic R&B numbers.
Swamp sees The White Man Made Me Do It as the natural, if belated, successor to his seminal 1970 albumTotal Destruction to Your Mind, the cult classic that first introduced Swamp Dogg to a waiting, if sometimes uncomprehending, world.
“I think that this one comes closer to the Total Destruction album than anything else I’ve done,” Swamp asserts, explaining, “When I went in and cut Total Destruction, I was like the little old lady that goes into the casino and puts a dollar into the slot and wins $900,000, because I didn’t know what I was doing. It took a long time for me to get to the point, craftsmanship-wise, where I could do it again intentionally.”

“I think that this one comes closer to the Total Destruction album than anything else I’ve done,” Swamp asserts, explaining, “When I went in and cut Total Destruction, I was like the little old lady that goes into the casino and puts a dollar into the slot and wins $900,000, because I didn’t know what I was doing. It took a long time for me to get to the point, craftsmanship-wise, where I could do it again intentionally.”
The veteran singer/songwriter/producer/multi-instrumentalist — born Jerry Williams Jr. — is the creator of a singular body of music that stretches back six decades, and which hit its stride with his late-’60s self-reinvention as Swamp Dogg. Since then, he’s released more than 30 albums showcasing his brutally honest, often howlingly funny songs, which mix classic Southern soul grooves with pointed, poignant lyrics that are both profound and profane, reflecting vividly and insightfully upon politics, war, race and the abiding mysteries of love and sex, and demonstrating a savage sense of humor as well as an instinctive aversion to hypocrisy. In the ’70s, Swamp’s uncompromising attitude — and his participation in Jane Fonda’s now-legendary anti-war FTA tour — even won him a spot on then-President Richard Nixon’s infamous Enemies List.
Entertainment Weekly called Swamp Dogg “a one of a kind musical genius.” England’s The Guardiandubbed him “the soul genius that time forgot.” AllMusic.com described him as “one of the great cult figures of 20th century American music.” Mojo magazine noted that “He’s made some of the maddest, funny, baddest, odd, angry, funkiest soul records.” And Rolling Stone observed that “he sings like some unfrozen Atlantic soul man of the ’60s — his voice clarion pure, his phrasing a model of smoldering restraint.”

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Swamp Dogg

Saturday, July 27 · 7:30 PM at The Echo