The master of his self-invented genre Swamp Rock, Tony Joe White died from a heart attack on Thursday October 25, at the age of 75. There are few artists of our time that are at the root of a style with little precedent.
I never met a more authentic musician. Tony Joe White spent his life perfecting his groove. He already had the tools when he recorded Black & White, his first album for Monument Records, in 1969: He had a god-given cavernous and sexy voice, and he had his wah-wah pedal. When I first talked with him for the World Cafe I asked him about getting that pedal, the one that led him to his swamp-rock sound, he pointed at the floor. In 2014, he still had the same pedal he started, with and the same slinky groove. Continue reading →