Wednesday 11pm: Feature LP: Tony Joe White – Bad Mouthin’ (2018)

Long before he signed to Yep Roc in 2013, Tony Joe White perfected his minimalist groove — so much so, his records often seemed like they flowed from the same swamp. Bad Mouthin’, his third record for Yep Roc since 2013, doesn’t necessarily break from that tradition — from its first note, it is quite clearly the work of Tony Joe White — but it does prove a variation on his signature by offering his first album devoted entirely to the blues. Combining blues standards with songs he wrote years ago, White highlights how pivotal the skeletal shuffles of John Lee Hooker and Jimmy Reed were to his own sound. It’s not just that their respective “Boom Boom” and “Big Boss Man” are covered back to back: it’s how they seem to be the seed of all his down-and-dirty boogie, dating back to the origins of the originals he’s reviving and extending to his weathered, leathery present. The songs are strong but the reason to listen to Bad Mouthin’ is the performance, how White maintains his thick, heavy mood from beginning to end, always sounding compelling through the familiar changes.    AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine

1 Bad Mouthin’
2 Baby Please Don’t Go
3 Cool Town Woman
4 Boom Boom
5 Big Boss Man
6 Sundown Blues
7 Rich Woman Blues
8 Bad Dreams
9 Awful Dreams
10 Down the Dirt Road Blues
11 Stockholm Blues
12 Heartbreak Hotel

Artist Countdown: Billy Swan Top 21 Hits 7:30p ET

Billy SwanWilliam Lance Swan (born May 12, 1942) is an American songwriter and singer, best known for his 1974 single, “I Can Help”.

Swan was born in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. As a child, he learned drums, piano and guitar, and began writing songs. His first big break was in 1962 when Clyde McPhatter recorded “Lover Please”, a song written by Swan when he was in a local band called Mirt Mirly & the Rhythm Stoppers, and which had first been recorded by Bill Black.[1] McPhatter’s version quickly became a No. 7 pop hit.

Swan moved to Memphis to work with Black, but this was cut short with Black’s illness and subsequent death in 1965. He also for a time worked on Elvis Presley’s Graceland estate. He then moved to Nashville, which enabled him to write hit country songs for numerous artists, including Conway Twitty, Waylon Jennings, and Mel Tillis. In 1969, Swan first took on the role of record producer, producing Tony Joe White’s Top Ten hit “Polk Salad Annie”. Swan also played bass guitar for Kris Kristofferson, and then signed a solo recording deal with Monument Records.

His first album included the song “I Can Help”, a rockabilly number that topped both the Billboard Hot 100 and country charts in 1974, also becoming a hit in many other countries. Swan recorded the song in two takes (without overdubs) with an RMI organ that Kristofferson and singer Rita Coolidge had bought for him as a wedding gift. However, other albums with Monument, A&M, and Epic did not have nearly the success of his first.

In 1979, Swan traveled to Havana, Cuba, to participate in the historic Havana Jam festival that took place between March 2–4, alongside Stephen Stills, the CBS Jazz All-Stars, the Trio of Doom, Fania All-Stars, Weather Report, Bonnie Bramlett, Mike Finnegan, Kris Kristofferson, Rita Coolidge and Billy Joel, plus an array of Cuban artists such as Irakere, Pacho Alonso, Tata Güines and Orquesta Aragón. His performance is captured on Ernesto Juan Castellanos’s documentary Havana Jam ’79.

Swan continued to tour as a member of Kristofferson’s band, and has recorded two albums with Randy Meisner of The Eagles. In 1986 he walked into a Californian studio (Bench Records) as part of a band called Black Tie and along with Meisner, Jimmy Griffin (Bread), David Kemper (drummer), David Miner and David Mansfield recorded an album called When the Night Falls. He recorded another solo album, Like Elvis Used to Do in 2000, and another Black Tie-style album with Meisner and Charlie Rich, Jr. billed as “Meisner, Swan & Rich”. As of 2005, Swan remained a backing singer and session musician.

Swan was married to his late wife Marlu for 30 years. They had two daughters, recording artists Planet Swan & Sierra Swan.  – Wikipedia

1 I Can Help
2 I’m Her Fool
3 Don’t Be Cruel
4 Everything’s the Same (Ain’t Nothing Changed)
5 Just Want to Taste Your Wine
6 You’re the One
7 Shake, Rattle and Roll
8 Hello! Remember Me
9 No Way Around (It’s Love)
10 Do I Have to Draw a Picture
11 I’m into Lovin’ You
12 Stuck Right in the Middle of Your Love
13 With Their Kind of Money and Our Kind of Love
14 Your Picture Still Loves Me (And I Still Love You)
15 Rainbows and Butterflies
16 Yes
17 You Must Be Lookin’ for Me
18 I’m Gonna Get You
19 P.M.S. (Post Mortem Sickness)
20 Ways Of A Woman In Love
21 I’d Like To Work For You