Thursday To-Do: Tony Joe White | Rock Candy

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Thursday To-Do: Tony Joe White

Posted By on Thu, Apr 29, 2010 at 9:41 AM

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TONY JOE WHITE
9 p.m., Juanita's. $10.

If you're not intimately familiar with Tony Joe White, here's what you need to know about The Swamp Fox: One, it's this writer's opinion that his first album, “Black & White,” is 35 minutes of the coolest music ever put on wax, period; two, his rich songbook has been covered by tons of familiars, notably, Johnny Cash, Tina Turner, Dusty Springfield and Elvis Presley; three, he wrote the ineffable classic “Rainy Night in Georgia.” Done. All rumbling baritone and guttural, tongue-y patois, Tony Joe White never enjoyed mainstream domestic success here the way he (inexplicably) did in France, but his particular, racially ambiguous take on electric swamp rock has been thrusting through American music for decades. Tony Joe's steadily made music for 40-plus years, mixing curious swamp rock hybrids with a foray into Michael McDonald-esque yacht rock, a loop and breakbeat-infused album of revisited hits and a brief detour into — gasp — disco territory! (Find his peccadillo-praising 1980 single “I Get Off on It” on hypem.com to turn that grimace into a quick grin.) For those who are quick to disparage this show as a cash-in revival, you're out of luck and in for another surprise. John Paul Keith and the One Four Fives, the jaunty Memphis-based regulars who reside on a low branch of the Tony Joe White family tree, open the show.

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