The Countrified, Raunchy Funk of Swamp Dogg
by Dave Segal
on Thu, Sep 12, 2013 at 10:32 AM
(Triple Door) Those who've slept on Swamp Dogg—i.e., most of us—can catch up, to a degree, with reissues of three key early-'70s albums by the Virginia-born soul man: Gag a Maggot, Rat On!, and best of all, Total Destruction to Your Mind. These releases (back in circulation via Alive Naturalsound Records) evidence a vocalist of raw, soulful vigor and a lyricist of sociopolitical insight and irreverent humor. The man's music from this era is a loose-limbed combo of Southern-fried funk, animated blues rock with surprising country undercurrents, and heart-punching soul. Now Swamp Dogg (aka Jerry Williams Jr.) is doing a rare late-career tour, and it would be a serious blunder to miss him. He may be 71 now, but recent footage reveals Mr. Dogg's voice has lost very little of its vibrant timbre or emotional turbulence. With Brother James and the Soul-vation.