Rain Crow by Tony Joe White
The first thing I do with any album that show up in my mailbox is to take on the road with me and give it the road test. I'm happy to say Tony Joe White's Rain Crow passes the test with flying colors. This is most definitely a down-tempo blues album, but when you crank the car stereo to 11, those creepy swamp tones and scary guitar licks completely take over your soul. Rain Crow, at the same time, is also what I'd call a "headphones album." Put the headphones on, close your eyes, and get lost from the world for a while.
Tony Joe White will tell you stories about people creepify your soul and make you want to buy them a beer at the same time. On the album you'll hear stories of snake handlers, people who believe animals can foretell the weather, "conjure women" who live alone in the swamp and practice some sort of magic, and men driven by loneliness to the edge of insanity. I'm not sure which more unsettling, to think of these songs as myths or to think of these songs as a slice of life in the swamp.
Tony Joe White is in top form on this album. The tone he manages to create in his 19th studio album can only come from some who's not only spent his life with the blues, but he's paid attention to how the blues feel in your ears.
I'm adding "Hoochie Woman," "Rain Crow," "The Opening Of The Box," "Right Back In The Fire," "The Middle Of Nowhere," and "Conjure Child" to rotation.
Preview Rain Crow by Tony Joe White.