Swamp Dogg Gets Back to the Country

Our ol’ buddy Swamp Dogg is known primarily for his boisterous (and often humorous) psychedelic soul music, but as he tells it, “if you listen to my records before I start stacking shit on it, I’m country. I sound country.”

He aims to prove as much on his new album, Sorry You Couldn’t Make It. Out March 6, the 10-track album was recorded in Nashville with a band of 14 players, including Justin Vernon (Bon Iver), keyboardist extraordinaire Derick Lee (musical director of BET’s Bobby Jones Gospel show), guitarist Jim Oblon (Paul Simon) and frequent collaborator Moogstar. John Prine is featured on two duets, and Jenny Lewis and Channy Leaneagh (Poliça) provide occasional backing vocals. Included in the tracklist is a new take on his 1970 song co-written with Gary U.S. Bonds, “Don’t Take Her (She’s All I Got),” which was a #2 country hit for Johnny Paycheck.

“They didn’t have any blacks in country until Charlie Pride came along,” surmises Swamp Dogg, nee 77-year-old Jerry Williams. “But in time, all things change and that’s what has happened to country music… I’m anxious because it’s like I’ve taken all my money and put it on one horse. But I believe in this horse.”

Photo by David McMurry.