Swamp Dogg – Rat On! (LP Starburst)
20.00 € inc. VAT
In 1970 the Southern soul music maverick Jerry Williams, Jr. made the most radical move of his career. Frustrated with music business politics Williams reinvented himself as Swamp Dogg, an irreverent anti-hero smashing the conventions of commercial R&B music.
The cover of this LP–Swamp Dogg riding a white rat, hands raised and fists clenched in triumph–lets you know that you’re not in for any ol’ R&B record, even before the needle hits the grooves. It’s a satisfying continuation of the eclectic soul-singer-songwriter mix of his debut. Vocally, Swamp Dogg sounds like a cross between General Johnson (of Chairmen of the Board) and Van Morrison; as a songwriter, he’s his own man. With the exception of Sly Stone, no other soul men of the period were investigating controversial topics with such infectious musicality and good humor. He takes on promiscuity with unbridled frankness in cuts like “Predicament #2,” and bemoans the eternal delay of American justice for minorities in “Remember I Said Tomorrow,” and twists Irving Berlin’s “God Bless America” into a protest song (and also, bizarrely, covers the Bee Gees’ “Got to Get a Message to You”).