By Ian Bremner
Swamp Dogg has been at this a long time. What warrants special appreciation for dudes like Jerry Williams, Aka Swamp Dogg, is his willingness to adapt and change as an artist. Since the 1970’s, he’s been dropping classic soul songs from all over the spectrum. He’s not afraid to call it like it is like his 2014 album, White Man Made Me Do It. He’s not afraid throw some auto-tune on it, like 2018’s Love, Loss and Auto-Tune. He’s not afraid to remix it, like last year’s Refried – Remixes for the 21st Century. He is most certainly not afraid to work with new modern artists like Jenny Lewis, Bon Iver, and Policia for his latest record, Sorry You Couldn’t Make It.
Some tracks like Good Better and Best will slap a smile on your face, while others like Billy and Don’t Take Her (She’s All I Got) will tear your heart straight out of your chest. John Prine’s signature voice and delivery joins Swamp on two tracks somewhat unexpectedly, and yet totally naturally. Jenny Lewis’s buttery sweet harmonies and Justin Vernon’s piano join him on the lead single, Sleeping Without You is a Dragg.
Sorry You Couldn’t Make It will forever have “2020” under it’s release date, but it is as authentic of a soul record you will hear regardless of decade. Swamp Dogg manages to pack in all of the classic soul tropes, into his own personal story full of love, heartbreak, family, swagger, lust and the hard straight truth.
Sorry You Couldn’t Make It is out now on Joyful Noise Recordings
Listen to Sorry You Couldn’t Make It via spotify
Listen to Sleeping Without You is a Drag