Dinner Music: Swamp Dogg
savory western sounds from a cult soul and R&B octogenarian
Jerry Williams Jr. is an American music industry polymath — a soul and R&B singer, musician, songwriter, an experimenter and record producer. He first began recording in the ‘50s, at only twelve years old, and worked for nearly a decade as Little Jerry Williams. In the ‘70s, after a particularly insightful psychedelic trip, he renamed himself Swamp Dogg. “I needed an alter ego because I wanted to say some things,” he said. “I wanted to be able to talk about sex, religion, politics; I wanted to sing about everything.” Since then, he’s recorded dozens of albums, written multiple chart-topping hits and collaborated with the best of the best in the music industry. Swamp Dogg is best described as “one of the great cult figures of 20th century American music.” It’s not quite soul, it’s not quite R&B — it’s Swamp Dogg saying what he needs to say.
Sorry You Couldn’t Make it was released in early March 2020, when Swamp was 78 years old. “I was raised up on country music,” he said. He soon learned that “country and R&B were basically alike with the exception of who happened to be singing it at the time.” The album sounds just like Swamp — it’s soulful, it’s sweeping, it could play just as easily in the seventies as it does today. It possesses a distinct playfulness, yet lets a little bit of heartache bleed through the cracks. Quintessential country and western sounds, in the best way.
Sorry You Couldn’t Make it - Swamp Dogg:
Pair this album with:
The Desert Bird Cocktail. This recipe hails from San Antonio and is a little bit mezcal, a little bit pineapple and a little bit Campari. Throw a lime and an herb garnish on top and voila.
Fried Chicken Sandwich. I love a summertime fried chicken sandwich. A game changer? Put the chicken in the fridge for a while and build yourself a cold, fried chicken sandwich. Just trust me.
Thank you, thank you. Have a great evening. ✨