Soul aficionado Jerry Williams Jr. unveiled his socially conscious Swamp Dogg persona in 1970 with the release of the terrifically underrated “Total Destruction to Your Mind.” Though 40 years and a handful of Swamp Dogg albums have passed since then, Williams says latest effort “The White Man Made Me Do It” is the record’s spiritual sequel.
“I think that this one comes closer to the ‘Total Destruction’ album than anything else I’ve done,” Swamp Dogg notes. “When I went in and cut ‘Total Destruction,’ I was like the little old lady that goes into the casino and puts a dollar in the slot and wins $900,000, because I didn’t know what I was doing. It took a long time for me to get to the point, craftsmanship-wise, where I could do it again intentionally.”
The funktastic title track is the perfect lid-lifer for “The White Man Made Me Do It,” an ear-pleasing 14-song mix of Swamp Dogg originals and well-chosen cover tunes. Even in his 70s, Swamp Dogg has plenty of gas left in the tank and shines on original compositions “Lying, Lying Woman,” “Where Is Sly,” “Prejudice Is Alive and Well” and “If That Ain’t the Blues Nothing Is.” Among the covers, his renditons of Sam Cooke’s “You Send Me” and The Coasters’ “Smokey Joe’s Café” are the ones you’ll remember. Good stuff. (Jeffrey Sisk)