"Polk Salad Annie" was the song and cadence for delivering White's unmistakable swamp rock sound, which called to mind the sound John Fogerty whipped up on Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Bayou Country" and "Green River". Released in 1969, White's album debut "Black And White" contains some of the best swamp-folk-soul-funk of the era. White grew up in the soggy marshlands of Louisiana, his real-deal deep voice sounding like it's dredged from the bottom of the Delta. Rural life in the dirty south provided the inspiration for witty, sometimes funny, and sometimes poignant lyrics (later Tony Joe would pen the smash "Rainy Night In Georgia"). This Analogue Productions edition is the highest-quality reissue of "Black And White" released to date. It was mastered from the original analog tape by Kevin Gray at Cohearent Audio, and features unsurpassed plating and pressing on 200-gram heavyweight vinyl by Quality Record Pressings, makers of the finest-sounding LPs in the world. The dead-silent LP playing surface captures White's voice and his strong and funky backing band in true analog majesty. Besides "Annie", side one of "Black And White" includes several other White originals. AllMusic judges the best of these to be "Willie And Laura Mae Jones", a song about race relations with an arrangement similar to "Ballad Of Billie Joe", and "Soul Francisco", a short piece of funky fluff that had been a big hit in Europe in 1968. "Aspen, Colorado" presages the later "Rainy Night in Georgia," a White composition popularized by Brook Benton. The second side of Black and White consists of covers of hits of the era, with the funky "Who's Making Love" and "Scratch My Back" faring better than the slow stuff. Dusty Springfield had a minor hit with "Willie And Laura Mae Jones", and White's songs were recorded by other performers through the years, but "Polk Salad Annie" and the gators that got her granny provided his only march in the American hit parade. Highly recommended for fans of Creedence Clearwater Revival, J.J. Cale, and 1960s soul!
Tony Joe White: Black And White