If you’re looking for someone who lives and breathes the South and all of its glorious mythology — in particular Louisiana — you needn’t look much further than the swampy realms inhabited by Tony Joe White, whose new album Rain Crow will land Friday May 27.
The lead track, Hoochie Woman, is very reminiscent of his 1969 smash hit Polk Salad Annie, with many of the same smooth-picked guitar lines. The tune is built around the titular character, but this time, it’s not her stalwart Jed Clampett-style efforts to keep her poor family fed which inspire the narrative; rather, it’s her knack for bewitching the storyteller.
“She is a woman who has magic, although not quite like a conjure woman — and she likes to dance and be with her man, Smoochie Man, and a conjure don’t like company at all,” says White. “I’m more at ease with Hoochie, but I believe Leann, my wife and co-writer, sometimes has a little conjure woman in her.”
Rain Crow is the first new material from Tony Joe White since his Hoodoo collection, which appeared three years ago. Last year, he sat in with the Foo Fighters on The Late Show With David Letterman for a performance of Polk Salad Annie.