I get it, you’re probably thinking “What’s so special about Tony Joe White?“
Well, for starters he wrote this timeless classic in 1967: “Rainy Night in Georgia.” At the time, he was 24 years old and had been playing in bars for years – always doing other people’s material. This version is just him singing while playing guitar and harmonica. I defy anyone to listen to this and not be moved.
Born poor in Louisiana, he had worked in the cotton fields and was making his living driving a truck. Where does this shit come from? He says “Rainy Night” and “Poke Salad Annie” were the first two songs he ever wrote.
On “Poke Salad” the Muscle Shoals rhythm section featuring the the great Jerry Carrigan on drums is just fucking magic. The drum pattern is virtually unchanged throughout the whole tune, yet the groove is so deep you can listen to it forever.
Some art just creates its own world and instantly transports you to this place that’s at once recognizable but foreign at the same time. You can actually smell it and feel your emotions change, like it’s hijacked your neurochemistry. Life’s always a little better on the other side.
It’s food for the soul.