Embarking on a Musical Odyssey on NewGrass Radio tonight with songs from the new album, Blackgrass: From West Virginia To 125th St by Swamp Dogg

“Many overlook the true origins of bluegrass music,” reflects Jerry “Swamp Dogg” Williams. “But it originated from Black communities. The banjo, the washtub, all those elements began with African Americans. We were playing it before it even had a name.”

Swamp Dogg’s most recent release, “Blackgrass: From West Virginia to 125th St,” isn’t just a history lesson; it’s a sonic expedition through the annals of time and tradition. Helmed by producer Ryan Olson (noted for his collaborations with Bon Iver and Poli├ža) and featuring an illustrious ensemble including Noam Pikelny, Sierra Hull, and Jerry Douglas, among others, the album represents a vibrant amalgamation of past and present. It seamlessly intertwines folk, roots, country, blues, and soul, embodying Swamp Dogg’s audacious yet reverent approach to music.

The album’s repertoire mirrors its diverse influences, blending original compositions with timeless classics and reimagined R&B and pop standards. Special guest appearances by luminaries like Margo Price, Jenny Lewis, Justin Vernon, and the Cactus Blossoms enhance the album’s allure, but it’s Swamp Dogg’s 81-year-old vocals – infused with humor, jubilance, and a hint of wistfulness – that truly captivate.

“Williams has long been revered as an underground icon, sharing his boundless appetite for innovation only with those adventurous enough to listen,” remarked Pitchfork. Half a century into his musical journey, Swamp Dogg remains an intrepid explorer, transcending genre boundaries and challenging artistic norms.

Swamp Dogg’s odyssey began in the 1950s as Little Jerry Williams before his tenure as an A&R executive for Atlantic Records in the late 1960s. His seminal hit, 1970’s “Don’t Take Her (She’s All I Got),” embodies the raw, heartfelt spirit often associated with country music. Co-penned with Gary U.S. Bonds, the song was initially popularized as a pop hit by Freddie North before Johnny Paycheck’s poignant rendition propelled it to No. 2 on the country charts in 1971.

The album will also be featured on the NRN radio show as the New Release Now of the Week!