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“Not a lot of people talk about the true origins of bluegrass music,” says Swamp Dogg, “but it came from Black people. The banjo, the washtub, all that stuff started with African Americans. We were playing it before it even had a name.”

Blackgrass, Swamp Dogg’s remarkable new album, is no history lesson, though. Produced by Ryan Olson (Bon Iver, Poliça) and recorded with an all-star band including Noam Pikelny, Sierra Hull, Jerry Douglas, Chris Scruggs, Billy Contreras, and Kenny Vaughan, the collection is a riotous blend of past and present, mixing the sacred and the profane in typical Swamp Dogg fashion as it blurs the lines between folk, roots, country, blues, and soul. The tracklist is an eclectic one—brand new originals and vintage Swamp Dogg classics sit side by side with reimaginings of ’70s R&B hits and timeless ’50s pop tunes—but the performances are thoroughly cohesive, filtering everything through a progressive Appalachian lens that nods to tradition without ever being bound by it. Special guests like Margo Price, Jenny Lewis, Justin Vernon, and The Cactus Blossoms all add to the excitement here, but it’s ultimately the 81-year-old Swamp Dogg’s delivery—sly and playful and full of genuine joy and ache—that steals the show. The result is a record that’s as reverent as it is raunchy, a collection that challenges conventional notions of genre and race while at the same time celebrating the music that helped make Swamp Dogg the beloved iconoclast he’s known as today.

“Not a lot of people talk about the true origins of bluegrass music,” says Swamp Dogg, “but it came from Black people. The banjo, the washtub, all that stuff started with African Americans. We were playing it before it even had a name.”

Blackgrass, Swamp Dogg’s remarkable new album, is no history lesson, though. Produced by Ryan Olson (Bon Iver, Poliça) and recorded with an all-star band including Noam Pikelny, Sierra Hull, Jerry Douglas, Chris Scruggs, Billy Contreras, and Kenny Vaughan, the collection is a riotous blend of past and present, mixing the sacred and the profane in typical Swamp Dogg fashion as it blurs the lines between folk, roots, country, blues, and soul. The tracklist is an eclectic one—brand new originals and vintage Swamp Dogg classics sit side by side with reimaginings of ’70s R&B hits and timeless ’50s pop tunes—but the performances are thoroughly cohesive, filtering everything through a progressive Appalachian lens that nods to tradition without ever being bound by it. Special guests like Margo Price, Jenny Lewis, Justin Vernon, and The Cactus Blossoms all add to the excitement here, but it’s ultimately the 81-year-old Swamp Dogg’s delivery—sly and playful and full of genuine joy and ache—that steals the show. The result is a record that’s as reverent as it is raunchy, a collection that challenges conventional notions of genre and race while at the same time celebrating the music that helped make Swamp Dogg the beloved iconoclast he’s known as today.

732388929702
Blackgrass: From West Virginia to 125th St [LP]
Artist: Swamp Dogg
Format: Vinyl
New: Available $23.98 $22.67 ON SALE
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Formats and Editions

DISC: 1

1. Mess Under That Dress
2. Ugly Mans Wife
3. Curtains On The Window
4. Have A Good Time
5. To The Other Woman (Feat. Margo Price)
6. Songs To Sing
7. Count The Days (Feat. Jenny Lewis)
8. Gotta Have My Baby Back
9. Your Best Friend
10. This Is My Dream
11. Rise Up
12. Murder Ballad

More Info:

“Not a lot of people talk about the true origins of bluegrass music,” says Swamp Dogg, “but it came from Black people. The banjo, the washtub, all that stuff started with African Americans. We were playing it before it even had a name.”

Blackgrass, Swamp Dogg’s remarkable new album, is no history lesson, though. Produced by Ryan Olson (Bon Iver, Poliça) and recorded with an all-star band including Noam Pikelny, Sierra Hull, Jerry Douglas, Chris Scruggs, Billy Contreras, and Kenny Vaughan, the collection is a riotous blend of past and present, mixing the sacred and the profane in typical Swamp Dogg fashion as it blurs the lines between folk, roots, country, blues, and soul. The tracklist is an eclectic one—brand new originals and vintage Swamp Dogg classics sit side by side with reimaginings of ’70s R&B hits and timeless ’50s pop tunes—but the performances are thoroughly cohesive, filtering everything through a progressive Appalachian lens that nods to tradition without ever being bound by it. Special guests like Margo Price, Jenny Lewis, Justin Vernon, and The Cactus Blossoms all add to the excitement here, but it’s ultimately the 81-year-old Swamp Dogg’s delivery—sly and playful and full of genuine joy and ache—that steals the show. The result is a record that’s as reverent as it is raunchy, a collection that challenges conventional notions of genre and race while at the same time celebrating the music that helped make Swamp Dogg the beloved iconoclast he’s known as today.

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