Quarantine canceled Swamp Dogg’s planned tour for Sorry You Couldn’t Make It which featured a guest spot on Jimmy Kimmel and multiple NYC shows, including a night at Radio City opening for John Prine, who tragically passed away from COVID-19. Now, after being stuck in the house for months with fellow musicians, Swamp Dogg re-emerges to join us on the Pioneer Works Broadcast with a livestream on September 10.
Jerry Williams’—aka Swamp Dogg—first love was country music, listening to it as a Navy family kid growing up in Portsmouth, Virginia. While the 77 year-old Williams’ most enduring persona is the psychedelic soul superhero Swamp Dogg—a musical vigilante upholding truths both personal and political since 1970’s immortal album, Total Destruction To Your Mind—he will tell anybody who will listen that he’s considered himself country this entire time. “If you notice I use a lot of horns,” Swamp says. “But actually, if you listen to my records before I start stacking shit on it, I’m country. I sound country.”
Swamp began his professional singing career as Little Jerry Williams back in the ‘50s before working as an A&R man for Atlantic Records in the late ‘60s. Following 2018’s critically acclaimed Love, Loss, And Auto-Tune—his first LP to debut on 11 Billboard charts and his first chart ink since his 1970 song “Mama’s Baby – Daddy’s Maybe”—Sorry You Couldn’t Make It allows Swamp to finally dive into the sound he grew up playing. With the support of Pioneer Works Press, they recorded the album at Nashville’s Sound Emporium with Ryan Olson as producer, and backed by a crack studio band led by Derick Lee, a keyboard virtuoso who worked as the musical director of BET’s Bobby Jones Gospel Show for nearly four decades. Nashville guitar firebrand Jim Oblon combusts his way through lead duties, while frequent collaborator Moogstar and special guests Justin Vernon (Bon Iver), John Prine, Jenny Lewis, Channy Leaneagh and Chris Beirden of Poliça, and Sam Amidon join the action throughout.
Sorry You Couldn’t Make It was made in collaboration with Joyful Noise Recordings and Pioneer Works Press. Purchase the limited edition vinyl here.