New Tony Joe White Release
Posthumous Tony Joe White Album
‘Smoke From The Chimney’
Out May 7, 2021
On May 7, Smoke From The Chimney, a nine-song album of never-before-heard Tony Joe White tunes, will be released on Easy Eye Sound.
The new outing was produced by Dan Auerbach and rounded out by Nashville seasoned studio musicians.
Smoke From The Chimney started out as a number of unadorned voice and guitar demos from White’s home studio before being transformed into full band arrangements. When the time came for White’s son and manager Jody White to revisit his dad’s catalogue of unreleased songs, he knew Auerbach was the one to turn to.
“Boot Money” is the first glimpse of what we can expect – a gloriously growling take with fiery guitar.
In the last ten to fifteen years of his life, White would preserve new compositions or revisit older tracks in his home studio with only a guitar—usually his Fender Stratocaster—and that inimitable voice. Most of that material would ultimately wind up on his late-career albums. But when an unproven song didn’t make the cut for a release, or if he couldn’t get another artist interested, the song stayed right where it was as Tony Joe moved on to other things.
After his father’s death in 2018, Jody started transferring those multi-track home recordings to digital files and, as he continued to find other songs that hadn’t made an album, those select recordings would evolve into Smoke From The Chimney.
Ever since meeting Tony Joe backstage at an Australian music festival in 2009, Auerbach sought to make a record with him. For nearly a decade, Jody tried to line up session time for them but Tony Joe demurred.
“For one reason or another, my Dad would never just want to go into a studio and write with somebody, or go work with somebody,” Jody says. “He liked to do it at his place, and his way, and it turned out how it turned out, you know what I mean? So, this album really all worked out perfectly. He was making these tracks for Dan all along, but we just didn’t know it.”
Auerbach agrees. “Jody and I had been talking about this record for so long, and it didn’t happen for a reason,” he says. “It’s because it wasn’t supposed to happen. I was in a nervous cast of characters until the last few years, and if you’d given it to me any earlier, it wouldn’t have been right. I felt like all these people on the record were the right people and they laid in there behind Tony Joe. It felt really magical when we were making it happen.”
“These songs feel like a collection to me and they all seem to work together, in a weird way, even though they’re so different,” says Auerbach, who is releasing the album on his Easy Eye Sound label. “There’s some heartbreaking ballads and some really raunchy carnal blues. But it all works together like scenes of a movie.”
The cast of musical characters brought in by Auerbach to accompany White’s guitar and vocal recordings includes legendary keyboardist Bobby Wood (Elvis Presley, Dusty Springfield, Wilson Pickett), Nashville pedal steel ace Paul Franklin, next-generation guitar hero Marcus King, and Grammy and ACM award-winning fiddler Stuart Duncan, just to name a few.
Smoke From The Chimney Track List:
Smoke from the Chimney
You’re Making Me Cry
Listen to Your Song
Someone Is Crying
More About Tony Joe White: Across five decades as a performer and storyteller, Tony Joe White—a.k.a. “The Swamp Fox”—left an indelible mark on American music. His catalogue offers indisputable classics such as “Polk Salad Annie” and “Rainy Night in Georgia,” and his songs have been recorded by Ray Charles, Kenny Chesney, Waylon Jennings, Tim McGraw, Willie Nelson, Elvis Presley, Dusty Springfield and Tina Turner.
New Tony Joe White Release