Counsel of Elders: Tony Joe White on Playing from the Heart

Originally published with The Bluegrass Situation on June 29, 2016.

Tony Joe White’s protracted Southern drawl crackles across the telephone line. Underneath his deep, husky tone, the phone hums with a slight buzz thanks to a series of thunderstorms rolling through Franklin, Tennessee, where the iconic swamp rock musician lives. It seems fitting, as if his voice — one of his music’s trademarks — creates an electrifying response even for his landline. Conversing with White is not the same as listening to him sing. For one, he speaks softly, carefully. His speech contains no excess fat, none of the verbose over-sharing that has come to exemplify interpersonal communication in the 21st century. Instead, White is a man quietly in tune with the nature around him and the way it has helped him write some of his most definitive songs.

[Full article available at The Bluegrass Situation.]

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