Gypsy Epilogue - Tony Joe White

from the album Hoodoo (2013)

I used to hang out with the bluesman Jack Yoder.  It is from him that I gained my appreciation for tone.

Tone is a lifetime pursuit for the conscientious musician.  Finding that right guitar, experimenting with different gauge strings, playing thru countless amps - manipulating the dials - trying to match the sounds you hear with the sounds inside your head.  It is an obsession.  And for some, it never ends.

Tony Joe White is a Louisiana guitarist who has been releasing great music since 1969.  The arc of his 40+ year career has as much to do with tone as it does with great songwriting and recordings.  Along the way, he has transcended the traditional music of his region thru his tone.  It is like a $400 bottle of wine.  Within it, you can hear the music that bubbles up from the swampy ground.  However, what makes it special are the other elements, including Memphis country, Texas blues, and a soul that can only come from God.

On his new album Hoodoo, I keep listening to the song Gypsy Epilogue.  I think the reason is that it is the most downtempo and quiet song on the record.  That setting strips out the noise and lets you fully appreciate his tone.  When I listen to the guitar track, that churns like a trip along of foreboding river, I am blown away.  The sound of every note is perfectly crafted.

Complimenting this is a band that knows how to play with beautiful restraint.  Listen to the organ, the bass, and the drums.  They form the perfect backing band.

If you would like to get the tone of Tony Joe White, head to the nearest Guitar Center and start playing.  If you are lucky you might achieve his sound in forty or fifty years.

Click Here to listen to Gypsy Epilogue.

Click Here to watch an interview with Tony Joe White promoting the album Hoodoo.