"Swamp Cabbage is North Florida, fatback, boogaloo blues stirred into a gumbo of Louisiana ragtime. Walter Parks' fingerpicked electric guitar honks like a razorback hog. Jagoda's drums like he's leadin' a New Orleans funeral parade, and Lindey's bass barks like a tuba through a fuzz box."
Jacksonville, Florida is way up north in the “Georgia part of Florida” where cypress swamps, alligators and palmetto thickets inspired Walter Parks to create Swamp Cabbage.
Northeast Florida is where this music began, but bandleader, guitarist and singer Parks left fifteen years ago for New York where in 2001, he began playing with Richie Havens - the man who made rock history by opening the 1969 Woodstock Festival. For the past four years Walter has had the honor of touring the US, Europe, Australia and Canada as Richie's lead guitarist. When there's a break in that very groovy routine, Walter steps out with his own roadshow Swamp Cabbage.
Swamp Cabbage is electric American roots music. Swamp Cabbage is always original even when they're payin' tribute.
In style, Swamp Cabbage gestures a raunchy foot-stompin' tip of the hat to Tony Joe White, The Meters, Dr. John, Tom Waits and ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons. Swamp Cabbage is new original Southern music that's different from, yet in keeping with, the North Mississippi All Stars and Mofro.
"Ten tracks of curled-up rattler in a dancin' preacher's hand..." New Haven Advocate
“A cross between Billy Gibbons & Tom Waits.” Vintage Guitar Magazine
”Jaw dropping riffage.” Guitar One Magazine
“In spite of our shameful contradictions, one thing about the South that brings us together and makes us all very proud is our music. I come from the only quarter of our country that can claim parentage for three of the world's greatest music genres: blues, jazz and country. Swamp Cabbage borrows from all three to bring you SQUEAL - a musical meandering through the cultural contradictions of the American Southeast.
SQUEAL is a record on which the purdy and the butt-ugly live groove-to-groove and learn to get along much like the pastor and the pole dancer would, were they next-door neighbors in the trailer park. SQUEAL, like the South, is a place that makes no sense to some but makes perfect sense to us. SQUEAL is fiction, but some of SQUEAL's fiction is reality to us all.
The band,at home in the North Florida mountain country, posing in front of their house pet Louie the croc - from left : Matthew Lindsey, Jagoda, and Walter Parks.
In Jesus Tone, the singer won't blame himself for his own accomplishment, instead the Lord gets the credit in fine evangelical fashion.
In Delegation, the singer's faith blinds him from seeing that the Lord's bounty comes with the responsibility to use able body and mind to its fullest potential. He avoids introspection by focusing on saving the souls of others.
The voice in Neck Tie Man is a struggling southern musician who's hopelessly naïve in the big northern city. He does the best he can to look like the kind of man his high fashion object of desire would be charmed by, but he falls hopelessly short. This song has the saddest lyrics on the record, supported by the happiest musical feel.
The same small town character reappears in Dixieland trying to pay uptown rent the quickest way he knows how – by being a handyman. It strengthens him to realize that the city women he still can't resist only want him for his carpentry and plumbing skills. He resolves to return home.
Poontang is the only story song on SQUEAL, as was More Booty With Buddha on our first record HONK. I wrote this story, because I've always been turned off by door-to-door peddling of the gospel. As a boy I received several front stoop salvation ultimatums from the sales reps of various churches. I was insulted that a complete stranger thought he or she could save my soul. Furthermore, I was intimidated by the requirement of a spur of the moment teenage decision to determine my afterlife prospects. Poontang is collage of actual encounters that in retrospect seem funny to me. I mean no disrespect to the faithful who stay off my threshold and I mean no disrespect to the Lord.
Feedbag. Well here's where the pig comes in. Some say men are pigs, some say dogs etc. Most southern men proudly accept these accolades. Feedbag compares the human lot to farm life. It’s a narrative that satirizes the male's helpless dependence on the female in the most primitive sense.
New Voodoo Boogaloo is a nonsensical song of praise for my two fine band partners. Not only are they great players, they're also jesters who make playing live the best fun I've ever had. The song shares with you the nicknames that ladies in bedchambers all over the country have bestowed upon them – "Apostle and The Beat Pimp".
Purdy Mouth, Sopchoppy and Softshoe are instrumental soundtracks that we advise playing whilst watching a wrestling match, wet t-shirt contest, tractor pull or stock car race. “
Walter Parks, Swamp Cabbage
Walter Parks guitars, vocals
Matt Lindsey bass, backing vocals