Čak i trolovi vole rock’n’roll

Za slušanje muzike neopravdano zaboravljenih velemajstora nikada nije kasno. I kada nas napuste, njihov duh ostaje da lebdi nad nama.

Kada se pomene Swamp rock, prva asocijacija su Creedence Clearwater Revival. Oni su ovaj muzički podžanr koji vuče korene iz cajun muzike koja se izvodila u Luizijani učinili globalno poznatim. No, nekrunisani kralj ove muzike je čovek koga su prijatelji zvali Swamp Fox, gitarista, kompozitor i songwriter Tony Joe White.

Muškarčina od glave do pete.

Dobro se sećam prvog susreta sa njegovim dvostrukim albumom koji je bio presek njegove dotadašnje karijere. Znao sam poneku Whiteovu pesmu, a znate ih i vi sigurno (“Polk Salad Annie“, “Rainy Night in Georgia“, “Steamy Windows“…), no moja reakcija posle četrdesetak preslušanih je bila potpuno neočekivana – zapitao sam se otvorenih usta: zna li ovaj čovek da napiše osrednju pesmu?

Kako god da se posmatra ono što je moglo da se čuje sa krckavih vinila, nesumnjivo je da je White bio majstor da napiše uglavnom čvste i muzički jednostavne pesme koje su, uz to, naglašeno melodične i nekako u kontrastu sa pevanjem iz njegovog “pocepanog” grla. Očigledno, to nije bila baš neka preporuka za emitovanje na radio stanicama.

Gledano iz te vizure, White nije ni mogao da postigne mnogo više od osrednje uspešne solističke karijere, ali su ga proslavile obrade njegovih pesma (Elvis Presley, Tom Jones, Tina Turner, Dusty Springfield, Brook Banton i mnogi drugi).

The Train I'm On (1972)U poznijim godinama na neki način odato mu je priznanje – otvarao je koncerte za Joea Cockera i Erica Claptona, a Mark Knopfler voli da naglasi da su bili odlični prijatelji.

Početkom sedamdesetih White je objavio možda svoje ponajbolje albume. The Train I’m On (1972) je, po mom subjektivnom sudu, istinsko remek-delo od početka do kraja. Pesme sa tog albuma govore o burnim ljubavima i nemirnim životima junaka koji se najčešće nalaze u komplikovanim situacijama. No, na momente, White zna i da progovori na humorističan način.

Now one time I had this little ol’ band back home
A rock ‘n’ roll band
And we was going to play this job one night
And it weren’t too far away so we was walking
But we came upon a long dark stretch of woods
Had an old river running through it
And an old wooden bridge across the river
Well just as I was about to step upon the bridge
Out stepped the troll
A whole mighty troll

And he said, “Hey looks like you all are going to play somewhere”
And I said, “Yes sir”
Cause you always wanna say yes sir to a troll
He said, “I hate to mess up your boy’s job
But I sure could dig hearing y’all play a little bit”
I said, “Man we can’t just plug up
And play it right here upon the bridge”
He said, “Why?”
And I go, “Cause…”
But the troll said, “Play!”
That’s what we did

Well the wind was howling at the night
And the moon was covered up with clouds
I was walking cross a bridge on a dirt road
When I heard a troll growl
He said don’t you go walking cross my bridge
I am gonna make it tough on you
I am gonna give you swamp fever
You’ll be wondering if you’re you
Yeah you know you got to pay the toll
Cause even trolls love rock ‘n’ roll

Uh, it will keep you up all night
Drinking and carrying on
Getting it to the swamp music
Get it on, Get it on
Yeah you know you got to pay my toll
Cause even trolls love rock ‘n’ roll

But the troll said, “Hey!”
He said you boys just ain’t getting it
He said would you mind if I borrowed that old guitar?
And showed you all a lick
Since we never heard a troll play we let him have it
And he goes like this

I said, “Damn troll!”
Yeah you know you got to pay the toll
Cause even trolls love rock ‘n’ roll
Wow

“Would you mind if I had my guitar back?”
And the troll said, “Why?”

Jasno je, Tony Joe White je majstor storytellinga koji ne može da vas ostavi ravnodušnima. Snaga njegovih pesama počiva u direktnom pristupu prema slušaocu, a najbolje je da ga slušate uz hladno pivo, kada već više ne možete na koncertima (umro je prošle godine).

Ili da potražite neki od njegovih brojnih albuma snimljenih uživo.

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