Dr. Zog: Swampadelic
Reviewed by David Lynch, Fri., Oct. 1, 1999
Swampadelic (Zog)In 1997, Port Arthur native and multi-instrumentalist (banjo, guitar, jaw harp) Dr. Zog put out Growin' Up Wild in East Texas, a collection of swampy, roadhouse blues-rock. The 13 tracks on his most recent release, Swampadelic, pick up where Growin' Up left off; that is, songs by Elvis Presley if the King had grown up on the Louisiana/Texas border listening to swamp pop, delta blues, shuffle jazz, and a healthy dose of the Grateful Dead. While Zog could probably play any instrument thrown at him, the good doctor also realizes he can't do it all himself, enlisting the help of like-minded musicians in his core group such as Floyd Domino, who provides tasteful support on piano and organ throughout. On Growin' Up, Zog used Jon Dee Graham's lap steel to good effect; on Swampadelic, it's the trumpet of jazzer Ephraim Owens. Results of this mix of styles and players include: the Professor Longhair-inspired opener "Boogie Tonight," the Leslie speaker-inflected harmonica of "Jungle Jump," the CCR-esque "Road to a Nightingale," the wailing harp solo on "Late Night," and the tremolo dark dreams of the banjo-fueled "Man in the Mangrove." Put yer waders on and go swampin'!