Hear Tony Joe White’s “Bubba Jones” From Posthumous Album,
Smoke from the Chimney
Produced by Dan Auerbach from nine unreleased vocal/guitar demos; Smoke from the Chimney out May 7th
March 19, 2021 – Nashville, TN – Leave it to the late, great Tony Joe White to write what may very well be the only bonafide-badass bass fishing song and never get around to sharing it with the world. That is, until now.
Appearing on his upcoming posthumous album, Smoke from the Chimney, “Bubba Jones” follows a mostly-fictional character on his chase to land a world-record largemouth bass. “My dad loved to fish. It was his favorite hobby,” says White’s son, Jody. “He would travel many miles to find the best fishing holes, or to explore places he heard about where large fish had been caught.” Jody describes the character as “a hybrid, fictional character that Tony Joe made up in his head, combined with his inner self who had a burning desire to catch the world record largemouth bass.
” In pure Tony Joe White fashion, along with the greasy production from Dan Auerbach, Bubba Jones’s tale unfolds with a rollicking backbeat and deep and smokey vocal delivery—not to mention sweltering slide guitar from Marcus King. Auerbach pegs “Bubba Jones” as quintessential Tony Joe White. “No-one else could do it like Tony Joes does,” says Auerbach. “When is the last song you heard name check Red Man and Gatorade?”
Yesterday, Rolling Stone Country premiered the “epic” video for “Bubba Jones” which features long-lost footage of White performing on the legendary 1980s talk show, Nashville Now. RSC praises the “funky fishing song” by highlighting the “appropriately swampy groove” and “sizzling slide guitar from Marcus King.” Watch the video for “Bubba Jones” now at this link and pre-order or pre-save Smoke from the Chimney ahead of its May 7th release right here.
Smoke from the Chimney, a nine-song album of never-before-heard Tony Joe White tunes, will be released on May 7th on Auerbach’s Easy Eye Sound label. Produced by Auerbach and rounded out by Nashville’s most seasoned studio musicians, Smoke from the Chimney started out as a number of unadorned voice and guitar demos from White’s home studio before being transformed into full band arrangements harkening back to the albums he recorded in the late 60s and early 70s in Nashville and Muscle Shoals—just as he was emerging as an internationally recognized songwriter and recording artist.
In the last 10 to 15 years of his life, White would preserve new compositions or revisit older tracks in his home studio with only a guitar—usually his Fender Stratocaster—and that inimitable voice. After his father’s death in 2018, Jody White started transferring those multitrack home recordings to digital files. Looking back on the moment he unearthed the demo of “Smoke from the Chimney,” he recalls a mix of happiness, gratification, and shock. As he continued to find other songs that didn’t make an album, he moved the material into a separate folder. Within a year, those select recordings would evolve into Smoke from the Chimney.
“These songs feel like a collection to me and they all seem to work together, in a weird way, even though they’re so different,” says Auerbach. “There’s some heartbreaking ballads and some really raunchy carnal blues. But it all works together like scenes of a movie.” The cast of musical characters brought in by Auerbach to accompany White’s guitar and vocal recordings includes legendary keyboardist Bobby Wood (Elvis Presley, Dusty Springfield, Wilson Pickett), Nashville pedal steel ace Paul Franklin, next-generation guitar hero Marcus King, and Grammy and ACM award-winning fiddler Stuart Duncan, just to name a few.
Jody believes that his father would love the way Smoke From the Chimney turned out. “I feel like it’s validation that Tony Joe was one of the greatest of all time,” he says. “That he could make something so potent, even so late in life, is something that not many people can do. I think it’s going to make people who loved him already love him even more.
Smoke from the Chimney Tracklist:
Smoke from the Chimney
Del Rio, You’re Making Me Cry
Listen to Your Song
Someone Is Crying
More About Tony Joe White: Across five decades as a performer and storyteller, Tony Joe White—a.k.a. “The Swamp Fox”—left an indelible mark on American music. His catalog offers indisputable classics such as “Polk Salad Annie” and “Rainy Night in Georgia,” and his songs have been recorded by Ray Charles, Kenny Chesney, Waylon Jennings, Tim McGraw, Willie Nelson, Elvis Presley, Dusty Springfield, and Tina Turner.