The Ponderosa Stomp has announced two additions to its October lineup, both Stomp debuts: Southern soul maverick Swamp Dogg and “Let’s Dance” hitmaker Chris Montez. For those who share the Stomp’s love for unsung rock & soul heroes, both are big news. Both will appear on the first night of the Stomp, October 4 at the Rock ‘N’ Bowl.
The first thing we can say about Swamp Dogg is that he’s responsible for the greatest song title in the history of popular music, namely “The Love We Got Ain’t Worth Two Dead Flies.” If that weren’t enough, he created a body of work that’s both classically soulful and wildly eccentric, going back to the 1970 cult classic, “Total Destruction To Your Mind” (allegedly inspired by his first acid trip). As a producer he teamed with Irma Thomas in the early ‘70s and cut a pair of albums that were arguably her most progressive, dealing with social issues she hadn’t gotten into before. He did some equally fine (and equally overlooked) sides with Gary U.S. Bonds, just before Bruce Springsteen gave him the official comeback. Dogg performs infrequently these days, but we caught a performance in summer 2012 and it had all the wild soul we could’ve hoped for.
One of the first Chicano rockers to top the charts, Chris Montez scored in 1962 with “Let’s Dance,” a tune instantly recognizable for the Farfisa organ—and it has a good beat, Dick, and it’s easy to dance to. (The song was also covered to great effect on the first Ramones album). After four hitless years he resurfaced under Herb Alpert’s guidance with two prime examples of bachelor-pad pop, “Call Me” and “The More I See You,” both of which were also chart-toppers. What he’s been doing since then is anybody’s guess, but chances to see him don’t come along everyday.
The Ponderosa Stomp will happen at the Rock ‘N’ Bowl from October 3 – 5; other confirmed acts include the Standells, Chris Clark and Maxine Brown. Advance tickets are available here.