Considering Swamp Dogg, a.k.a. Jerry Williams, is one of the most brilliant songwriters of his generation—this man wrote “If I Could Do It All Over Again (I’d Do It All Over You)”—an album of covers by him is quite a change of pace. Swamp Dogg recycles material from a wide range of artists including Fats Domino, Bruce Springsteen, Jimmy Reed, Bob Marley, the Rolling Stones, the Beatles and even himself. While the concept might seem questionable, this is quite an entertaining outing as he really throws himself into the proceedings.
The Dogg’s got a big sound behind him with a heavy-handed— but good— guitarist on board and lots of electronic effects in the mix, too. This pairing reaches its apex on “Johnny B. Goode,” which sounds like Chuck Berry on acid. His version of Jimmy Reed’s blues classic “Ain’t That Lovin’ You Baby” really swings, even with the busy guitar.
As always, humor is present on a Swamp Dogg album. His Pointer Sisters vamp at the end of “Great Balls of Fire” is especially brilliant. Swamp Dogg does pause to go old school on “My Girl” and “I Never Loved a Woman” before going ballistic on “Satisfaction.” I’ve yet to encounter an inferior Swamp Dogg recording or production, and this one is no exception.