Swamp Cabbage is a trio led by guitarist/vocalist Walter Parks. Walter has been around, and is best known as the guitarist for Richie Havens. If that fact would have you expecting folk music on this album, forget it. This is swamp blues and rock that fits the title of the record perfectly.
Parks’s playing and singing gets to the heart of the matter. His vocals sound like a cross between Billy Gibbons and Tom Waits. And the guitar is dirty and funky enough to match. Solos come one of two ways; the funkiness comes from a fingerpicked electric that cuts like a knife. Check out “If a Thing Feels Right;” smack dab in the middle is a part where arpeggios bounce off the wall. The same thing happens on cuts like “The Dipstick Rag” and “Silver Meteor.” While the sound stays the same, Parks switches gears on cuts like “Southern Hospitality.” His middle-eastern-tinged solo dominates the funky rocker. “More Booty With Buddha” has a very funny lyric and fine playing – very melodic and loud.
Parks, along with Matt Lindsey on bass, and Jagoda on drums, wrap things up with “Kilowatt,” a great song about radio set to a funky beat.
There’s a “consistency” to the 10 songs here, but overall it’s so fresh you don’t really notice. – JH
This article originally appeared in VG‘s May. ’05 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.