Like the best of his work, Tony Joe White’s latest release “Hoochie Woman” is steeped in the mythology of the South, particularly his native Louisiana. The song appears on White’s new album Rain Crow, which will be released May 27th via Yep Roc Records.
The story in “Hoochie Woman” — similar to White’s classic 1969 hit “Polk Salad Annie” before it — revolves around the titular lady. But rather than Annie’s hard-nosed determination to feed an impoverished family, this “Hoochie Woman” is a charmer who has bewitched the narrator. In typical White fashion, the swampy groove sets a foundation for the psychedelic swirls of electric guitar that flare up between each verse.
“She is a woman who has magic, although not quite like a conjure woman — and she likes to dance and be with her man, Smoochie Man, and a conjure don’t like company at all,” explains White of his characters. “I’m more at ease with Hoochie, but I believe Leann, my wife and co-writer, sometimes has a little conjure woman in her.”
Rain Crow will be White’s first release since the 2013 collection Hoodoo. In 2014, he made a guest appearance with the Foo Fighters to sing “Polk Salad Annie” on the Late Show with David Letterman and also sat in with Dave Grohl and the band during a 2014 Halloween show at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium.