With a studio band that includes Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon on guitar, “Memories” — a song the 77-year-old Swamp Dogg originally demoed when he was in his forties — glides along with soulful piano, bongo, and some psychedelic lead guitar. Coupled with that, the easygoing rhythm and spacey production flourishes draw on elements of reggae and dub.
“Memories don’t leave like people do/And that’s why anytime anywhere I can still be with you,” sings Prine in the song’s opening verse, directing his words to someone who is absent for reasons unclear but still remains a fixture in his mind. Swamp Dogg chimes in to echo these sentiments. “I look at the picture and count the days/When you come back, I’ll love you just that many ways,” he sings at one point.
“‘Memories’ is my personal take on: unnecessary lies, sex, death, old school chums; the concept of love, family and friends,” says Swamp Dogg in a release.
Sorry You Couldn’t Make It, which was produced by Ryan Olson, also includes the previously released country-soul ballad “Sleeping Without You Is a Dragg.” The new album is the follow-up to Swamp Dogg’s 2017 release Love, Loss & Auto-Tune.