Some compilation CDs carry titles that oversell their content, but not this one. As the compiler and annotator of the project, I can say with hand on heart that here’s one collection with a title that you can truly believe in.
What you get here really IS “all good”. The songs may not have made their creator rich, or famous beyond the circle of collectors who avidly seek out each and every note he recorded, but these 24 tracks amply demonstrate why Jerry Williams aka Swamp Dogg is held in such high regard by soul fans, and why there’s still enormous demand for his music almost 60 years after he cut his first recordings as an 11 year-old piano-playing prodigy.
“It’s All Good” brings you more than 25 year’s worth of primo Swamp, in a variety of styles and under almost as many aliases. It embraces everything from Jerry Lee Lewis impersonations (‘Hum Baby’, ‘She’s So Divine’) and Northern Soul anthems (‘If You Ask Me’), big city balladry (‘Baby You’re My Everything’ and Swamp’s previously unissued, stunning version of ‘Oh Lord What Are You Doing To Me’) to sublime Southern Soul (‘Knowing I’m Pleasing Me And You’) and then some. More than anything, it demonstrates the multitudinous talents of Jerry Williams Jr. as musician, singer, songwriter, producer and arranger of some of the best music made across the last 50 years.
We’ve managed to find room for a couple of great 60s sides that, for one reason or another, managed to evade release at the time of their recording. The rest of the selections were all originally issued on singles. Some of them also appeared on Swamp albums, but we have used the 45 versions – many of which have never appeared on CD – to give collectors something new. With superb sound quality throughout and a booklet packed with pics and info, it’s a treat that will enthral Dogg-lovers all over the world.
“It’s All Good” comes to you with the personal seal of approval of Swamp Dogg himself. As well as being a great listen in its own right, it’s the perfect complement to our earlier “Blame It On The Dogg” compilation, as well as other Kent titles by Doris Duke, Sandra Phillips/Bette Williams, Irma Thomas and Charlie “Raw Spitt” Whitehead that bear his unmistakable stamp. If “It’s All Good” lives up to its title and your expectations, you could do worse than invest in any and all of those.
By Tony Rounce