Swamp Cabbage
Gig Seeker Pro

Swamp Cabbage

Jersey City, New Jersey, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2002 | INDIE

Jersey City, New Jersey, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2002
Band Blues Roots

Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

Dec
08
Swamp Cabbage @ Mount Dora Brewery

Mount Dora, Florida, United States

Mount Dora, Florida, United States

Dec
07
Swamp Cabbage @ Mudville Music Room

Jacksonville, Florida, United States

Jacksonville, Florida, United States

Dec
06
Swamp Cabbage @ Service Brewing Co.

Savannah, Georgia, United States

Savannah, Georgia, United States

Music

Press


There’s something about the swamp—the place and the sound. It’s dark, it’s grimy, it’s sinister. And it’s beautiful. “The sonic, emotional vibe of the swamp is [a feeling of] imminent danger,” says Walter Parks, singer and guitarist for Floridian trio Swamp Cabbage. “There’s this sort of ominous edge … and also a foggy underbelly.”

The hot, muggy swamps of the Southeastern United States harbor all kinds of trouble. There’s bacteria, transplanted pythons grown fat from abundant huge rodents, fugitives, gators, lusty babes in cutoff shorts, voodoo priests and cottonmouths. And, if movies have taught us anything, randy rednecks with designs on the purdy mouths of wayward strangers. You can be killed, robbed, laid, given a sexually transmitted disease, zombified and married at gunpoint. It’s all freaky. Some of it’s sexy. Most of it’s terrifying, which somehow makes it all alluring.

There’s also a less-threatening side to the swamp. It’s breathtaking. Not all the wildlife will eat you. And there’s a relaxed vibe where you can sit on the porch and, despite the humidity and present dangers, appreciate the simple things. And swampy music—like that played by Parks and Swamp Cabbage—soundtracks it all.
Swamp Cabbage covers all of the above themes, plus a few different ones, like Jesus versus Buddha. “[Our swamp music] is really unlike what you’ll hear from other bands,” Parks says. It’s the soundtrack to a region, he says, the area he grew up in around southeastern Georgia and northeastern Florida. “A very specific area of the country,” he says, that differs from the rest of Florida, “which is something I’m very proud of.

“We really created a distinct northern Florida swampy style,” he continues. “It’s very different from Tony Joe White and the swampy Louisiana bands. There’s not much zydeco influence at all. Our sound is mostly Southern and bluesy.”

Parks prides himself on creating the sound with just his guitar, amp and voice. He plays guitar with his really long fingers, using unique chord voicings informed by jazz players as well as Andy Summers of The Police. The result merges John Fogerty’s Creedence Clearwater Revival “chooglin’” sound with Mark Knopfler’s sophistication. His voice is gruff, like ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons (more “Mexican Blackbird” and “She’s Just Killing Me” than “Legs”), and it oozes soul. Behind him, drummer Jagoda and bass player/producer Jim DeVito create a formidable porch-pounding rhythm. Their sound is so well-constructed—and invigorating—that you wonder if Swamp Cabbage, like KFC, has a secret formula. But Parks says, “It’s just music that comes naturally to me.”

So naturally, in fact, that it’s tough to suppress it. When Parks left Florida for New York City in the 1980s, he tried. First it was jazz, then it was U2-inspired art rock. “It was the style of the day,” Parks says, “but it taught me to look for unique ways to express a chord.” But his swampy side kept bubbling up to the surface, so he formed Swamp Cabbage in 2001 while also serving as guitarist for the late legendary folk hero Richie Havens.

“I was really kinda running from my roots,” Parks says. “I didn’t wanna have a Southern sound in my music, but people kept noticing it in my songs and style. Eventually, I just went with it. And by concentrating on it, I’m expressing my gratitude for it while I’m sharing it with other people.”

Parks says that in his travels, taking swampy northern Florida blues music to other regions of the country, he’s been inspired by new locales. “Oddly enough, I’ve drawn from Utah and Arizona for much of my inspiration,” he says. “I love the openness of those states. I think you’ll hear a certain open vibe in Swamp Cabbage’s music that’s inspired from my travels out West. I’ve taken that inspiration and put it into our murky, swampy sound.”

SWAMP CABBAGE
Snowbird Cool Air Concert Series
9600 E. Cottonwood Canyon
Saturday, June 22, 6 p.m.
Free
- City Weekly


"At the heart of this bubbling gumbo is Parks, who sings like a carnival barker raised on old Tom Waits records, and plays incredible electric guitar that stings, burns, rolls, pinches and cries the blues. They’ve just released the album Drum Roll Please, with their particularly particular interpretations of everything from the Who anthem “Won’t Get Fooled Again” (Parks does the Daltrey and Townshend parts, both, on guitar) to “Theme From Shaft” to a killer medley of the Allman Brothers’ “Whipping Post” and Edgar Winter’s “Frankenstein.” Plus “Little Martha” and “Black Mountain Side.”" - Connect - Savannah, GA


Walter Parks on his swamp-rock trio, the value of instrumental music and his WNC roots

“When I’m singing, I feel like I’m entertaining. When I’m just playing an instrumental song, I feel like I’m truly an artist,” says Walter Parks, frontman for roots-rock outfit Swamp Cabbage (and solo artist, half of folk duo The Nudes, and guitarist for iconic folk singer Richie Havens).

Which is not to say that Swamp Cabbage’s show next week, at the White Horse in Black Mountain, will be an all-instrumental affair. The band may take cues from jazz, folk and Southern traditions, but the trio (with drummer Jagoda and bassist Jim Devito) also keeps tongue firmly in cheek (“More Booty with Buddha” is a Swamp Cabbage classic).

“When we come up with a lyric idea, if it makes us laugh we know we’ve made the right choice,” says Parks. “What Swamp Cabbage tries to do by design is supply good-quality music that’s challenging to play but yet is accessible to where people can easily dance to it.”

What is a nearly all-instrumental affair is Swamp Cabbage’s new EP, Drum Roll Please. The six-song collection is a bit of a departure for this band, known for its original material: Drum is all covers, all culled from ‘70s-era rock. Songs from The Who, The Allman Brothers, Led Zeppelin, Average White Band, Edgar Winter and Isaac Hayes made the cut. From the latter comes the theme song from “Shaft”; this is the one song on Drum with full lyrics. Here, Parks makes use of his soulful, bass-heavy baritone, posing the age-old question, “Who's the cat that won't cop out / when there's danger all about?”

When Xpress spoke to Parks (who currently lives in New York City), he was already at work on a next band album. And a next solo project. “I sort of go back and forth between the moody, ambient stuff and the more satirical Swamp Cabbage stuff,” he says. “I’m happy with the schizophrenia.”

He’s also happy with the relative minimalism of the trio. “It’s so easy to play a lot of notes and make a record sound full. It’s not easy to make a record seem full by sparse instrumentation,” Parks says. “With very, very few exceptions, on recordings, Swamp Cabbage maintains the trio motif. Because of our arrangements, we have a very full sound.”

The bluesy, folk-rock trio played its first show at Lake Eden Arts Festival a decade ago. Parks says coming back to Black Mountain now, with Swamp Cabbage fully matured, “is some sort of a redemption for us,” especially because this area “really appreciates roots music.”

Asheville’s relationship with Parks and his projects dates back farther, even, than Swamp Cabbage’s early years. The Nudes (with Stephanie Winters) used to play Be Here Now and The Grey Eagle when it was in Black Mountain. And Parks himself was an Asheville resident for a couple of years. He lived at Hanger Hall, where he wrote the bulk of his solo record. “Of all the places I’ve lived, Asheville always felt the most special to me to return to,” he says.

That might have something to do with his WNC roots. Parks is from Florida, but vacationed in this area as a child. His father grew up near Bee Tree Lake in Swannanoa where Parks’ grandfather managed the reservoir and dam under the auspices of the Army Corps of Engineers. Parks’ great grandfather ran a general store in Swannanoa, artifacts of which were featured in a recent exhibit at the Swannanoa Valley Museum.

The musician’s bands and other adventures have taken him far from WNC over the years. He even moved to Nashville at one point where he, ironically, took a break from music and worked for a stock brokerage firm and a food bank. “It was the only time in my adult life I’ve had straight jobs,” he says. “But it endeared me to the people I play for every night.”

And there’s this, culled from Parks’ time playing and traveling with Havens: “Probably the most beautiful thing about Richie, outside of his magnificent voice, is that after his show he would make himself available to any fan who wanted to say hello to him.”

It’s apparent that at this point in his career — whether he’s playing folk, blues, roots, rock or some swampy-satirical concoction of all of the above — Parks feels the same way. “This is the best job in the world, to be able to do what I do: To play for people who’ve had a chance to spend a little time with your lyrics and your music,” he says. “I feel like the audience knows so much more about me than I know about them. I always try to do the best I can, during the show, to even that up.” - Mountain XPress


"What happened at Arcosanti was a truly electric set, and not just because the instruments were plugged-in. From the very first notes, it was hard for most of the audience to sit still, and by the concert’s end a conga-line of a quarter of the crowd had made its way onstage to dance. All in all, a fantastic evening at Arcosanti on the high desert." - Jeff Stein/Today! at Arcosanti


"What happened at Arcosanti was a truly electric set, and not just because the instruments were plugged-in. From the very first notes, it was hard for most of the audience to sit still, and by the concert’s end a conga-line of a quarter of the crowd had made its way onstage to dance. All in all, a fantastic evening at Arcosanti on the high desert." - Jeff Stein/Today! at Arcosanti


"Instead, Swamp Cabbage is one of the most promising acts to perform at this year’s fifth annual festival" - Salt Lake Tribune


1. Galactic Carnivale Electricos
2. Anders Osborne Black Eye Galaxy
3. Everyone Orchestra Brooklyn Sessions
4. Papa Grows Funk Needle in the Groove
5. Mickey Hart Band Mysterium Tremendum
6. Sugarman 3 What the World Needs Now
7. Willie Nelson Heroes
8. Steven Graves Matter of Time
9. Chano Dominquez Flamenco Sketches
10. Alabama Shakes Boys & Girls
11. Infamous Stringdusters Silver Sky
12. Steep Canyon Rangers Nobody Knows You
13. Dr. John Locked Down
14. Chuck Leavell Back to the Woods
15. Keller Williams with the Travelin’ McCourys Pick
16. SOJA Strength to Survive
17. Paul Simon Graceland 25: Legacy
18. Conspirator Unlocked: Live From The Georgia Theatre
19. Jerry Joseph & The Jackmormons Happy Book
20. Various Artists Boston Blues Works Vol.1
21. Punch Brothers Who’s Feeling Young Now?
22. New Riders of the Purple Sage 17 Pine Avenue
23. Leftover Salmon Aquatic Hitchhiker
24. Lettuce Fly
25. Nanci Griffith Intersection
26. Swamp Cabbage Drum Roll Please
27. Voo Davis A Place for Secrets
28. Joe Walsh Analog Man
29. Bob Marley and the Wailers Marley OST
30. Tenacious D Rise Of The Fenix - Relix


Zwei Bands sorgten für musikalische Kontraste am Prinzenpalais. „Swamp Cabbage“ aus Florida und „Erdmöbel“ aus Köln überzeugten.

von Oliver Bloch

Oldenburg - Ginge es um Fußball, könnte man getrost von zwei völlig verschiedenen Halbzeiten sprechen. Auf dem Prinzenpalais-Platz feierten die Zuschauer am Sonnabend aber keine Tore, sondern hörten Musik zweier Bands, die unterschiedlicher kaum sein konnten. „Sie erleben heute einen Kontrast“, kündigte Programmleiter Andreas Holtz einen Kultursommerabend der Gegensätze an.

Und die Bands hielten sich daran. Den „Doppelspieltag“ eröffnete „Swamp Cabbage“ mit Südstaatenklängen aus den USA. Teil zwei gestaltete „Erdmöbel“ aus Köln und bot deutschen Independent-Pop vom Feinsten. Es dauerte eine Weile, bis sich am Abend des Viertelfinales der Frauenfußball-WM der Platz füllte.

„Auf den Spielplan habe ich bei der Planung gar nicht geschaut“, gab Holtz, noch etwas skeptisch, zu. Schließlich freute er sich aber erneut über 4000 Besucher, die dem Kultursommer den Vorzug vor Deutschland gegen Japan gaben. Und sie bereuten es nicht. „Das Spiel war für uns kein Thema, wir sind wegen ,Swamp Cabbage’ hier“, schwärmt Dagmar von Kulessa aus Elsfleth. „Unsere Erwartungen haben sich erfüllt.“

Während ihres Kurzbesuchs in Deutschland gaben die drei Amerikaner dem Nordwesten die Ehre, traten nur in Bremen und Oldenburg auf. Ihre „Roots-Musik“ knüpft an die Traditionen von Rock und Blues aus den Südstaaten an. Der Name „Swamp“, übersetzt Sumpf oder Morast, ist Programm. Die Musiker um Bandgründer Walter Parks stapfen bei ihrer musikalischen Reise durch die Sümpfe Floridas und Georgias. Immer ein wenig schwer und morastig, aber ehrlich und geerdet.

Parks behält die ganze Zeit den Hut auf und zieht das Publikum mit seiner markanten Stimme in seinen Bann. Flankiert von Bassist James De Vito und Schlagzeuger Jagoda trifft das Trio auch mit seinen Instrumentalstücken den richtigen Ton. „Genau die passende Band. Ihre lässige Südstaaten-Mentalität gefällt mir“, lobt Christian Klinker. Und auch nach getaner Arbeit plaudern die drei Musiker locker mit dem Publikum und schreiben Autogramme.

Nach so viel erdigem Bluesrock heißt es dann Bühne frei für „Erdmöbel“. „Moin“, ruft Sänger Markus Berges ins Mikro und zeigt sich mit den Gepflogenheiten der Region vertraut. „Ich bin mit einer Südoldenburgerin verheiratet“, begründet der Kölner. Dann legt die Band los, deren Balladen-Texte so seltsam, aber auch originell klingen, dass man sie mindestens dreimal hören muss. „Ausstellung über das Glück im Hygienemuseum Dresden“ ist so ein Titel.

Die Besucher auf dem Prinzenpalais-Platz genossen jedenfalls auch diese „zweite Halbzeit“, während sich in der Verlängerung in Wolfsburg Unheil über den deutschen Fußballfrauen zusammenbraute. - NWZ


Swamp Cabbage with their latest CD Squeal. This USA band mixes blues, gospel, jazz and rock in a solid and tasty blend. Even some soul and ragtime can be spotted in the rich sound of this trio. Three strong musicians in ten original songs. I love the lead vocals by Walter Park, who has a kind of Waits-vocal-approach. But also the well arranged and played guitars, bass and drums should be mentioned. A strong album with a good vibe and ditto music. Their webpage is great too, Go there!
-Eelco Schilder - Folk World


Rootsy, southern-fried blues doesn't come much more boggy than Swamp Cabbage. Guitarist-vocalist Walter Parks sings in a scratchy mewl, like the voice ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons uses in songs like "La Grange," or like Wammo of the Asylum Street Spankers. Matt Lindley's tuba-like bass sounds, Jagoda's drums, and Parks's electric guitar get downright elemental, with the predominant element being earth. Stylewise, it's nothing you haven't heard before, but if you like this kind of stuff, these guys definitely deliver.

The CD is handily saved from monotony by solid songwriting, and by airy touches like the female harmonies on the opening stomper, "Jesus Tone," and the upbeat funkiness of the instrumental "Sopchoppy." Still, I'm partial to tunes like "Feedbag," a slow-rolling truck of a song, heavy on the bass, and the moody, gravelly "Poontang," all seven-plus minutes of it. The latter is a grim account of how religion is sometimes sold: "Church lady got me lathered up / She sold me a Bible with her big D cup." And no, it's not funny.

Funny is "Neck Tie Man," which has an old-timey, slow boogie feel, with Eric Brigmond contributing pleasantly drunken-sounding upright piano fills. Amid the jaunty music and Parks's exaggeratedly drawled delivery, you could easily miss the lyrics, which would be a shame.

In "Purdy Mouth," another instrumental, the band adeptly transfers Celtic-tinged bluegrass themes to the electric guitar trio format, then slides the whole thing into jam band territory before bringing it back home. But my favorite track from the second half of the CD is the irresistibly funky party tune "New Voodoo Boogaloo," a song Dr. John could be proud of.

Another fun song is "Delegation," which looks at the lighter side of religion, parodying the peculiarly facile American version of faith: "I don't need to worry 'bout payin' my rent because / The Good Lord'll pay it for me... Start givin' your work to Jesus."

Not convinced? Let's go back to "Feedbag" for a moment. What exactly are they referring to with that title? "Don't be silly don't feel dumb / All God's mammals need calcium." Get it now?

Article Author: Jon Sobel


Article comments

*
1 - Pico
Jun 09, 2008 at 10:01 pm

Out of nowhere "Jesus Tone" started playing in my head again the last couple of days. Now I see this.

It's good karma, I tell ya.

(oh, and I agree with your assessment ;-) ).
http://blogcritics.org/music/article/music-review-swamp-cabbage-squeal/

*
2 - paulmurff
Aug 22, 2008 at 2:28 pm

Walter is one of THE greatest live guitar pickers you'll find anywhere... and also has a quite extraordinary stage presence. Fact is that this album picks up right where ZZ Top lost their edge. First listen, you'll 'get it' right away, and then it goes on getting better and better. Great songs, and top, top playing. Pop it in the CD changer in the car and you'll still be going strong several hundred road miles later on...
5 STARS, BABY. LOVE IT, LOVE IT, LOVE IT.

- blogcritics.org


Squeal if you loves them country blues! Sooooouuueeeeee!

That outburst was inspired more by the cover of this week's featured album than by the music within.

Squeal (Zoho), the new (and second) record from Swamp Cabbage is way more sophisticated than a pig call. More like a pig playing a snare drum. Actually, a couple of pigs singing, song-writing and playing guitar, bass and drums (with a little bit of organ).

Squeal is an eclectic ride through Dixie, replete with all of the thick and sweaty sounds you’d expect from a group named Swamp Cabbage. It’s also another fine addition to the Zoho record catalog, in my estimation one of the most overlooked labels around.

And check out Swamp Cabbage’s website here, one of the more interesting that I’ve come across in a while.

While you’re here don’t forget to listen to today’s cuts, a set we start with Jesus Tone, followed by Necktie Man, and finally, New Voodoo Boogaloo.


April 20, 2010 - WEMU Blogjam


American music is a product of the war between the sacred and the profane. Early rockers, like Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, and Elvis, happily purveyed a sound that was named for the carnal act itself, all the while struggling with their strong ties to religion. Soul music sprang from gospel tunes largely by lyrically replacing the love of the Lord with the love of a good/bad woman or man; Al Green has spent his life reconciling church and bedroom. The majority of this conflict takes place in the South where the wounds of this war remain fresh, even today.

Though the members are based in the New York metropolitan area, Swamp Cabbage's music incorporates a smorgasboard of Southern styles. The ten songs on their second record, Squeal, encapsulate the sin and redemption that typifies the music from below the Mason Dixon line, if not Southern consciousness itself.

The opener, "Jesus Tone," bemoans the fact that the singer can't do anything without what he perceives to be the Son's stamp of approval--be it on his guitar tone, his amplifier, his workman hands or his preacher mouth. After a Little Feat style rocker that asserts, "I come from down, down, down in Dixie / I got a thingamajig for your broke do-hicky" ("Dixieland"), "Feedbag" extols the virtues of eating, in a manner that hints at Billy Gibbons backed by Howling Wolf's band.

Walter Park's guttural vocal style often begs comparison between Swamp Cabbage and ZZ Top. I have been guilty of shorthanding the band as ZZ in the swamp, but on this record the resemblance recedes into the background behind drummer Jagoda's infectious second-line grooves and Matt Lindsey's snaking, tuba-toned electric bass lines. And though guitarist/vocalist Parks' voice may occasionally reflect Gibbons, Dusty Hill, or Tom Waits for that matter, his guitar style is truly unique, with licks incorporating ragtime, blues, pedal steel, and banjo, all with a tone that would have definitely warranted the Nazarene's approbation. Instrumental cuts like the Meters-like "Sopchoppy," the Jerry Reed meets the Dirty Dozen "Purdy Mouth," and the ragtime workout "Softshoe," help make Squeal a must own for lovers of premium picking.

Like Gibbons, Lyle Lovett, and Townes Van Zandt, Parks is a sophisticated son of the South, a combination that allows him to cast an ironic eye on the eternal battle between the soul and the body. "Poontang" relates a tale of being led to the light by a double-D cup, while "Delegation" mildly mocks those who think religion is a substitute for right living, not a guide to it. If the lyrics occasionally maintain a bemused distance from their subject, the music is right there in the funky fray. Swamp Cabbage is working hard to keep the beatification versus booty battle alive and well in the new millennium. - Michael Ross


American music is a product of the war between the sacred and the profane. Early rockers, like Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, and Elvis, happily purveyed a sound that was named for the carnal act itself, all the while struggling with their strong ties to religion. Soul music sprang from gospel tunes largely by lyrically replacing the love of the Lord with the love of a good/bad woman or man; Al Green has spent his life reconciling church and bedroom. The majority of this conflict takes place in the South where the wounds of this war remain fresh, even today.

Though the members are based in the New York metropolitan area, Swamp Cabbage's music incorporates a smorgasboard of Southern styles. The ten songs on their second record, Squeal, encapsulate the sin and redemption that typifies the music from below the Mason Dixon line, if not Southern consciousness itself.

The opener, "Jesus Tone," bemoans the fact that the singer can't do anything without what he perceives to be the Son's stamp of approval--be it on his guitar tone, his amplifier, his workman hands or his preacher mouth. After a Little Feat style rocker that asserts, "I come from down, down, down in Dixie / I got a thingamajig for your broke do-hicky" ("Dixieland"), "Feedbag" extols the virtues of eating, in a manner that hints at Billy Gibbons backed by Howling Wolf's band.

Walter Park's guttural vocal style often begs comparison between Swamp Cabbage and ZZ Top. I have been guilty of shorthanding the band as ZZ in the swamp, but on this record the resemblance recedes into the background behind drummer Jagoda's infectious second-line grooves and Matt Lindsey's snaking, tuba-toned electric bass lines. And though guitarist/vocalist Parks' voice may occasionally reflect Gibbons, Dusty Hill, or Tom Waits for that matter, his guitar style is truly unique, with licks incorporating ragtime, blues, pedal steel, and banjo, all with a tone that would have definitely warranted the Nazarene's approbation. Instrumental cuts like the Meters-like "Sopchoppy," the Jerry Reed meets the Dirty Dozen "Purdy Mouth," and the ragtime workout "Softshoe," help make Squeal a must own for lovers of premium picking.

Like Gibbons, Lyle Lovett, and Townes Van Zandt, Parks is a sophisticated son of the South, a combination that allows him to cast an ironic eye on the eternal battle between the soul and the body. "Poontang" relates a tale of being led to the light by a double-D cup, while "Delegation" mildly mocks those who think religion is a substitute for right living, not a guide to it. If the lyrics occasionally maintain a bemused distance from their subject, the music is right there in the funky fray. Swamp Cabbage is working hard to keep the beatification versus booty battle alive and well in the new millennium. - Michael Ross


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." Heis 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 songa bout 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


"Swamp Cabbage offers a strong infectious beat, a dirty guitar and a voice that makes your skin crawl with gnats and your throat burn with 100 proof white lightning. Buy this album and be save. " - Entertaining U - Rick Grant


"A whisky-sweatin' swamp groove that makes you wanna get up and loudly confess your sins.. then go commit a few of the 'flesh' variety. Gruff-from-bour-bon vocals that bring to mind Dr. John's lips on Billy Gibbons' mouth. An overdose of fun,c ayenne and voodoo. The new CD "Honk" is ten tracks of curled up rattler on a dancin preacher's hand. Its like pre-disco ZZ Top doin' upbeat Nawlins porch music about gettin' some." - Craig Gilbert


Honk by Swamp Cabbage—This is nasty, swampy fun from a group headed by Walter Parks, best known as Richie Havens’ guitarist in recent years. It sounds like Mr. Parks has been hanging out with ZZ Top or Dr. John rather than Havens. Maybe even the late Frank Zappa (Tell me if these lyrics sound like Zappa: “She don’t want no savior bringing her down ‘cause she gets more booty when Buddha’s around.”) The CD is a mixture of original blues and ragtime driven by Mr. Parks’ electric guitar and Zappa-meets-Dr. John vocals, which seem, at times, uncomfortably forced to these furry ears. Still, the Swamp Cabbage sound is in-your-face direct and a pleasurable break if you’ve had your fill of laid back cosmic cowboys or overly sensitive, overly insightful singer-songwriter types. Cook up some ribs and pop a cold one when listening. - Stephen Hug


SWAMP CABBAGE - SELF TITLED
(Honk)
There’s some insane witch doctor in Florida who swears he’s conceived the perfect band. He stole a lock of each of the guys in ZZ Top’s beards, a recording of Tom Waits singing acapella, a dash of George Thorogood’s booze, a piece of a New Orleans hooker’s, ahem, appendage, and, for good measure, threw in a can of Louisiana hot sauce. What he’s come up with is an outfit calling themselves Swamp Cabbage.

Ok, the whole witch doctor stuff is a bunch of bullshit, although, upon listening to Swamp Cabbage’s Honk, one might tend to believe such southern fried crock. The band, led by the rock gravel voice and squawking guitar of Walter Parks, tear through ten songs of righteous bayou boogie. And the Lord blesses these three with prodigious abilities. Ladies, and, for kind measure, gentlemen, you have been delightfully warned.

On songs such as “The Dipstick Rag,” and “More Booty with Buddha,” (an absolutely hysterical tale of a god-fearing southern gentleman’s encounter with a Georgia peach hippie girl’s devotion to Buddha- “I’m gonna keep my Savior but pound for pound/ I’ll get more booty when Buddha’s around”), Swamp Cabbage compliments their greasy playing with a wicked lyrical humor. All the while the Swamp Cabbage boys lay down a devilish groove.

The band ends all of this fun on a semi-serious note. They declare, on “Kilowatt,” a righteous, nearly eight minute, apocalyptic warning from Jesus, “(h)e angry/ He ragin’/ Lawd is comin’ down again/ Greedy people/ You gonna pay the wage of sin.” The song careens into a frightful blast of deadly guitar, fuzzed out thundering bass, and pounding drums. If this doesn’t put the fear of God into you, you’re doomed. But you’ll have a helluva good time anyway.

- David Elliott


"Imagine Tom Waits, ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons, Dr. John and Doc Watson embroiled in an all-night jam session and you'll get an idea of what the tunes sound like on this New York trio's dandy disc "Honk." The first song is called "Tallahassee," and subsequent ditties name-check Apalachicola and other regional landmarks. It's no surprise to learn that Walter Parks - formerly of the Nudes and currently serving as Richie Havens' lead guitarist - hails from Jacksonville." - Tallahassee Democrat


Here is your recipe for making Swamp Cabbage: Get out a big mixing bowl and put in equal parts of ZZ Top, John Campbell, Tom Waits, Leon Redbone, Canned Heat, Otis Taylor and John Lee Hooker. Then add a little water moccasin venom, the heart of an alligator and some miscellaneous toad fluids. Leave this mixture out in the wild of the north Florida swamps for about 10 years with the lid slightly ajar and, you know... see what happens. Then take this bowl and pour the contents into your CD player and push "play."

What will come out of your CD player will be an Americana, infectious boogie that will b e hard to get out of your head. Swamp Cabbage's debut CD, entitled Honk, features all original tunes written by singer, guitar-and-banjo-player Walter Parks. Parks is Richie Havens' longtime touring lead guitar player. This CD is about the song and the groove and not about guitar histrionics.

At the first few plays of this CD it is really hard not to just keep playing the first song ("Tallahassee") over and over and over again (especially if you have had a few beers, Hallelujah!!) However, the more I play this CD< the more the rest of the tracks really grow on me. It is so refreshing to hear great American original music like this. Here's to hoping that Parks eases up his commitment to playing with Richie Havens and concentrates on his own music. Here's also hoping Swamp Cabbage starts touring and makes it to Colorado for the festival season. This band has just got to be a hoot to hear live.

For more information on the band and/or to buy the CD go to www.swampcabbage.com - Jim Stick


Here is your recipe for making Swamp Cabbage: Get out a big mixing bowl and put in equal parts of ZZ Top, John Campbell, Tom Waits, Leon Redbone, Canned Heat, Otis Taylor and John Lee Hooker. Then add a little water moccasin venom, the heart of an alligator and some miscellaneous toad fluids. Leave this mixture out in the wild of the north Florida swamps for about 10 years with the lid slightly ajar and, you know... see what happens. Then take this bowl and pour the contents into your CD player and push "play."

What will come out of your CD player will be an Americana, infectious boogie that will b e hard to get out of your head. Swamp Cabbage's debut CD, entitled Honk, features all original tunes written by singer, guitar-and-banjo-player Walter Parks. Parks is Richie Havens' longtime touring lead guitar player. This CD is about the song and the groove and not about guitar histrionics.

At the first few plays of this CD it is really hard not to just keep playing the first song ("Tallahassee") over and over and over again (especially if you have had a few beers, Hallelujah!!) However, the more I play this CD< the more the rest of the tracks really grow on me. It is so refreshing to hear great American original music like this. Here's to hoping that Parks eases up his commitment to playing with Richie Havens and concentrates on his own music. Here's also hoping Swamp Cabbage starts touring and makes it to Colorado for the festival season. This band has just got to be a hoot to hear live.

For more information on the band and/or to buy the CD go to www.swampcabbage.com - Jim Stick


Walter Parks is a tall man who wears many hats: singer, songwriter, guitarist, and leader of Swamp Cabbage, a powerful rock trio rooted in the mystery of the Okefenokee. For ten years he served as sideman for Richie Havens until his passing in 2013. Mr. Parks is also the creator of “Swamp By Chandelier,” a solo concert experience that incorporates his original tunes, some by Havens, and the historical hollers and stories of the southeast Georgia swampers, aka “Crackers.”

Swamp Cabbage’s latest release, Jive, is an amalgamation of southern rock, blues, jazz, funk and instrumental oddities. At times, Park’s raspy growl and beefy blues lines bring to mind ZZ Top, an influence he does not deny, but his lyrical prowess, jazzier chord choices, and relative lack of guitar solos distinguish his tunes from those of Top. Parks writes with great humor on the first track “Buttah,” an ode to the delicious lipid. The chorus lets us know: “Day g’on be butta people where you from/ That’s just the way this kinda food g’on come/ Day g’on be waffles cause you’re in da house/ Day g’on be butta ‘cause you in the south/ Buttah!” I think this is the first time in my life I’ve found myself pumping my fist along to a chorus about butter! You will too. Such are the skills of Mr. Parks.

NY drummer supreme Jagoda lays down an irresistible second line shuffle on “Big For Just A Little While,” while “White Gold” moves with a Waitsian junkyard groove. Parks has a staggeringly wide vocal range and is as agile scraping low notes as high falsettos, which he does to great effect on “Cash,” a tale of the band’s willingness to do whatever it takes to get paid. “Bilbao Spain” is a hilarious critique of American cultural naivete and how Ponce de Leon don’t get no respect in Spain. Bearded bassist and engineer Jim Devito forks out a fat and fuzzy bottom end while Parks pontificates.“I’m asking all around about Ponce de Leon/ the founder of the Fountain of Youth/ I know him as a statue pigeons pee on/ my hero don’t deserve such abuse/ forgotten conquistador it’s todo claro who you did it all for.” Anyone who can so seamlessly incorporate Spanish, history and humor into a rock song has got my respect!

There are ten tunes on this dynamic disk, all of them awesome. As the name so comically implies, Swamp Cabbage is redolent with the pungent funkiness of southern bogs. This is roots rock at its finest peppered with satirical humor and keen observations on odd Americana. You can be sure it was made with lots of “Buttah.” Highly recommended!

– Michael Cobb - Elmore Magazine


Discography

HONK (2004)
SQUEAL (2008)
Live in NYC (2010)
Tribute to JJ Cale Vol 1 & 2 (2010)
Drum Roll Please (2012)
JIVE (2016)

Photos

Bio

Swamp Cabbage is the stewed heart of a Florida Sabal palm tree. Chosen as a band name to remind listeners of its Northeast Florida well source of inspiration, Swamp Cabbage presents one of the most unique duos on the trail today. Walter Parks (longtime sideman to Woodstock legend Richie Havens) on gnarly fingerpicked electric guitar and New Orleans style drummer Jagoda. Florida's Swamp Cabbage is a high-energy southern soundtrack that is soaked in the grease drippings of Mississippi blues, Memphis soul, Louisiana jazz and even Appalachia.

 Swamp Cabbage is about to release their newest CD, JIVE, and their original music can be heard on the Discovery reality show American Guns credits, BeerDiaries.tv credits and on My Big Redneck Wedding, Man Vs. Food, Emeril Green, Extreme Pig Outs, Gene Simmons Family Jewels, Roadtrip Nation (PBS), Samantha Brown Passport, Amazing Wedding Cakes and Chasing Classic Cars.

For tour dates and further information: www.swampcabbage.com

Band Members