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Hear Tony Joe White’s Epic Bass-Fishing Song ‘Bubba Jones’

Swampy tune appears on the posthumous collection ‘Smoke From the Chimney,’ produced by Dan Auerbach

The inimitable Tony Joe White whips up an epic tale about an elusive largemouth bass in the funky fishing song “Bubba Jones,” the second release from a posthumous new album. Produced by Dan Auerbach, Smoke From the Chimney will be released via Easy Eye Sound on May 7th.

Like the rest of Smoke From the Chimney, “Bubba Jones” was taken from White’s home demos and built out by Auerbach and his favorite session players. Structured around an appropriately swampy groove, “Bubba Jones” recalls some of White’s singular Sixties and Seventies recordings like “Polk Salad Annie” and features sizzling slide guitar from Marcus King.

The story is pure White: An angler has visions of landing the record largemouth bass with his “Zebco spinnin’ reel” and goes on the hunt. But this particular fish is slippery and strong, pulling so hard it causes Jones to swallow his chewing tobacco before breaking the line.

“No one else could do it like TJ does…when is the last song you heard name check Red Man and Gatorade?” Auerbach says of the recording.

“My dad loved to fish. It was his favourite hobby,” White’s son Jody adds. “He would travel many miles to find the best fishing holes, or to explore places he heard about where large fish had been caught. Bubba Jones is a hybrid: a fictional character that Tony Joe made up in his head, combined with his inner self who had a burning desire to catch the world record largemouth bass.”

The accompanying video for “Bubba Jones” ties together some stunning footage of the swamps from White’s native Louisiana with long-lost footage of the artist performing on Nashville Now in the 1980s. Smoke from the Chimney follows White’s previous album Bad Mouthin’, which was released just a few weeks before his October 24th, 2018, death.

Smoke From the Chimney Tracklist:

  1. “Smoke From the Chimney”
  2. “Boot Money”
  3. “Del Rio, You’re Making Me Cry”
  4. “Listen to Your Song”
  5. “Over You”
  6. “Scary Stories”
  7. “Bubba Jones”
  8. “Someone Is Crying”
  9. “Billy”

From Rolling Stone US