PART OF SWAMP DOGG'S SOUL & BLUES COLLECTION
Re-released for the very first time on vinyl since its original release.
Produced by legendary soul singer / songwriter / producer Jerry Williams Jr., aka Swamp Dogg, and featuring Duane Allman on two songs, In Between Tears is finally back on vinyl with its original cover for the first time since 1973. The CD digipack version also includes her single for Canyon records, as well as newly penned liner notes by the Dogg.
SWAMP DOGG LINER NOTES
I’m happy and proud to be able to say that I’ve produced and written for some of the greatest artist in the world. Among the greatest is Irma Thomas. She took my songs and made them hers. I don’t feel that I’m going out on a limb by saying she is just as good or better in some cases, as Aretha Franklin, the late Etta James, Alicia Keys, Adele and a host of others. Irma is definitely a queen among the other queens.
I met Irma at Wally Roker’s Canyon records, circa 1970. Wally and Monk Higgins had
cut two sides on her that were acceptable but way below her capabilities. Wally knew this, so when I showed up he threw her at me and I was in awe. Irma Thomas? This was the real shit. I was somewhat smitten with her but I couldn’t ware her down. So I commenced to do what I was hired to do, produce a hit record and cut out the Casanova bullshit.
The first two sides of her first 45 was entitled “If I Had It To Do All over (I’d Do It All Over You” b/w “We Won’t Be In Your Way Anymore.” The tracks were produced in Muscle Shoals, Alabama by George “It’s All Over Casanova” McGregor and yours truly. Troy Davis and I wrote “We Won’t Be in Your Way Anymore”. The record sold well throughout the south, especially Atlanta, but a little shitty in the rest of the country.
Now on the Macon, Ga., to Capricorn studio where we went to cut a great album with some great musicians and Jim Hawkins; an engineer’s engineer. We cut some great songs evidenced here on Alive. Irma was in rare form at all times except when Robert Popwell (bassist) bored a hole through the back of the ladies bathroom so he could get full visuals. She eventually caught him, but she was a real sport about it. Now I’m not making Popwell the culprit. We all did our share of viewing her “wonderfulness”.
After the demise of Canyon, a couple of years later, I bought most of the catalog from Wally, which included the Irma Thomas masters. I released her album on my new BASF distributed label, Fungus Records. We sold good enough to hit Billboard’s r’n’b charts. Canyon’s contract had expired and I wanted her exclusively and she signed directly with me for a fee of course.
I saw Irma in New Orleans at SeaSaint studio about twenty five years ago I walked over to her and said “hi, Swamp Dogg”. She turned at looked at me with a who the fuck are you expression on her face. As usual, my personality dictated I withdraw. I don’t push myself on people, and I run from being “put in my place”.
Yes, Duane Allman, wandered into the studio and picked up a guitar and played on two songs and left. Sorry, but I don’t recall the tracks, but it’s definitely two of those.
Irma might not remember me, but I remember every note she sang and everything she said with that gritty, but romantic speaking voice. When she talks she sounds like she’s singing the blues. – Swamp Dogg
A groovy, heavy slab of soul. – AQUARIUM DRUNKARD
A lost classic that captures deep soul at its most poignant and resonant, couching Thomas’ deeply affecting vocals in earthy arrangements that emphasize the singer’s gospel roots. – ALL MUSIC
Initially released in 1973 on the homegrown Fungus Records label, it has remained well under the radar for the past 40 years. It is one of the finest examples of early '70s soul I have ever heard. – BLINDED BY SOUND
Grits’n’gravy Southern Soul. The guitarist Duane Allman sizzles on two tracks, while Thomas smokes on every one. – SUNDAY TIMES UK