swafo
“FOR JUSTICE AND GRACE”
© 2009 Songdog Records
Review by Lucky Boyd

Here’s a disc that truly ‘had me at hello.’  At the opening cut, you’ll hear swafo answer the call with his tribute to ‘H-town,’ ‘dome city,’ and swafo’s moniker for it; “Bayou City.”  The blues influence is evident as is the rock, folk, and jazz throughout the disc.  The vocal range and diversity of this veteran of the Texas music scene is astounding.  At times, a little Stephen Tyler, at times, a little Robert Plant, at times, a little Don McLean, but all the time,  true swafo.  He’s truly like a breath of fresh air in Texas music, blending multiple styles into an entertaining release that’s a keeper in the player.  Perhaps the most intriguing thing about the album is that swafo goes places no other artist goes, which is usually a formula for disaster, but his tastefulness and poignancy are outstanding.  This is a rock album in a folk package; a vocal performance worthy of recognition, and a well-arranged project.  The guitar work on the album is priceless, the orchestration is well-conceived, and the production is perfectly suited to the genre.  You’ll love the samba feel of “Sophisticated Shoes” and the title cut is the most powerful track in every way.  A good listen from start to finish, this is destined to be a very popular album for years to come. 

Stats:
Eleven cuts, plus bonus; swafo writes nine, co-writes two, covers one; collaborators: Joanne Sprott, Suzanne Calvin, Bill Robinson, cover: Jerry Crane; produced by Bill Ward and swafo; performers: swafo, Ward, Jeanne Jasperse, April Robinson, Hank Woji, Robert Hooper, Bill Robinson, Jeff Abrams, Tanya Richardson, Samantha Banks, Rick Poss, Cameron Scott, Emmett Roch, Jeff Hoofard, Gary Sapone, Jodi Goez, Greg Marrow, Eric Darken; slim digipack; full color; disc: two-color screen; replicated; running time: approx. 44 minutes.