Long before he signed to Yep Roc in 2013, Tony Joe White perfected his minimalist groove -- so much so, his records often seemed like they flowed from the same swamp. Bad Mouthin', his third record for Yep Roc since 2013, doesn't necessarily break from that tradition -- from its first note, it is quite clearly the work of Tony Joe White -- but it does prove a variation on his signature by offering his first album devoted entirely to the blues. Combining blues standards with songs he wrote years ago, White highlights how pivotal the skeletal shuffles of John Lee Hooker and Jimmy Reed were to his own sound. It's not just that their respective "Boom Boom" and "Big Boss Man" are covered back to back: it's how they seem to be the seed of all his down-and-dirty boogie, dating back to the origins of the originals he's reviving and extending to his weathered, leathery present. The songs are strong but the reason to listen to Bad Mouthin' is the performance, how White maintains his thick, heavy mood from beginning to end, always sounding compelling through the familiar changes.
AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine