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April 15, 2009

Ben Greenman & Swamp Dogg's "Please Step Back"

Ben Greenman's music-themed novel, Please Step Back is released next week, and I am honored to exclusively offer a song that came about from Greenman's collaboration with funk legend Swamp Dogg.

Swamp Dogg: "Please Step Back" [mp3]

In his own words, author Ben Greenman describes the genesis of this song:

When I was writing my new novel, Please Step Back, which tells the story of a funk-rock star in the late sixties and early seventies, I was also working as a journalist at my day job at the New Yorker, and along the way I wrote a little piece about a new record by Swamp Dogg. Swamp Dogg, of course, is a cult funk legend from the early seventies. His work is fantastic. It has been in my head for years, and it had something to do with the character I was creating. After I wrote the piece, I got an email from Swamp Dogg himself. He liked the review. We struck up an email friendship. When I finished the book, I wrote him with a crazy idea. I had lyrics in the novel that were written by my fake funk star, Rock Foxx. One of the lyrics was never recorded. Would he be interested in recording them. He wrote right back: "like a black motherf**ker," he said. We discussed the two possibilities. He could either create a song that sounded like it came from 1973, and in doing so play the role of my fake funk star, or he could create a song that sounded like it came from 2009, and play himself, covering my fake funk star's song. He chose the latter.

Please Step Back, Ben Greenman and Swamp Dogg links:

the book's website
the publisher's page for the book

Ben Greenman's website
Ben Greenman's Largehearted Boy Book Notes music playlist for Correspondences
Ben Greenman's Largehearted Boy Book Notes music playlist for A Circle is a Balloon and Compass Both

Swamp Dogg's website
Swamp Dogg's Wikipedia entry
Fresh Air interview with Swamp Dogg

also at Largehearted Boy:

Book Notes (authors create playlists for their book)
Online "Best Books of 2008" Lists
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)
Why Obama (musicians and authors explain their support of the Democratic presidential candidate's campaign)
guest book reviews
musician/author interviews
52 Books, 52 Weeks