"SWAMPWISE" Secrets, Songs & Stories From The Land of The Tremblin' Earth!
Reviewed By: Susan Keefe
Susan Keefe reviews and promotes poetry, fiction and non-fiction, audio books, and films. She is also author of the Toby's Tails series of children's books.
What better way to bring to life the wonderful Okefenokee Swamp, in the southeast of Georgia than to listen to this amazing audio book box set. The author, Okefenokee Joe’s storytelling and songwriting combine perfectly with his incredible voice to bring alive the sights, sounds and history of “The Land Of The Tremblin’ Earth.”
After a successful country music career as a singer, songwriter, and entertainer, a complete life change brought the author, who had always loved the outdoor life, to a job working with animals at the Okefenokee Swamp Park near Waycross in Georgia. This area of outstanding natural beauty, with its bountiful diversity of wildlife protected by law, was to become the author’s home for over nine years. A home, though to some humble, enriched beyond measure by the company of Swampy the dog who just before his move from the Everglades decided to hop in his jeep and come along for the ride, and Skeeter the abandoned calico kitten.
Working closely with the wild animals has given Okefenokee Joe up close and personal experiences with many animals most of us would only see on film, but with these experiences has also come a deep respect for their interpretations of situations, as listeners discover in “Streak the Bobcat.” Throughout, we really learn to appreciate that these creatures are truly wild, their territory is not automatically ours to walk over and claim. As he says, true wild animals are born to be self-reliant and self-sufficient; it is the way God intended them to be.
Becoming close to nature and at peace with God, Okefenokee Joe decided to spread the word with his “Earth Day Every Day” message which for over four decades he brought to children of all ages. Capturing their attention and love through his stories and songs, he used visual aids, in the form of venomous and non-venomous snakes, to not only educate the children but truly teach them to be ‘swampwise.’ This message is woven into the very essence of these audio books, and its foundations are applicable throughout the world.
However, living in this wild landscape, also brought an awareness of its origins, and the history and heritage of Seminole Indians who originally lived on these lands, but were driven from them by the white man, and now mostly live in Oklahoma. Their bravery, their legends, and the fearlessness they showed when confronted by the weapons of the invaders at such battles as “The Battle of Horseshoe Bend” is celebrated in some wonderful stories and songs in the fourth CD in this box set.
In Summary: What better accolade can you give to audio books than that their songwriter and narrator through his telling of their stories and songs ignites a passion within your soul for the creatures and history of the Okefenokee Swamp, ‘The Land Of The Tremblin’ Earth,’ and his very important message to everyone on this planet, as one of the songs is titled “If You Don’t Need It Leave It.” Highly Recommended – Susan Keefe TheColumbiaReview.com
Author’s Website: https://www.okefenokeejoe.com/
WHO IS OKEFENOKEE JOE?
Dubbed “a Living Georgia Icon in a book written by Don Rhodes, publications editor of the Augusta Chronicle, Georgia Public TV’s legendary “SWAMPWISE” folk hero of the 90’s OKEFENOKEE JOE was inducted into the Georgia Entertainer’s Hall of Fame in 2008, and the Atlanta Country Music Hall of Fame in 2015! He has enthralled and enlightened audiences of all ages for over four decades with his Emmy Award winning “Swamp Wisdom”, original songs & stories from “The Land of The Trembling Earth”,and wilderness survival skills. He has been featured on NBC, CNN, TBS, PBS and GPTV. He was a frequent guest on many Outdoor TV shows, and in 1996 was featured in the center of the front page of the Wall Street Journal.
AND JUST THIS YEAR, 2018 OKEFENOKEE JOE WAS INDUCTED INTO THE GEORGIA OUTDOOR WRITER ASSOCIATION’S HUNTING AND FISHING HALL OF FAME!
Audiences of ALL ages love his stories, his awesome voice filled with “SWAMPWISE” wisdom and humor, his laughter, the songs he writes & sings, and his exciting, timely informative EARTH DAY EVERY DAY message of understanding, appreciation, and respect for all life in the natural world around us! At the age of 85 he has now retired from his live shows and all the traveling involved. And although he still picks up his Martin Guitar and does a show now and then, his life is now devoted to writing his memoirs. He has already written several books that are advertised here on his website!