On the follow-up to her landmark debut, Happy Come Home (1987), Victoria Williams' skills as a multi-faceted songwriter become increasingly stronger and more distinct. The lack of aural opulence – such as Van Dyke Parks' string arrangements – reveal a less-forced approach, resulting in a giant leap forward in terms of the development of Williams' own voice. Likewise, her rich Louisiana bayou roots increasingly influence her music and act as a strong motif throughout not only Swing the Statue, but her future releases as well – most notably her contributions to the Original Harmony Ridge Creekdippers. Perhaps drawing upon her own experiences, Swing the Statue has an air of melancholia wafting throughout much of the album. Both "Boogieman" and "I Can't Cry Hard Enough" – while divergent in terms of musical style – speak directly to the feelings of loss and abandonment. These aptly juxtapose against the innocence and youthful awe of "Look at That Moon" and "Wobbling" as well as the spiritual guidance found in "Lift Him Up" and "Weeds." Unlike Happy Come Home, Swing the Statue is exceedingly more reserved and somewhat stark – with an emphasis on acoustic instrumentation. These aptly inhabit Williams' remarkably jazzy arrangements.
The seven sides that make up the all-star outing Picture of Heath (1961) might be familiar to fans of co-leads Chet Baker (trumpet) or Art Pepper (alto saxophone), as Playboys (1956). Perhaps owing to trademark-related issues with the men's magazine of the same name, Picture of Heath became the moniker placed on the 1961 Pacific Jazz vinyl re-release, as well as the 1989 compact disc. Regardless of the designation on the label, the contents gather selections recorded on October 31, 1956 – the third encounter between Baker and Pepper.