North Mississippi Allstars
Shake Hands With Shorty
Only once in a great while does a recording reflect a “salt-of-the-earth” grit and goodness that has usually been reserved for the old-time blues artists, many of whom lived the life they sang about. The North Mississippi Allstars exude the rawness of days gone by, yet masterfully blend current styles seamlessly. Not bad for a trio of young white guys!
Shake Hands With Shorty is a blues-rock masterpiece that slides, jukes, and twists like the Mighty Mississip’ herself. The knee-slapping beat of each song blends the best of all things blues, down-home barn-stomping, traditional and modern rock rhythms all interwoven through three musicians and their special guests. Luther Dickinson drives the awesome array of strings which dominate the NMA sound. He works a slide guitar (among others) with precision, while brother Cody works in a few samples, vocals, and keeps the beat with Luther’s guitar. Chris Chew provides vocals on most tracks, although NMA has a variety of talent to help both instrumentally and vocally. Among the “Allstars”: Jimbo Mathus, R.L. Burnside kin Gary and Cedric, and Alvin Youngblood Hart, who keep things jumpin’.
Speakin’ of R.L. Burnside, the guys remake a few of his tunes – “Po’ Black Maddie,” “Goin’ Down South,” and “Skinny Woman” – that should surely make the old man proud. And you can’t deny the phenomenal energy of the classic “Shake ‘Em on Down.” This one will have you moving from head to toe. All ten songs are so well crafted and simplistically intricate, it’s amazing. It is truly a testament to the NMAllstars talent to reach deep in the past and mold a boogie-rockin’ blues album that could stand up to any genre record found today.
Once you meet Shorty, you will have made a friend for life. Viva Mississippi! For more info on a record you should have, go to: http://www.tonecool.com
Tone-Cool Records, 6 Abbott Road Annex, Wellesley Hills, MA 02481; http://www.tonecool.com