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Mighty Mo Rodgers - Cadillac Jack

Tin Drum Music

15 songs; 44:41 minutes

Styles: Soul and Blues Rock

“It was a magical time in America, from 1959 to 1963, when we believed that anything was possible, even going to the moon. We were the undisputed number-one country in the world, and Cadillac was the car. I dedicate this project to that time and to Route 66, where Blues became Rock and Roll.” Mighty Mo Rodgers recalls these days on his newest album, “Cadillac Jack”, which he deems “the fifth cycle of the Blues Odyssey” on his website. Rodgers was born in Indiana where his father owned a club that featured blues performers. When he wasn’t studying classical piano, Mighty Mo was checking out the musicians who played there. In 1999 he released his first solo effort, “Blues is my Wailin’ Wall”, on Blue Thumb. He’s won several awards since then, including the 2002 Contemporary Blues Album of the Year for “Red, White and Blues” by Living Blues Magazine. “Cadillac Jack” itself features fifteen original songs, with a lyrics booklet included. Here are its three flashiest offerings, featuring Burleigh Drummond on percussion, Will MacGregor on bass and Kevin Longden on guitar:

Track 01: “Cadillac Jack Says ‘Bring the Fishtail Back’”-- “America’s rise can be traced to the fact when they put the fishtail on the Cadillac.” Mighty Mo enthuses in the title number of this CD. Baby boomers and classic car collectors will fondly remember this style of automobile, and bring the young folks up to speed via this peppy rock-and-roll number!

Track 04: “Cadillac Ranch (American Stonehedge)”--Beautiful harmonies between Mighty Mo and keyboardist Mary Harris abound on this ballad saluting “a ranch in Texas where fishtails grow”. It’s “a symbol of highway blues, wanderlust that you just can’t lose”. Perhaps our narrator is properly referring to the world-famous landmark of “Stonehenge” in this song’s subtitle, but then again, “henge” doesn’t rhyme with “pledge”!

Track 11: “My Blues, My Car and My Woman”--John Davis’ dobro is the finest feature on “Cadillac Jack’s” spiciest song. Mighty Mo is under pressure from his lady love to get his priorities straight: “My blues is #1, my car is #2, and woman, you’re #3. These are the blues rules, you see…” Fortunately for her, he eventually gives her top billing. Listeners will do the same to this song!

On Mighty Mo Rodgers’ website, a quote from August Wilson states: “The blues is the best literature that black Americans have. It is our best poetry. The entire cultural response is felt there in the blues.” On this album, listeners will hear Mighty Mo’s cultural credentials. One thing’s certain: “Cadillac Jack” blends the poetry of the blues with rock-and-roll soul!

Reviewer Rainey Wetnight is a 32 year old female Blues fan. She brings the perspective of a younger blues fan to reviews. A child of 1980s music, she was strongly influenced by her father’s blues music collection.

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