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Mississippi Heat - Delta Bound

Delmark Records

14 songs; 61:33 minutes

Styles: Traditional Blues, Chicago Blues, Zydeco and Delta-Influenced Blues

As late autumn’s chill descends, Pierre Lacocque’s Mississippi Heat from Chicago will surely warm one’s bones! They’re “Delta Bound” this time, celebrating their 20th year of performing, their 10th album overall, and their 4th release on Delmark Records. Their previous Delmark CD from 2010, “Let’s Live It Up,” won the acclaimed Blues Blast Music Award for Best Traditional Blues CD of the year! There’s no question that Lacocque (pronounced “la-coke”) and his fellow musicians live and breathe real-deal blues. Thirteen original masterpieces and one catchy cover (“Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood” by Ben Benjamin/Gloria Caldwell/Sol Marcus) comprise this collection, undiluted by traces of rock or other genres. The only exception is the third track, “New Orleans Man,” featuring Zydeco legend Chubby Carrier on accordion. Regardless, all of them will make purists sit up and take notes! It’s nigh impossible to pick only three crème-de-la-crème compositions, but here goes:

Track 01: “Granny Mae”-- In this gritty ballad, reminiscent of “Downbound Train” by Chuck Berry and featuring Lacocque’s ominous harmonica, lead vocalist Inetta Visor celebrates her lover’s return. He’s been caring for his ill grandmother, but a kindly elder she is not: “I never liked this Granny Mae, but she had a nasty fall. Her health was fading fast, but she kept on drinking alcohol….” It’s almost chilling how the “tears (are) running down my cheeks,” as Inetta says, from how much she misses her man rather than from sorrow at his loss. Halloween may be over, but for one more scare, check this song out!

Track 06: “Padlock Blues”—Chris “Hambone” Cameron presents one of 2012’s most beautiful blues piano arrangements on Visor’s velvet-voiced torch song. “Padlock Blues” only runs for three minutes and ten seconds, but partners on the dance floor might wish it were seven minutes longer! “What is it, my sweet darling, that makes you stay away?” Inetta pleads. “Can this padlock be opened if I can’t find the right key?”

Track 08: “The Blues Matrix”--Chock-full of references to the 1999 blockbuster featuring Keanu Reeves, “The Blues Matrix” offers women with cheating men a pointed scenario: “The red pill? You can lay down and go to sleep for a while. Maybe you better not take that green pill--it may mean his funeral, and your trial….” Drummer Andrew Thomas and guitarist Giles Corey nudge listeners to choose which pill they’ll take in “The Blues Matrix”!

Joining Lacocque and Visor are such fantastic guest musicians as Dietra Farr, a Mississippi Heat alumna (vocals), Carl Weathersby, Billy Flynn, Giles Corey, Billy Satterfield, and Keith Blair (guitar), Johnny Iguana (piano and organ), Kenny Smith (drums), and Joseph Veloz on bass for all songs.

Missisippi Heat is burning with more power than any furnace this season, and this CD should be headed for awards of its own!

EDITOR'S NOTE: The official CD release party for Delta Bound will be at Buddy Guy's Legends in Chicago on Friday December 28!

Reviewer Rainey Wetnight is a 33 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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