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Mix & Dorp - Blues + Beat

Black & Tan



Mix & Dorp, a mystery remix man, calls this a collection of remixes, reinventions and rejuvenations. Efforts of this sort always seem to have mixed results(no pun intended). The reference point probably most familiar to listeners are the R.L. Burnside remixes. The most pleasing tracks here are the ones where he takes a breather from the overdone formula of a relentless beat coupled with an overplayed riff. These projects tend to use rhythm as the main thrust. The liner notes make no mention of contributing musicians, just the names of the original artists. We don’t know if Mix & Drop contributes any instrumentation or acts solely as the manipulator of the given tracks. As I’m only familiar with one track and two of the artists I can’t determine what is from the original and what is added. The audience can be thankful that technique and instrumentation are varied enough here to not grate on ones ears, which is sometimes the case on efforts such as this. Blues purists most likely would find fault with the contents here, but the adventurous music fan will find it as a pleasant diversion. It work most effectively as background music that reveals many nuances and interesting grooves as they pop-up and fly by the curious ear.

Boo Boo Davis and Big George Jackson are featured on three quarters of the tracks together along with three other contributors. All benefit from strong blues voices; with Billy Jones calling up the spirit of Howlin’ Wolf in as close an approximation of his other-worldly voice and sentiment as is humanly possible on “Ain’t Good Looking”, recalling Wolf’s “Don’t Laugh At Me”. Billy’s other contribution “Revolution Bluez” is the sole song to feature sax in its funky protest vibe. Elsewhere one can witness snatches of the influence of John Lee Hooker and Muddy Waters. The additional musical additions, even if of the funky variety, leave the blues feeling intact and often enhance it. Maybe some Delta style slide to augment the atmospherics would work here. The treatment given Harrison Kennedy’s “40 Acres And A Mule” is a refreshing change of pace as it acoustic guitar and inventive percussion. Roscoe Chenier’s “Bad Luck” begins as a slow groove that introduces jumpy percussion as fine counterpoint to tickle the listener’s ear.

Perfection isn’t achieved here. At times you get the feeling of being beaten over the head with a riff. Thankfully that doesn’t occur often. The case is more often a smooth groove you can ride on. If you’re looking for a respite from an overload of guitar histrionics and over blown blues-rock, this may be just the elixir you’ve been looking for.

Reviewer Greg “Bluesdog” Szalony hails from the New Jersey Delta. He is the proprietor of Bluesdog’s Doghouse at

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