Album Review: Cary Hudson – Mississippi Moon (released via MusicReleaser)
It’s clear from the first listen that Cary Hudson has a deep love for his roots in Mississippi,where he was born 47 years ago in Sumrall.Hisnow 25-year career is full of dedications to the great songs of the Deep South, but this time even the album title showcases Hudson’s greatest reference point.
Mississippi Moon was recorded live during the fool moons of June, July and September of 2011, giving the musicians a chance to (in Hudson’s words) “tap into some lunar mojo.” If on one hand this suggests that these guys are insane (in a very enduring way, of course), on the other hand the love they share for Mississippi’s “mojo” is moving and contagious and never comes across insincere.
Moreover, this album sounds like one of the most homogenous and incisive records ever released by Hudson during his solo career; it’s an album of songs and atmospheres, balanced between archaic sounds and rock attitude.
The album was recorded at James “Jimbo” Mathus’ Delta Studio Recordings Service in Como, Mississippi. Jimbo’s production is one of the highlights of the record; with his rootsy touch bringing out the ruralfeeling of the operation without flattening the electric corners of the sound. The rest of the band is formed by Jed Newell on drums, Eric Carlton on piano and Justin Showah on bass. Then there is Cary Hudson’s songwriting; this time Cary takes a detour from his more recent acoustic offerings(Bittersweet Blues, Seems To Me), proving that he never forgot the energy of Blue Mountain’s adventures.
Long Lost Friend’s relaxed and folkie mid-tempo is the first surprise: framed by piano, guitars and harmonica, the song reminds ofJerry Jeff Walker’s country-gonzo. Walker is also the Godfather of Mississippi Country Girl, classic rock’n’rollthat would have fit perfectly one of the first albums by The Jayhawks. Banks Of The Edisto (written by Dayna Kurtz) is much more gloomy and dark, somewhere between Tom Waits, the Appalachian murder ballads and the sould of the chain-gangs coming from Alabama and Georgia. On the contrary, Country Blues is a perfect transfiguration of the rhythmic clawhammerby Dock Boggs.
Rockin’ Blues is rough rock’n’roll, like the Rolling Stones used to play back in the day, while Velvet Elvis connects Roy Orbison’s spirit and David Lynch’s more morbid frames. Storyville is a ghost dance (the original acoustic version is on Seems To Me) that brings to mind Dr. John’s rituals and the Dixie jazz that inspired him. Broke Down & Busted is even older (it goes back to Blue Mountains’s “Dog Days”) but is still a beautiful song and brings tomind some great roots-rock songs by John Mellencamp. The finale, Hobo’s Lullabywas written long ago by the folksinger Goebel Reeves “aka the Texas Drifter” (a contemporary of Jimmy Rogers) and closes the album with a hillbilly touch that perfectlyfits the atmosphere.
Nothing new under the sun, just another album by an amazing artist that made sincerity and simplicity the pivotal points of his musical research and style.
NOTE: Mississippi Moon has been released by MusicReleaser’s community, therefore the album is now in FREE DOWNLOAD at http://www.musicreleaser.com/caryhudson