Album Reviews

The Mississippi Sheiks Tribute Project – Mississippi Sheiks Tribute Concert – Live in Vancouver (DVD) (Black Hen)

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Mississippi Sheiks Tribute Concert – Live in Vancouver [DVD]The jug band music revival that occurred in the past year led to this wonderful gathering in Vancouver during the 2010 Winter Olympics. The concert is a companion piece to Black Hen president and string man extraordinaire Steve Dawson’s 2009 album saluting the Mississippi Sheiks, Things About Comin’ My Way. Dawson is an absolute monster player whose slide riffs and animated picking bring out the best in all of the performers. Some of the same stellar roots artists (John Hammond, Jim Byrnes, Geoff Muldaur) and many new ones (Dave Alvin, Van Dyke Parks, Alvin Youngblood Hart) appear in this relaxed, unpretentious concert, all backed by a solid house band.

You’ll marvel at the special camaraderie when Hammond backs Byrnes and Colin James, or when Bob Brozman sits in with Alvin. We get to see the facial expressions of the players, who were clearly enjoying every minute of the show, beginning with a narrative over the music of “Sitting on Top of the World” and ending with the ensemble performing the same classic. And to think, this is all music from the 1930s. Good songs never grow old.

—Jim Hynes

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