Album Reviews

Webb Wilder

Mississippi Moderne

Artist:     Webb Wilder

Album:     Mississippi Moderne

Label:     Landslide

Release Date:     09/25/2015

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Previous Webb Wilder releases never grabbed me the way this one does, as he synthesizes the core elements of blues, rockabilly and flat out rock n’ roll into one irresistible listen. Wilder has been slugging it out for over three decades now, laying the groundwork for popular bands such as the Black Keys and Kings of Leon. I cannot possibly describe this album as well as he does: “Rock n’ roll, from Nashville.  Formed from Mississippi mud, tinged with British mod. Bruised by the blues. Baptized by Buck and Chuck. Psychiatric psycho-rootsy.  Sizzling, glistening, uneasy listening.” Yes, you might say this is his career summation statement, thirty years in the making.

His seasoned quartet, along with a smattering of guests, contemporize the raw sounds of the ’50’s and ’60’s with overlays of vintage country, British top and classic blues. Wilder covers R.S. Field’s “I’m Not Just Anybody’s Fool,” “I Gotta Move” from the Kinks, and Charlie Rich’s “Who Will the Next Fool Be?”  as well as new versions of his own “Yard Dog” and “Too Much Sugar for a Nickel.” The opening and closing versions of the track “Stones In My Pathway” are bookends for the deep blues in the heart of the album – Conway Twitty’s “Lonely Blue Boy,” Frankie Lee Sims’ “Lucy Mae Blues” and Otis Rush’s “It Takes Time.” Wilder’s hard-earned wisdom comes to life as he finds that balance between vintage and contemporary. I guess that’s how the album takes its name. Play it loud and don’t let anyone tell you this is “old” music– this is the most timeless music Wilder has made.

– Jim Hynes

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