There is a picture on the inside of the cover of Ian Siegal with a hat and a beer, standing in front of a pickup and with a grin on his face and that sums this album exactly– a perfect marriage.
Ian Siegal is, in my opinion, one of the most powerful and original performers in the UK today. There is simply no-one else playing Blues in Britain with the same intensity or, frankly, talent.
He is also a maverick – he says what he wants onstage, he plays the music he wants to without caring about the commercial impact, watching him play live is always an edgy experience as much for his band as the audience as he is liable to start playing a tribute to Marc Bolan or Howlin’ Wolf or an acoustic section that was never on the set list before they started.
So a new album from Ian is always something to look forward to as he might produce a pop/Blues classic like last year’s ‘Broadside’ or a monster acoustic Country Blues collection like ‘The Dust’.
This year’s model seems, in hindsight, inevitable. He has travelled to Hill County in North Mississippi and hooked up with some of the guys there who have been producing some of the most raw and honest Blues anywhere.
Produced by Cody Dickinson – son of the legendary producer Jim Dickinson and one of the North Mississippi Allstars – and featuring the sons of some of the legends of the area; Cody Dickinson plus Garry Burnside, youngest son of R. L. Burnside, Robert Kimbrough, son of ‘Junior’ Kimbrough and Rodd Bland, son of the legendary Bobby Blue Bland, the album is the perfect vehicle for Siegal’s raw and deep voice.
He sounds as though he is in his element and the music resulting from the mix is quite superb. There are also contributions from Alvin Youngblood Hart, Andre Turner and Duwayne Burnside so Siegal is most definitely ion with Hill County royalty
It all kicks off with a classic piece of Siegal in ‘The Skinny’ with his vocals taking even more of a Mississippi twang and a fine solo over a pedestrian but insistent backing but from there on it gets better with every track.
‘Stud Spider’ is as raunchy and sexy as he gets, ‘Master Plan’ could be North Mississippi Allstars at their best, and ‘Hound Dog In The Manger’ is dark and swampy with superb playing and Siegal’s voice at its most Wolf-like – as it builds it takes on a voodoo darkness and the guitar chills you to the bone.
‘Natch’l Low’ sounds like an old Blues platter with real ensemble playing and sounds as though the whole crew are getting well into it and ‘Devil’s In The Detail’ is a pipe & Drums chant with Siegal taking the lead and the chorus of ‘Devil’s where the details at’ and the pipe parping up in rhythm – occasionally!
The closer is ‘Hopper (Blues For Dennis)’ which is probably the most ‘Ian Siegal’ number on the album.
There really isn’t a moment on this album when I wasn’t listening with a huge smile on my face. I am a big supporter of Ian Siegal and I have been a fan of The North Mississippi Allstars for some years as well as the rest of the Hill County musicians so putting them together is a natural.To be in with a chance of winning 1000 CDs including rare, signed and promotional copies simply ‘like’ our Award Winning facebook page here! And double your chances by following us on Twitter For all DVD, Blu-Ray and other film related prizes visit our sister site film-news.co.uk competitions page here. Good luck!