Port City Prophets review…September 3, 2013…

PORT CITY PROPHETS

MULE

SELF-RELEASED

CLOSE YOUR EYES–JESUS SAVED MY SOUL, BUT–I ALREADY KNOW–MULE IN A ONE HORSE TOWN–WHEN THE LIGHTS GO DOWN IN ST. LOUIS—DONE CHANGED MY MIND–LET ME BREATHE–NO TIME–I USED TO LOVE YOU–PLUFF MUD

 

The Port City Prophets hail from the “Low country” in and around James Island, SC.  For the last three years or so, they have built quite a reputation around their incendiary live shows, and have released “Mule” to capture that live “feel” onto the album.  It is ten original cuts that run deep down in the swamps of their homeland with a slight detour up thru Memphis and St. Louis for a couple of cuts.

The band consists of Troy Tolle on guitar, Tim Kirkendall on bass, and Henry Ancrum on drums.  Two more local legends are on board as special guests, with William Nance on keys, and Eric Rickert on percussion.  Troy’s guitar is just about as soulful as you’ll ever hear, and is displayed prominently throughout.  He really lets loose on the soul-blues, “I Already Know,” with a flourishing, extended solo, and excellent keys from Mr. Nance.  They grab for that soulful, funky brass ring again on the kiss-off tale of “I Used To Love You.”  Troy wears his emotions on his sleeve on some great slow blues cuts, too.  On “Done Changed My Mind” and “Let Me Breathe,” two cuts where the writing’s on the wall and the love affair is over, Troy lets his fingers foretell his feelings as the blue notes cascade from the fretboard in wave after wave of pure, heartbroken blues ecstasy.  And, everyone gets a piece of the action in the set-closing instrumental, “Pluff Mud.”  It starts and ends with some of Troy’s subtle runs, but, in the middle, and especially with the fists of thunder drums from Henry, the whole thing blasts off like a Saturn V on the way to Mars!

The fellows took the set in a few different directions, too, and those cuts served as our favorites.  The lreadoff slab of blues-rock that is “Close Your Eyes” seeks out that mythical place that the Allmans sang of, where “love is everywhere.”  Troy’s slide is in fine form on a sweet road trip up the Mississippi, “When The Lights Go Down In St. Louis,” while that same slide takes a hellhound-on-my trail turn in the deep, tongue-in-cheek burn of “Jesus Saved My Soul, But my money belongs to my wife!”

The Port City Prophets are bent on making a huge splash in contemporary blues with the release of “Mule.”  Captivating lyrics and excellent musicianship carry this one over the top!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow.

 

 

 

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