Blue Mother Tupelo review…May 2, 2014…

BLUE MOTHER TUPELO

ONLY SUNSHINE

JUKE TONK STUDIOS—DIGGIN’ MUSIC

COUNTRY FUN–MEET ME DOWN RIVER–LIVIN’ THE GOOD LIFE–FREE–PEAKS AND VALLEYS–PENNY ROLL–ONLY SUNSHINE–COMFORT FOR MY SOUL–YOUR LOVE–MISSISSIPPI MUD

We have been fans and friends of Ricky and Micol Davis, the duo who comprise Blue Mother Tupelo, since we first heard their initial release some two decades ago. Thru that time, they have continued to write from the heart and soul, striving to bring the best musical experience they can to each record.  That trend continues with the May 20  release of “Only Sunshine,” only this time, in a bit of a departure for the couple, some of the cuts are co-written by some of the best composers in Americana and contemporary blues, including Ryan Tyndell, Kim Richey, Will Kimbrough, JP Williams, and Jeff Coplan.

On “Only Sunshine,’ Ricky plays all the guitars and much of the percussion.  and Micol handles the high, angelic harmonies, piano, and percussion, creating a “wall of sound” on several cuts.  The “good life” enjoyed by us folks down South is the theme of much of the set, with those incredible harmonies only Ricky and Micol can produce leading the way.

The good times git to rollin’ on the opening, “Country Fun.” with its tales of “catfish fryin’ and a crawfish boil,” and Sweet Thang and me, we’re all alone!”  Ricky’s acoustic leads are flanked by Dave Roe on the doghouse bass, and Greg Horne’s fiddle.  “Meet Me Down River” has a stomping, percussive beat, with Ricky singing ’bout “wetting a line from a cane pole,’ and, “girl, if you wanna get hip, we can go skinny-dip!”  Micol adds just the right feminine touch here, and the whole thing builds to a frenzied, slide-driven climax.  Micol pays tribute to that unbreakable bond of love between a mother and daughter in the poignant “Your Love,” while “Livin’ The Good Life” has Micol opening the song over tremolo guitar, later joined by Ricky as they realize that “we’ve had our share of tears, but we are blessed by the struggles.”  And, that constant struggle “between my spirit and my mind” is the theme of the gospel-tinged “Peaks And Valleys.”

We had two favorites, too, both dealing with strong social commentaries.  A haunting, storm-clouds-a-brewin’ beat propels “Free,” as Ricky stands up for what’s right, daring anyone to “try and take my gun.”  And, a bluesy acoustic lead drives a song about “a world that’s in a world of trouble,” as both Micol and Ricky plead for “Comfort For My Soul.”

Blue Mother Tupelo continue to write soulful, pensive songs that only a couple that’s been together as long as they have can create.  With “Only Sunshine,” their desire was to reach as many lovers of good, down-to-earth music as possible, and this set proves that mission to be a success!!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, Nashville Blues Society.

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