Ian Siegal review…May 12, 2015…

IAN SIEGAL

THE PICNIC SESSIONS

NUGENE RECORDS  NUG 1402

PISTACHIOS, ANYONE–STONE COLD SOUL–HOW COME YOU’RE STILL HERE–SWEET PEA–HEAVENLY HOUSEBOAT BLUES–BEULAH LAND–TURN AROUND AND SHOW IT TO ME–KEEN AND PEACHY–WASTED FREEDOM–HERMAN SINGS–GALLO DEL CIELO–HARD TIMES (COME AGAIN NO MORE)–TALKIN OVERSEAS PIRATE BLUES–NOW IT’S A PARTY–ONLY TRYIN’ TO SURVIVE–APPRECIATION

Ian Siegal is a two-time Blues Award nominee as well as a winner of several British Blues Awards.  In 2013, he attended the North Mississippi Hill Country Picnic.  While there, he connected with local icons Alvin Youngblood Hart, Jimbo Mathus, and Cody and Luther Dickinson.  On a lark, the five of ’em headed down to Coldwater, MS, to the Dickinson’s Zebra Ranch Studio for a little no-pressure jamming.  The result is “The Picnin Sessions,'” songs thatt flow loosely and freely from these five great players.  At once raw and powerful, these cuts capture the soul and spirit of the Hill Country.  The between-song banter is priceless (and, sometimes, a bit saucy!).

They kick things off with the rough-and-tumble “Stone Cold Soul,” which follows a cool staccato-rhyming pattern.  “Keen And Peachy” is Alvin’s good-time ode to a great lover, described as “fine and foxy, she got the moxie!”  “Wasted Freedom” is one of Ian’s originals that is part Kristofferson and part Dylan.

We had three favorites, too.  The fellows take a playful swing at Sundays down South, with the gospelly “Heavenly Houseboat Blues” and “Beulah Land,” which is played in two distinctly-unique versions—one lively and spirited, the other verboten and brooding.  And, the Spanish-flavored guitars give authenticity to the sport of cockfighting and the great one-eyed warrior, “Gallo Del Cielo.”

Oh, to have been a fly on the wall that day down in Coldwater.  “The Picnic Sessions” from Ian Siegal and his famous cronies is old-school, intriguing, and a helluva lot of fun!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.

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