Mitch Mann review…June 26, 2015…

MITCH MANN

BLACKWATER CREEK

CRAZY CHESTER RECORDS  CCR 001

GOING DOWN THE ROAD FEELING BAD–BABY DON’T FORGET–CROWS INTRO–CROWS–ST. LOUIS BLUES–MAKE THIS LAST MINUTE LAST–MORE THAN I COULD EVER SHOW–SOMETIMES A ROCK–BLACKWATER CREEK–DETOUR YOU–HOLD HER WHILE YOU GOT HER–TOM CLARK–IT’S TIME–GOOD THINGS

Modern-day acoustic bluesmen have to depend on their musicianship and storytelling to get their messages across, just like the old-school masters. Mitch Mann, of Fiddleworms and Yellowhammer fame, is up to that acoustical challenge, as his latest set, “Blackwater Creek,” will attest.  It’s seven originals and four covers that are enhanced not only by Mitch’s talents, but by several special guests sprinkled throughout.

The luminaries come out early–on the leadoff “Going Down The Road Feeling Bad,” Andreas Werner is on lead guitar as Mitch handles vocals and rhythm.  Backing harmony is provided by Russell Mefford and none other than Grateful Dead member and Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame songstress, Donna Godchaux, who reappears as co-writer and vocalist on the set-closing reminder to us all to stay positive and hopeful, and always seek life’s “Good Things.”

There’s a jigger of Django in the gypsy-fied guitar lines of “Baby Don’t Forget,” while Mitch shows his country-blues roots on “Crows,” with harp from Jimmy Hall.  Mitch shows a softer side on the ballads that bolster the idea that love conquers all, “More Than I Could Ever Show,” and the poignant “Hold Her While You Got Her,” because “that come and go girl may never be here again.”

We had some favorites, too.  A very bluesy “leavin’ song” has Mitch singing “I’m searching for a better road so I can Detour You.”  Two “death ballads,” if you will,  (always popular down South!), round out our faves.  Music City icon Buzz Cason adds harmony on “It’s Time.”  and, the story of “Old Tom Clark” deals with the “Jesse James of Muscle Shoals,” a man with “a lust for gold” and “a heart as cold as the grave.”

Mitch Mann offers up a very eclectic set of roots and blues with “Blackwater Creek.”  His excellent troubadour-ish stylings along with the stellar cast of backing players make this a set you won’t want to miss!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.

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