Pack Rat’s Smoke House review…May 10, 2019….

PACK RAT’S SMOKE HOUSE

MEN OF THE SWAMP—LIVE

BLACK FROST MUSIC

DISC 1:  THE NIGHT JACK FROST KILLED POSSUM BROWN–HOO DOO BLUES–HUSH HUSH–LOW DOWN RIDER–SMOKE STACK LIGHTNIN–95 SOUTH–CARESS ME BABY–SMOKEHOUSE BOOGIE–HOO DOO WOMAN BLUES

DISC 2:  YOU DON’T HAVE TO GO–SUE CITY SUE–THEM CREEPIN BLUES–HOO DOO WOMAN BLUES

A great man once told me that “deep down in Florida, the sun shines damn near every day!”  Well, that may be true, but the swamps down in Central Florida evoke visions of steamy pine flatwoods, cypress bottoms, and, yeah, those damn gators!  That region is also home to Packrat’s Smokehouse, a band that is still strokin’ after their formation in 1989.  Back then, Anthony “Packrat” Thompson and Robert “Lightning Boy” Thomas, realized they shared a love for the swampy grooves of Lazy Lester, Lightnin Slim, and Howlin’ Wolf.  “Men Of The Swamp–Live,” is their latest set, and captures them at their gut-bucket best, in two live settings.  The two-CD affair took place at the Babe James Center in New Smyrna Beach, and The Bradfordville Blues Club in Tallahassee.

Their music is deep, raw, powerful, and hypnotic, and evokes the swampy Excello-riffic grooves mixed with the primitive early recordings of Wolf and both Walters.  On both these sets, too, the fellows pay tribute to the great Jimmy Reed on several occasions.

The party starts with Packrat layin’ down the tale of the loss of a good friend, “The Night Jack Frost Killed Possum Brown.”  Lightnin Boy takes the vocal and everybody’s in the mood with that little hoodoo girl, who done hoodooed the hoodoo man, “Hoo Doo Blues.”  Our favorite on Disc One was, hands down, the tale of the trip down “95 South,” where our hero, in his sho’ nuff stone cold Fleetwood Brougham, runs afoul of the “sheriff from Hell and his dog Hitler,” who railroaded him straight to jail!

On Disc Two, you know “Sue City Sue” ain’t up to nothing good, and it’s a sweet slow-jam with Packrat adding harp.  Our other favorite closed both sets.  Packrat wrote those “Hoodoo Woman Blues” about that hoochie mama who’ll “hoodoo with your daddy and turn around and hoodoo with you!”

These guys haven’t missed a beat since their mid-Nineties heyday.  Layin’ it down, “Live” on I-95, Packrat’s Smokehouse and “Men Of The Swamp” leave you with this—“May the swamp be with you,” and “HAMMERCY!!”    Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues And Roots Alliance.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: