Preview Prayer For Peace by The North Mississippi Allstars.
Prayer For Peace by The North Mississippi Allstars
Prayer For Peace brings the band together for the North Mississippi Allstars’ 8th studio release. Their version of powerhouse rough-hewn style North Hill Country Blues remains intact and for those who tuned in at the start of the millennium with Shake Hands With Shorty then you’ll not be disappointed.
As an album, it’s got a different feel in places as we head either north or south of Mississippi, depending on the origins of the song they play. The album is mainly covers but the Dickinsons’ pick well and this collection really hits the spot on occasion.
We’re quickly hearing the hallmark of the North Mississippi Allstar sound with "Miss Maybelle" – thunderous pounding drums leavened by Luther’s guitar either hitting you with a riff or slotting into that McDowell/Burnside groove. "Run Red Rooster" continues in the same vein until we slip into "Stealin’’ a more conventional blues rock à la The Rolling Stones with some magnificent slide. This song has been on a long journey to this latest incarnation after being popularised in the 1920’s.
"Deep Ellum" (a suburb of Dallas) sees the band head south in more ways than one. This traditional song also covered by Blind Lemon Jefferson, Lead Belly and the Grateful Dead gets the Southern Rock treatment with an Allman's Brother Band feel. In fact the bass may be Oteil Burbridge of the Allmans who joins other guests throughout.
R. L. Burnside’s "Bird Without A Feather" is back to a more familiar sound. The sound belongs to Luther but Buddy Guy’s Sweet Tea comes to mind throughout with the brooding rhythm just held back enough to give space to a raw virtuoso guitar solo – a true album highlight. Mississippi Fred McDowell’s "You Got To Move" gets a throbbing rendition with back up vocals from Danielle Nicole. Again we’re back to Lafayette County with Burnside’s "Long Haired Doney" and Luther’s guitar chugs, picks and squeals over a beat that accelerates, rattles and slows – my advice is turn it up LOUD.
We started the album with "Pray For Peace" and then finish up with a drum and bass remix (on the CD only) with vocal treatments and flute. Great stuff!