Album Reviews

Music You Don't Know You Like Yet

NEW MOON JELLY ROLL FREEDOM ROCKERS

VOLUME ONE

2020-09-22

The New Moon Jelly Roll Freedom Rockers is a band born out of miles on a tour bus. Charlie Musselwhite hit the road with Mavis Staples with the North Mississippi Allstars as the backing band. While killing time on the bus talk naturally turned to music and Musselwhite named off a bunch of recordings his fellow passengers should check out. One thing led to another and Musselwhite and the Allstars soon found themselves joined by Alvin Youngblood Hart, Jimbo Mathis and Jim Dickinson in the recording session that produced this disc. The ten tracks collected here (there are more on the way with volume 2 which is scheduled for a spring 2021 release) take advantage of the wide palette of blues colors possessed by this talented crew. Musselwhite contributes old school harmonica and road weary vocals to "Blues, Why You Worry Me?" "K.C. Moan" and "Strange Land", the later of which stands the test of time despite the fact he wrote it decades ago while wandering Chicago at the age of 18 looking for work. Jimbo Mathis steps away from the gypsy swing that opened doors for him as the leader of the Squirrel Nut Zippers with the straight blues of "Night Time" but returns home on the upbeat "Shake It and Break It". Jim Dickinson visits Squirrel Nut territory on the jazzy "Come On Down To My House" before he leads the crew through the Wilbert Harrison penned Canned Heat classic, "Let’s Work Together". For his part, country blues maestro Alvin Youngblood Hart lays down country blues on Charlie Patton’s "Pony Blues" before stretching some serious rock wings on the Hendrix burner, "Stone Free". The Allstars provide a rock-solid backdrop that compliments each tune with well- placed riffs and rhythms. With the multiple front men and wide-ranging collection of styles found here this collection plays like a great blues radio station that makes you reluctant to change the dial lest you miss the cool stuff that is coming next. Smitty

review by Mark

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Compiled by the WYCE Journalism Club

The opinions expressed in these reviews are those of the individual volunteers that submitted the article and do not necessarily reflect the views of WYCE or GRCMC; nor its staff, donors, or affiliates.