South Memphis String Band – Home Sweet Home – Memphis International Records

by | Jun 17, 2010 | Pop/Rock/World CD Reviews | 0 comments

South Memphis String Band – Home Sweet Home – Memphis International Records – DOT 0224, 43:52 ****:

(Luther Dickinson, Alvin Younglood Hart and Jimbo Mathus)

The musical collective South Memphis String Band’s first album Home Sweet Home is a trip back to an Americana and folk/gospel roots genre that fills any hole in the musical circle of life.  Luther Dickinson, Alvin Youngblood Hart and Jimbo Mathus took their time with the 11 track release, a mixture of original and traditional songs.  

My favorite track on the CD, an original, Worry ‘Bout Your Own Backyard,  is one of the best-written and played songs I’ve heard this year.   The swaggering bluesy strum of the guitar, the pick of a mandolin, mixed in with a little kazoo and common sense lyrics; this chestnut owns the album.   Along with Worry ‘Bout Your Own Backyard,  SMSB’s versions of Let Your Light Shine On Me, Bootlegger’s Blues and Dixie Darling are special in their own right.  Interpretation and performance of these songs can easily take your imagination on a ride to the deep south.   Sitting under mossy draped trees, sipping some home-made elixir and jamming the day away singing the blues.

SMSB’s background is as impressive as their potential.  Dickinson (North Mississippi Allstars / Black Crowes), Hart (a Grammy winner) and Mathus (Squirrel Nut Zippers) are not new to the production of albums.  This flow is a little different though.  The laid back approach of getting into the music first and the business of putting it down later has worked quite well on Home Sweet Home.

Originality is hard to come by these days.  It’s the reinvention of the classic Blues/Roots/Folk and Gospel genres that has lifted the once nearly crippled music industry back onto their boogie bustin’ feet.  If you’ve heard this type of music before, you will love it in an instant.   If this is your first dip in the creek,  you will return for many many more.  

1. Jesse James
2. Deep Blue Sea
3. Old Hen
4. Worry ‘Bout Your Own Backyard
5. Thinks is ‘Bout Coming My Way
6. The Carrier Line
7. Bloody  Bill Anderson
8. Eighteen Hammers
9. Bootlegger’s Blues
10. Dixie Darling
11. Home Sweet Home

— Paul Pelon IV

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