Monday, January 9, 2012

Memphis Mojo reviewed by Steve Jones

Memphis Mojo
Louisiana Red & Little Victor’s Juke Joint
Ruf Records
12 tracks

Red’s going to be eighty years young in a couple of months.  He’ll be touring a heavy set of dates in Europe when he turns eighty, and he still sounds and acts fresh as a gnarly old daisy; well, bluesmen and daisies may not go together but hopefully you get the picture.

This is a dirty old, down home sounding album, focusing on straight up, traditional Delta blues.  His life has been a blues song.  His mother died a week after he was born, his Dad was murdered by Klansmen when he was nine, and his first wife died of cancer just as he was about to be rediscovered n the 1970’s.  He spent a lot of time in Europe and was rediscovered in the US again in 1997.  He followed up his 2008 blues and Greek bouzouki CD  with the award winning You Got to Move in 2010 and this CD last year.  He’s as hot as he ever was!

Surrounded by Little Victor, Bob Corritore, David Maxwell, Mookie Brill, and others, Red put out a great set of tunes here.  He penned all but one– Blind Lemon Jefferson’s “See That My Grave is Kept Clean”.  A haunting hollow electric guitar sound by Red graces this track; that and his authentic vocals make it a winner.  Even more impressive is that he’s created 11 new songs and all are pretty damn good.  I’ve listened a dozen times and can’t pick out a favorite because they are all intriguing and well-done.

This is a great album.  Red’s vocals and guitar and Little Victor’s guitar are so well done and Corritore’s harp is a great accompaniment. I loved this one as will all traditional blues lovers!

Reviewed by Steve Jones

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