This was 47th on my list of essential albums
North Mississippi Allstars – Shake hands with Shorty
Just when you think that Rock is truly dead and buried in a coffin of sanitised overproduction overseen by the major labels in their relentless drive to make more money from ‘product’ that does not offend the ears of the ‘middle of the road’ punter and can consequence reach the largest audience; just when you think Simon Cowell and ‘The Voice’, ‘Britain’s got talent’ and other sanitised shit has stolen the minds of all the world and you’ve given up hope; along comes a bunch of vibrant uninhibited musicians whose approach is rowdy, raw and ‘we don’t give a shit’ we’re going for it.
The North Mississippi Allstars was introduced to me by Lester Jones and I was bowled over again. They tapped into the blues from the Mississippi Hill County with the genius of RL Burnside and Junior Kimbrough and they did it with panache and exuberance. Their first album ‘Shake hands with Shorty’ was a breath of fresh air in the claustrophobic fem-fresh atmosphere of manufactured contrived garbage. It’s all one great dive down to the most popular common denominator – garbage for the garbage collectors.
They were real.
‘Shake ‘em on down’ really did shake the place. Luther and Cody Dickinson sure knew how to keep it real.