They don't make ‘em like they used to.
Tribute albums usually have to be treated warily, as they're often bands cashing in on some other band, musically speaking. If you liked the band being paid tribute to, why listen to someone else do their songs? And a lot of times, just because you like a band, that doesn't mean you will like the bands they like & pay tribute to. However, tribute albums can help bring up and out an artist who hasn't been given his/her/their due. Things About Comin' My Way: A Tribute to the music of The Mississippi Sheiks does more than bring back the blues act; it brings back a whole world, now long gone, with the kind of authenticity that you just can't find anymore.
Sons of slaves Sam, Lonnie and Armenter Chatmon, along with Walter Vinson, worked as The Mississippi Sheiks in the early thirties. The Depression - and segregation - were at their peaks, the globe was reeling from one world war & fearful of another, communism and fascism were on the rise; might have been a terrible time to live, but it gave The Mississippi Sheiks the raw troubles that forms the heart of the blues. By and large, the various artists on Things About Comin' My Way stick to how The Sheiks did it, just with better recording quality, but do it well. Producer Steve Dawson recruited some mighty fine names, such as The North Mississippi All-Stars at the start with "It's Backfirin' Now", an authentic twang and stomp.
But even the likes of Bruce Cockburn or Van Dyke Parks take a backseat to The Sheiks themselves. The one notable exception is the number of female-sung pieces, bringing in the better half with ladies like Madeleine Peyroux or Ms. Del Rey - singing about loving a woman. Your favorites on Things will depend on what's your favorite type of blues, but there's so much here: blues-soul (title track, Ndidi Unukwulu), old-timey violins ("Sitting On Top of the World", The Carolina Chocolate Drops), wry smile ("Too Long", Danny Barnes), blues-country ("Lonely One In This Town", Dawson himself), ultra-authentic blues-man ("The World Is Going Wrong", Geoff Muldaur & The Texas Sheiks), and more.
Hewing to The Mississippi Sheiks' Way helps make Things an album, not just a compilation, but it ends on the one major excursion, "I've Got Blood In My Eyes For You", as Robin Holcomb turns that piece into an echoing cabaret finish. A nice delivery to close out Things About Comin' My Way, but maybe nothing's more Sheik than the preceding "He Calls That Religion", an anti-preacher revival from The Sojourners with almost too much authenticity. If you're a fan of the old blues like The Sheiks, or today's blues like those paying tribute to ‘em, you'll get it like it was meant to be.