They's a chill wind shriekin' through the graveyard. A gibbous moon hovers overhead and them fields lay dark and shadowed as the hopes of the men who coax them stubborn mules to haul the plows through them every day. In the shacks that surround them furrows they's singin' some. They got them some guitar, some fiddle, even someone blowin' tuneful through the lips of an old brown jug. It's music to celebrate survivin', overcomin', testifyin' that a better day comin' or damn well ought.
The Misssissippi Sheiks sprang from a world done gone. The Delta of the 1930s when cheaters and sinners shared a drink with preachers and straight backed men meant for better. It was a world that spawned Jimmie Rodgers and a host of nomads, transient, lost, back sliders who gave the world songs that chill at the same time they fill you with hope. From 1930-35 the Sheiks ruled the music world and their songs are filled with an awesome power that's half-devilry, half-redemption.
They only recorded 70 songs but they were seminal influence on popular music. Here producer Steve Dawson gathers luminaries like Bruce Cockburn, Madeleine Peyroux, Kelly Joe Phelps, John Hammond and the North Mississippi All Stars to reinterpret and deliver sterling renditions of songs the modern world largely missed but will recognize nonetheless. They're timeless, haunting, aching and they deserve to live forever. The Sheiks were blues, jazz, ragtime, Dixieland and the seed of what became rock'n roll. Don't miss this.
An exemplary salute to true originals. Not to be missed.