This loving tribute to the music of the legendary 1930s group The Mississippi Sheiks brings their iconic rural blues to life. Producer and roots musician Steve Dawson put together the project to honor Walter Vinson, Lonnie Chatmon and occasional member Bo Carter, as well as the 78 multigenre songs they wrote and recorded in the early ’30s.
Dawson, who also plays a variety of guitars on most cuts, has assembled an impressive roster of musicians.
Some, like veterans John Hammond, Bruce Cockburn and Geoff Muldaur, who were born to sing the Sheiks, cast the songs in lively yet reverential arrangements. Even youngbloods like the North Mississippi Allstars and the Carolina Chocolate Drops give standout performances in rustic jug-band musical settings. Noted gospel trio The Sojourners give the Sheiks their shimmering, harmonic, sacred due.
The 17 performances showcase the Sheiks’ versatility in creating timeless country blues, jug-band, old-timey pop and African American string music.