Washington Post Blues Society
Things About Comin' My Way - A Tribute to teh Mississippi Sheiks features 17 songs originated by this short lived/ but legendary band, the mucleus of which was Lonnie Chatmon on fiddle and Walter Vinson on guitar, Bo Carter and Sam Chatmon on bass. The band took it's name from the 1921 silent film "The Sheik" starring Rudoph Valentino. After the band dissolved in either 1933 or 195 (depending on the source), the band members returned to share cropping (although Bo did have a successful solo career). This project was conceived by Vancouver, British Columbia singer, songwriter, guitarist Steve Dawson, and he picked an interesting array of musicians to interpret the Sheiks' material. He was not after exact performances include some artists associated wiht the blues like John Hammond, Bob Brozman, Geoff Muldaur and Del Rey, as well as some not directly associated to blues like Bruce Cockburn, Bill Frisell, and the Sojourners, a Vancouver gospel trios.. Things About Comin' My Way comes with a 24 page booklet which provides some information about the Sheiks, the careers of each performer, and details on teh recording. The project has a lot of continuity partly because most of the tracks were recorded in three sessions, somei n Canada and about some in Seattle, where Steve used a house band. This band was Keith Lowe on bass, Wayne Horvitz on keyboards and Matt Chamberlain on drums. Of four cuts, Jesse Zubot plays fiddle and Steve contributed guitar to throughout the album. Vancouver based singer/songwriter Ndidi Onukwulu's beautiful voice makes the title track sparkle and speaking on beautiful voices, Del REy's take on "We Both are Feeling Good Right Now" playing guitar accompanied by a pair of clarinets is outstanding. This review would be incomplete if I didn't mention the Sheiks's biggest most well known and covered songs "Sitting on Top of the World" covered by the Carolina Chocolate Drops on banjo, guitar, fiddle and vocals giving this wonderful tune and old time sound. Things About Comin' My Way not only was nominated for a 2010 Blues Music Award in the Acoustic Album of the Year category, but it's an essential addition to the collection of every fan of old timey music or acoustic blues.
- Malcolm Kennedy