North Mississippi Allstars : Polaris

North Mississippi Allstars : Polaris

  • $12.98

If this were 1971," praised The Los Angeles Times, "these gentlemen would be the biggest band in the world. After seeing the Allstars live, there's really no way to reach any other conclusion. It's only a matter of time before they hit the same rarefied air of trendier blues revivalists like the White Stripes.
With their third album, this blues-rock outfit from the Mississippi hills further transcends their mimicry of the Allman Brothers and home-turf heroes Junior Kimbrough, R.L. Burnside, and Fred McDowell to forge a distinct sound. Sure, the guitars ring even more like the Allmans' with the addition of Burnside's son Duwayne, who harmonizes his six-string with Luther Dickinson's on plenty of tunes. But improved vocal performances and pop-savvy arrangements make numbers like "Eyes," "Kids These Daze," "One to Grow On," and the hip-hop-informed "Be So Glad" ready for rock radio. Happily, the foursome haven't sidestepped their deep blues roots. The late cane fife master Othar Turner appears on "Be So Glad," and they cover Kimbrough's "Meet Me in the City" with all of its original swing and swagger, plus the warm, joyful tone of Dickinson's expert slide playing. "The One Thing," with its roiling acoustic guitar intro and steel-guitar-style string-bending, unfurls like an epic. It evolves from country blues to country rock and then dives into a gently exploratory jazz-blues instrumental passage before returning to its flat-four beat. If this CD gets the attention its well-written songs and fine playing deserve, the Allstars' smart and solid fusion may well become the foundation for a new school of Southern rock. --Ted Drozdowski

1. Eyes
2. Meet Me In The City
3. The One Thing
4. All Alone
5. Otay
6. Kids These Daze
7. One To Grow On
8. Hard To Please
9. Bad Bad Pain
10. Polaris
11. Time For The Sun To Rise
12. Be So Glad

Product UPC: 791022151329

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