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Shake Hands With Shorty


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Audio CD, May 9, 2000
$25.75 $2.25

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

(2000 'Tone-Cool') (54:43/10) Drei junge Typen aus dem Staate Mississippi spielen so, als hätten sie soeben ihre Seele an den Teufel verkauft. Sie nehmen sich respektvoll die Blues vor, die sie kennen und spielen die Songs von R.L. Burnside oder Fred McDowell mit viel Einsatz und einer Selbstverständlichkeit, die erstaunt. Simples, herrlich groovendes Zeug / three young guys from the state of Mississippi. They sound ike they've sold their souls to the devil. They take the blues of their local heroes (like R.L. or McDowell). There playing is straight and simple, but intense and original. LUTHER DICKINSON - electric & acoustic gtrs/bottleneck/lapsteel/mand/voc, CHRIS CHEW - bass/voc, CODY DICKINSON - drums/samplers/gtr/voc.Medium 1
  1. Shake 'em On Down
  2. Drop Down Mama
  3. Po Black Maddie
  4. Skinny Woman
  5. Drinking Muddy Water
  6. Goin' Down South
  7. KC Jones (On The Road Again)
  8. Station Blues
  9. Someday Baby
  10. All Night Long

Amazon.com

What is the sound of one blues exploding? It is the North Mississippi Allstars, one of the most exciting bands to emerge from the South in a long, long time. This is Black Flag if its members were Fred McDowell, R. L. Burnside, Junior Kimbrough, and Otha Turner. Guest stars would include Duane Allman, Captain Beefheart, and Howlin' Wolf. Luther Dickinson plays guitar like an octogenarian bluesman on his first amphetamine rush; his brother Cody drums hard, like a Keith Moon born and bred in Mississippi (their dad is famed producer/musician Jim Dickinson). Linking the two is Chris Chew, who spits out bass fat and heavy. Their music rockets from the rural backwoods to the laser CD player like a jack on a jenny. Songs that evolved through the last century are given new life, ensuring their relevance to another generation. World Boogie is upon us. --Robert Gordon

1. Shake 'Em On Down - North Mississippi Allstars
2. Drop Down Mama
3. Po Black Maddie
4. Skinny Woman
5. Drinkin' Muddy Water
6. Goin' Down South
7. KC Jones
8. Station Blues
9. Someday Baby
10. All Night Long

Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 9, 2000)
  • Original Release Date: May 9, 2000
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Tone Cool
  • ASIN: B00004T0EE
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #76,315 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

73 of 74 people found the following review helpful By Alain Rozan on May 17, 2000
Format: Audio CD
The North Mississippi All Stars accomplish on this exquisite album what Elvis Presley did on his Sun Sessions; a perfect fusion of black and white music styles. The difference is that whereas Elvis merged the blues with 50's country and pop , the All Stars merge the blues with rock'n roll as it has evolved since Elvis "invented" it on those Sun sessions. One can hear traces of modern country, 60's rock and even hip hop rythms on the first cut, Mississippi Fred McDowell's "Shake'em down". The most amazing thing about this CD is that none of the songs are originals. They are all covers of great blues classics by Mississippi Fred McDowell, R.L. Burnside or Junior Kimbaugh and yet, they sound nothing like the originals. Another common trait with the King's Sun recordings. It is no accident that two of the band members are relatives (sons?) of one of the greatest southern American musician and producer, Jim Dickinson. These guys obviously know their roots.The guitar playing is stunning and mixes electric and accoustic in perfect harmony. This is music at its best. Raw, gritty, creative, fun, deep...superb.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Brian D. Rubendall HALL OF FAME on March 3, 2002
Format: Audio CD
I took a chance and purchased "Shake Hands With Shorty" not knowing very much about The North Mississippi All Stars and their music. Once I got used to their style I was absolutely blown away. The album is simply the best fusion of rock and blues music since the early heydey of Led Zeppelin. All of the disc's ten tracks are strong, so it's difficult to select favorites, but "Goin' Down South," "K.C. Jones" and the epic "All Night Long" really stand out. The lengthy guitar interlude in "All Night Long" actually made me wonder if I was listening to Duane Allman's ghost. Though a studio recording, the album also has the energy of a live performance.
Overall, NMAS is a rising band that give you hope that the contemporary American music scene is not as bleak as it appears to be.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By David Dye on May 22, 2000
Format: Audio CD
This record is so honest. It's a rock record made by the sons of legendary Memphis producer Jim Dickinson and it's steeped in North Mississippi blues. There is a standard repetoire of Mississippi hill country blues (see RL Burnside and Otha Turner) and these guys tackle it with the enthusiasm of youth combined with deep respect. For fans of the Allman Brothers certainly. And fans of Fred McDowell too.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Blues Harp Bobby on August 21, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Ignore the know-it-all purists below. So what if NMAS isn't pure, unadulterated hill country acoustic blues? It's an update, you dingbats, and it's not about better or worse (why do Americans, and especially American music snobs, have to get so hung up on "competition" between different musical styles?). These boys have taken some of the most legendary music of the American folk-blues tradition and given it an explosiveness and passion that matches our chaotic times. As for the reviewer below from Oxford who slams NMAS as a "weak imitation of R.L. Burnside and Junior Kimbrough"... bro, just because you're from north Mississippi doesn't mean you know your head from your sphincter. I'm from Mississippi originally, and a singer and harp player to boot, and let me tell everyone that there is nothing weak or imitative about this band. Some people just don't like hearing their favorite style get altered in any way. When they do, they act as if someone added or subtracted books from the Bible. It's all great music, kids...
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 28, 2003
Format: Audio CD
I should preface this review by saying that I am a fan of the traditional delta style of blues; thus I am predisposed towards liking this album.
With that said, this really is a terrific album, and I would highly recommend it, with a few qualifiers.
First of all, the album can seem rather repetitive given the nature of most of the songs (7/10 written by the same two ancient bluesmen), and at times this can grate on the listener. Given my interest in this kind of blues, I was not bothered by the repetition, because it is so well done. Those not fully converted to this school of music may find it tiresome after the first listen.
Secondly, (this is inherently related to the first qualification), the album is not diverse with regard to the material. There is only one real departure from the old blues music, "K.C. Jones" which presents an interesting story set against a relatively technically proficient blues-country background. The rest could be one extended blues medley; whether this is good or bad is contingent upon the listener.
To summarize, this is an awesome album within a specific, and very defined, discipline. If the listener is not committed to this type of music, most likely he or she will not really enjy this c.d. If the converse is true, get ready for a great debut!
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By sask on September 11, 2000
Format: Audio CD
So many of today's new young blues artists, while obviously displaying plenty of chops, usually sound like something's missing, that feel, that edge that blues music is supposed to possess. Thankfully, the North Mississippi Allstars have arrived to deliver that true blues energy in spades on Shake Hands With Shorty.
You only have to hear the opening track, the stompin''Shake Em On Down', to notice that the North Mississippi Allstars are so mired in the Delta muck that you can smell the swamp stink on the opening slide guitar riff. The band, consisting of guitarist Luther Dickinson, drummer Cody Dickinson, and bassist Chris Chew brilliantly, raucously update the old Fred McDowell tune with samples, distorted guitar, and pounding drumming. The song is almost Beck-like in its genius.
The album's one slight disappointment is that the band doesn't consistently provide such an incredible combination of traditional sound and sonic innovation. Several songs come dangerously close to sounding like an overindulgent Phish jam , and their cover of the classic 'K.C. Jones' is basically a straightforward rehash of Furry Lewis' original 78 (which can be heard on Harry Smith's Anthology Of American Folk Music). Still, the few weaker moments are good, worthwhile listening.
Along with 'Shake Em On Down', the other high points on Shake Hands With Shorty are 'Goin' Down South', where the band's blues is at its roughest, and 'All Night Long', which develops into an extended, energetic jam that manages to keep the listener interested all the way through.
Overall, Shake Hands With Shorty is one fun album, great for driving or lazy summer nights, evoking the loose, relaxed atmosphere of an old juke joint.
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