Too many tributes are hit or miss affairs. Often the tunes are too reverentially recorded, causing one to wonder what's the point, or the interpretations are so eclectic that the collection as a whole is unlikely to appeal to the average listener. This one, however, really hits the mark. Great performances from top to bottom, each with its own unique flavors but with a continuity that makes the project succeed as a whole. The quality and timelessness of the songs are well demonstrated. Anyone who likes American roots music will find this one a real treat.
I've been a fan of the Mississippi Sheiks since I first heard their recording of "Sittin' on Top of the World", a tune covered by nearly everyone from Cream to every bluegrass band in the world. This is a fitting tribute in that the covers come from so many different corners of the music scene. I'm sure the Sheiks would approve, songsters that they were.
I heard some cuts off this cd on Acoustic Cafe plus some originals from the Mississippi Sheiks themselves. The original sheiks the were a funky bluegrass/blues group from a few decades ago. There fiddle player is astounding! This cd is a nice variety of people interpreting the Sheiks music...people like Kelly Joe Phelps, Madeline Peyroux, and Geoff Muldaur. I especially like Steve Dawson. This an album I play regularly. It is gritty, funky, soulful and fun.
For years I've wondered how such an influential group could remain so obscure. This CD doesn't answer that question but it goes a long way toward introducing The Sheiks to a broader audience. At least I hope it does and I'm giving it 5 stars for that reason. This is not a consistently great record (but how many are?) though I'd say that a good, solid 60% of the content here is wonderful.
But if you buy this disc and like ANY of it, do yourself a favor and explore The Mississippi Shieks' original work. As nice as John Hammond's version of 'Stop And Listen' is, it doesn't hold a candle to the amazing original recording. Same goes for Geoff Muldaur's excellent version of 'The World Is Going Wrong.' If anybody can get inside The Shieks' music, it's Muldaur...and he does it! Still, the original is in a whole 'nother world. And Geoff would probably tell ya the same thing.
The Mississippi Sheiks were a popular band in the 1930s. I'm not a music critic, but I would classify the music on this CD as proto-blues, proto-gospel and proto-jazz. This is a tribute album,but Amazon also offers the CD and MP3s of "Mississippi Sheiks: Honey Let the Deal Go Down: Best of the Mississippi Sheiks". From the picture on the cover of the CD, the Sheiks were three young black men. I am going to buy the CD. When I receive it, I plan to review it. A final comment: it is widely believed that the blues were born in the Mississippi Delta. Music scholars have traced the blues to North Africa, where the blues are still being played. Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin recently released a DVD called "Robert Plant's Blue Note", which is available on Amazon. I recommend it highly.
I heard about this project months ago and I wondered ==who are the Mississippi Sheiks? I purchased the cd to hear Kelly Joe Phelps interpret another old country blues song and.... found so much more. This was my introduction to a great band and the songs are strong. The Sheiks were the real deal and I love how their music will not go away. Each contributing artist brings this music to life with respect and some artistic contribution. Buy this you will not regret it. How often are we surprised by a tribute album?
This is a terrific tribute album. I should say that i was unfamiliar with the Mississippi Sheiks until I purchased this tribute and it has led me back to the originals. What more can be said of a recorded tribute than it makes you dig deeper into the history of the music. Take a chance. If you like acoustic music, down to earth lyrics, good storytelling, terrific fiddling, and the feeling of sitting around a campfire sharing old songs, this one's for you.
Steve and his wife Alice should be given huge accolades for a fantastic tribute to the immortal Mississippi Sheiks! It does make me want go and find their recordings ASAP. Not to compare but to get "experienced" as Jimi would say. This is the stuff we need to be aware of if you are at all into the blues. That's Steve Dawson by the way. Check him out as well. Wonderful person[met him] and a superlative musician. Buy this and tell you're friends!