Mississippi Live & The Dirty Dirty. Going Down.

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A Vancouver band, Mississippi Live & The Dirty Dirty are based around the talents of Mississippi born Connely Farr who, with his three Canadian band mates (Jay B. Johnson, drums; Ben Yardley, guitar and Jon Wood, bass, piano and organ) released a very fine slab of Southern rock on 2010’s Way Down Here. Going Down maintains the quality of its predecessor and in a similar fashion mines a sound more akin to the Deep South rather than what we might expect from the Canadian seaboard. As for Deep South we mean the guitar charged thrust of bands like The Drive By Truckers as opposed to soul or blues.

The album opens with the country rock strains of Trouble, a deceptive opener as thereafter we are in deep rock country but it’s a lovely song, Farr’s hoarse vocal delivery carrying just the right amount of hurt to counteract the sweet guitar lines. The title song follows and dives into a clangourous riff with a garage punk sneer; turn this one up as it will rattle the house. It’s So Easy pales in comparison with its relatively tame delivery although the sparring guitars midway are invigorating while Hurtin’ (written by Johnson) limits itself with a pile driving riff that recalls muddy seventies boogie bands without really going anywhere. Likewise Mexico, which despite some superb guitar squalls, lacks the originality and vigour of its compadre songs here.

All is forgiven however with the spectral guitars, gloomy organ and rolling drums of Dead & Gone and the brooding Country Boy which serves to deliver the heads of the Truckers and Neil Young on your platter. Here the guitars curl with a menace as the song heads into the swamps. Even better is Bad Bad Feeling where Jon Wood’s production recalls his work with Cam Penner, slide guitars sound as if they’re being scraped by rusty knives as Farr descends into an alcohol fuelled hell.

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