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Devildown (DEVILDOWNCD003)

REVEREND JOHN WILKINS: You Got To Move, ERIC DEATON: I'm Goin' Away, LOOSE SHOES: Bring It To Jerome, ROBERT BELFOUR: Hill Stomp, ALVIN YOUNGBLOOD HART: Big Mamas Door, BLUE MOUNTAIN: Midnight In Mississippi, JIMBO MATHUS Little Hand Big Gun, T-MODEL FORD: I'm Goin' Down, NORTH MISSISSIPPI ALLSTARS DUO LUCO: My Babe/Station Blues/Glory Glory, HILL COUNTRY REVUE: Georgia Women, DUWAYNE BURNSIDE: Snake Drive, KENNY BROWN: Shake Your Money Maker, DUFF DURROUGH: Stand By Me.

The Mississippi Hill Country Picnic has been an annual weekend gig at Potts Camp, MS since 2006 and every year, under the watchful eye of its founders Kenny Brown and his wife Sara, musicians get together to celebrate the music of their heroes. Volume 2 spotlights the acts that played at 2010's festivities paying homage to the greatest of all Hill Country legends such as Fred McDowell, Junior Kimbrough, Otha Turner and RL Burnside.

Robert Wilkins' son, The Reverend John Wilkins, starts things off with a powerful, pulsating version of You've Got To Move developing some sensational slide guitar against an insistent back beat. T-Model Ford excites the crowd with his solid archaic guitar wrangling on I'm Goin' Down and Robert Belfour almost blows the roof from the tent on the instrumental Hill Stomp; its rhythmic guitar riffs blending perfectly with the crashing drum beat. Then Alvin Youngblood brings in the second line with surprisingly vicious guitar playing on his theme tune Big Mama's Door which, to be absolutely frank, leaves the North Mississippi Allstars blundering take on My Babe and Glory Glory in the shade. The only saving grace on Glory Glory is Kenny Brown's stinging guitar that is backed up by some high energy drumming.

Duwayne Burnside comes up with a torrential version of his daddy's old warhorse Snake Drive then Cody Dickinson and his favourite band, The Hill Country Revue bring back all the old rockin' licks on Georgia Women. The stark opening minutes on this one soon dissolve to let in some hard rockin' guitar and harmonica licks that soar into the stratosphere. Little Hand Big Gun opens with Jimbo Mathus on guitar leading his rocking band into the kind of fiery and passionate performance you'd associate with The Allman Brothers Band and then Kenny Brown really brings it all home with a blazing, high energy take on Elmore James's Shake Your Money Maker that clearly demonstrates there are precious few guitar slingers who can get anywhere his genius. The perfect finishing touch to this CD is Duff Durrough's simple but rock solid version of the old country spiritual Stand By Me.

North Country Picnic Volume two is a glorious display of Hill Country blues played by a bunch of musicians whose passion for the music shines through every single note you hear.


Review Date: April 2011

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