Do Right, Say Right
Another Planet Music
Publicity: Blind Raccoon
Peter “Blewzzman” Lauro © December 2021
As I’ve often stated, other than to read the musician credits and track listings, I prefer to not read the CDs liner notes, or the one sheet accompanying the disc, until I’ve given the music a full listen. With that said, once I did get to the written word – on top of having heard a voice that sounded like a seasoned veteran – it validated my belief in the “You can’t judge a book by its cover” and broadened my view of the “Every picture tells a story” sayings. You see, looking at the very flattering picture of Mississippi MacDonald on the jacket cover had me thinking he was a very young and, since I had never heard of him before, this was most likely a debut release; and since I was so far off on that, the story that pictures tell aren’t always right.
As I came to find out, “Do Right, Say Right” is three-time British Blues Award nominee Mississippi MacDonald’s sixth release and since – at the age of eleven – his inspiration came from seeing Chuck Berry back in 1991, he is indeed a seasoned veteran. For this project, Mississippi Mac, on vocals and lead guitar, is joined by: Phil Dearing on keyboards and rhythm guitar; Elliot Boughen on bass; Mark Johnson-Brown on Drums; and Lucy Dearing on backing vocals. Of the discs ten tracks, nine are Oliver (Mississippi) MacDonald originals.
Had he said this before she left, it could have been interpreted as an apology and she may very well have stayed. However, Mississippi Mac saying “I Was Wrong”, long after she’s been gone, is nothing but remorse. With an emotionally soulful vocal presentation that kinda reminded me a bit of the late Bryan Lee, there’s no questioning that some dues are indeed being paid right here. Musically, with Mac’s smoking blues guitar licks; and Phil’s fabulous keyboard work – which literally had me questioning why the horn section was not listed in the credits – leading a vibrant rhythm; the track takes on the feel of a B.B. King classic.
So, the sarcastic barbs his obvious soon to be ex tossed at Mississippi Mac definitely fall into the category of Satanical. His reply to the shock of hearing her say “I don’t like your blues”; “You think you’re a bluesman but you’re way out of line”; “I don’t like how you sing it”; and a relentless barrage of other uncomplimentary crap, was an irate “I ‘Heard It Twice’ the first time” followed by his guitar giving her a piece of its mind as well…..and at that point it was obvious this woman had no clue at all about real deal blues.
Although the title of this song is “Drinker’s Blues” and not “It’s Five O’clock In The Morning” in many ways it pays homage to B B’s song with of earlier time frame. Back at that 1991 show in Plymouth Pavilions, it may have been Chuck Berry who swayed Mac toward the blues but there’s no doubt that the “King of the Blues” was a huge influence on his style. With Elliot, Mark and Phil in that mesmerizing slow blues groove; Mississippi Mac showcasing masterful vocal and guitar skills and Lucy adding a hymnal vibe on the background vocals; this is real deal, old school blues at its finest. Where is that dumb woman from the last song, I wanna slap her upside the head?
From the stories I’ve heard and the things I’ve witnessed over many years of being a fan of live music, I’ve got to think that just about every musician – regardless of the genre – has on more than one occasion said, “That’s It I Quit“. Hearing Mac’s tales ranging from personal preparations, to loading up the vehicle, to setting up and breaking down – sometimes with never having played because the gig was double booked, and other job description mishaps, it’s no wonder. Admittedly, Mississippi Mac has said “That’s it, I quit! I ain’t taking any more of this…. inconvenience.” Another excellently written, sung and performed track by this very impressive quartet.
Along with the disc’s always awesome rhythm, and Mac’s always soulful vocals, this track features some of its best guitar work. The song is titled “If You Want A Good Cup Of Coffee”, and it has absolutely nothing to do with that delicious cup of Joe that can be had at your local Starbucks. Since I just told you that I just heard some of the disc’s best guitar work, keep that thought process going. This one’s called “Keep Your Hands Out Of My Pocket” and it’s straight up, in your face, scorching slow blues at it very best. Yeah…..Mississippi MacDonald just outdid himself.
Knowing that Mississippi MacDonald’s previous releases were with some other bands and ensembles leaves me with two thoughts: First, although I haven’t heard those other releases, from what I just heard on this one, this band needs to stay intact and, doing the work of: a guitarist; a pianist; an organist; a trumpeter; and a saxophonist; Phil deserves a raise (lol); Second, Since I haven’t heard those other releases, I am now on a mission to do so.
To find out more about Mississippi MacDonald, just go to – www.mississippimacdonald.com . Remember, wherever you go and whoever you contact, please let them know The Blewzzman sent you.
“The Blues Is My Passion And Therapy”
Peter “Blewzzman” Lauro
Blues Editor @ www.Mary4Music.com
2011 “Keeping The Blues Alive” Award Recipient