Mississipi Mile

October 29, 2013 - 12:27am -- Sys0p

The veteran hitmaker enlists an A-team of celebrated musicians to pay homage to the music that inspired him, adding a couple new songs and a reworked original from his top forty residency of the late 70s/early 80s. With songwriter/guitarist Mike Henderson (who co-produced), legendary stringmen Sam Bush and Jerry Douglas, singer Bekka Bramlett and acclaimed upright bassist Dennis Crouch among the participating Nashville royalty, you might guess that this project sounds nothing like Hall and Oates, with the exception of a very soulful rendition of Curtis Mayfield's "It's All Right." Even their hit "You Make My Dreams Come True" is reinvented as a country honky-tonk shuffle. Other familiar songs are given complete makeovers, including a swampy, mid-tempo take on Elvis' "All Shook Up," a marching drum version of the Delta blues chestnut "Make Me Down a Pallet," with dobro and mandolin, and a sweet-picking front porch spin on Fraser & DeBolt's "Dance Hall Girls" to close out this highly eclectic and engaging set. A must for Americana and roots music fans.

John Oates