Mississippi MacDonald at Arlington Arts, on Friday, March 3. Review by BRIAN HARRINGTON
Currently riding high at #1 on the IBBA (Independent Blues Broadcasters Association) charts with his new album Heavy State Loving Blues the three-times British Blues Awards nominee, (“not bad for a boy from Bromley”), along with his band, Elliot Boughen on bass, Phil Dearing on guitar and keyboard and Jim Kimberley (ex-Squeeze and Mark Knopfler) put on a dazzling display of blues musicianship. Mississippi’s guitar style is precise and accurate, featuring incredible fret-work, but that does not detract from the obvious passion and emotion he puts in to his tracks.
His vocals too are soulful and potent.
Opening with Elbow Grease from his 2019 album This is How It Is, the show tonight featured songs from all his albums along with a few brand new tracks being performed live for only the second time.
The band embarked on their latest tour last week in Southsea and Newbury was the second date.
He moved on to the song I Was Wrong before Blind Leading The Blind, a track from the new album, which he recorded with Vaneese Thomas, the daughter of the legendary Rufus Thomas (and sister of Carla Thomas, who recorded with Otis Redding).
Highlights for me of the first set must include the title track of the new album and the brand new My Bad Attitude .
The second half tonight opened with Heading South and explored Mississippi’s love of performers such as Lightning Hopkins, Elmore James and Freddie King.
Blacksnake Brown was brilliant, as was Howlin’ Wolf from the new album.
The encore track More Than One Fork In The Road rounded off a great evening of blues to perfection.
British blues is recognised as a match for its American forerunners and artists like Mississippi MacDonald are the reason why.
Exceptional quality entertainment.