While he's best known for lacing Widespread Panic
's choogling jams with flights of keyboard fancy, John Hermann is just as happy digging around in the Delta dirt. This homey collection of back-porch country-blues musings sounds less like a recording session than a surreptitiously recorded house party. Featuring pals such as Blue Mountain
's Cary Hudson (whose keening fiddle makes its mark on the infectious title cut) and Luther and Cody Dickinson (the prime movers in the acclaimed North Mississippi All-Stars
) the easygoing rustic vibe is warm and inviting (particularly on a juke-joint cover of the Ray Charles classic "Lonely Avenue," which features vocals from Panic singer John Bell). Hermann's guitar playing (his instrument of choice here) is marvelously messy on "Run You Down," a mood that spreads to everyone else in the room, making tunes like "Abilene" and "Swamp Tag" as much fun to hear as they no doubt were to create.