Things About Comin' My Way: A Tribute to the Music of the Mississippi Sheiks

Things About Comin' My Way: A Tribute to the Music of the Mississippi Sheiks


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The Mississippi Sheiks were a short-lived but popular acoustic string band that recorded approximately 70 songs during the first half of the 1930s before receding into history. Built around guitarist/singer Walter Vinson and fiddler Lonnie Chatmon, with other musicians (notably Lonnie's guitarist brothers Bo Carter and Sam Chatmon), the Sheiks left their influence on numerous folk, country, blues, and even rock performers in later decades -- their best-known song, "Sitting on Top of the World," was recorded by a long list of artists including Howlin' Wolf, Ray Charles, Chet Atkins, Cream, Bob Dylan, and the Grateful Dead. For this tribute album, producer Steve Dawson gathered a cast of sympathetic artists to interpret songs associated with the group, giving them much leeway but keeping the proceedings from veering too far from the original spirit of the music. Dawson himself plays a variety of guitars on several tracks, and takes top billing on a perky version of "Lonely One in This Town," but largely stays behind the scenes so that the artists' personalities might meld with the new arrangements of this seven-plus-decades-old music. The performances range from the solo guitar of bluesman John Hammond and slide master Bob Brozman to the gospel of the Sojourners and the sultry, jazzy vocalizing of Madeleine Peyroux. The opening number, "It's Backfirin' Now," is given a rootsy jug band treatment by the North Mississippi Allstars and Bruce Cockburn, with trombone and Hammond organ among his accompaniment, brings a sweet and lazy New Orleans feel to "Honey Babe Let the Deal Go Down." It's appropriate that the Carolina Chocolate Drops -- perhaps the closest of contemporary bands in style to the Sheiks -- get to make "Sitting on Top of the World" their own: these African-American traditionalists have a deep understanding of, and innate camaraderie with, the Sheiks' music. Not surprisingly, Geoff Muldaur -- whose own lengthy catalog is filled with tunes that draw from the Sheiks' brand of old-timey string music -- and his own Texas Sheiks nail "The World Is Going Wrong." Even jazz guitarist Bill Frisell, whose eclecticism has always been his hallmark, finds common ground with the long-gone Sheiks, dueting with trombonist Steve Moore on "That's It," a good-time melody that manages to capture the essence of the Sheiks' sound while placing it squarely in today's more complex world.

Product Details

Release Date: 10/20/2009
Label: Black Hen
UPC: 0775020955325
catalogNumber: 55
Rank: 91414

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Robin Holcomb   Piano,Vocals
Geoff Muldaur   Banjo,Vocals
Bruce Cockburn   Guitar,Vocals
Bob Brozman   Vocals,Slide Guitar,Kona Guitar
Justin Robinson   Banjo,Vocals
Johnny Nicholas   Mandolin,Drums
Del Rey   Guitar,Vocals
Danny Barnes   Banjo,Vocals
Stephen Bruton   Guitar
Cindy Cashdollar   national steel guitar
Matt Chamberlain   Drums
James Luther Dickinson   Banjo
Bill Frisell   Guitar,Guitar (Tremolo)
Craig Flory   Clarinet
John Hammond   Vocals,national steel guitar
Stephen Hodges   Drums
Wayne Horvitz   Hammond Organ,Choir, Chorus,Pump Organ,DX-7,Wurlitzer
Bruce Hughes   Upright Bass
Carl Sealove   Overdubs
Hans Teuber   Clarinet,Bass Clarinet
Madeleine Peyroux   Acoustic Guitar,Vocals
Jim Byrnes   Vocals
Keith Lowe   Bass,Choir, Chorus
Suzy Thompson   Fiddle
Camille Giroux   Background Vocals
Jimbo Mathus   Guitar
Will Sanders   Vocals
Carrie Bell Robinson   Choir, Chorus
Jesse Zubot   Fiddle,Violin,Viola
Peggy Lee   Cello
Jimbo "Hambone" Mathus   Guitar
Ron Small   Vocals
Chris Chew   Bass
Luther Dickinson   Guitar,Vocals
Cody Dickinson   Vocals,Washboard
Suzie Ungerleider   Vocals
William Carn   Trombone
John F. Hammond   Vocals,national steel guitar
Marcus Mosely   Vocals
Steve Moore   Trombone
Steve Dawson   Glockenspiel,Electric Guitar,Vocals,Choir, Chorus,Mellotron,Slide Guitar,Pump Organ,national steel guitar,Marxophone,Guitar (Tremolo),Weissenborn
Ndidi Onukwulu   Vocals
Paul Taylor Choristers   Fiddle
Paul "Snoflake" Taylor   Fiddle,Washtub Bass
Suzie Giroux   Background Vocals
Kelly Joe Phillips   Vocals,national steel guitar
Cam Giroux   Background Vocals
Jeanne Tolmie   Vocals
Rhiannon Giddens   Fiddle
Dom Flemons   Guitar
Will Sanders   Vocals

Technical Credits

Geoff Muldaur   Producer
Van Dyke Parks   Arranger,String Arrangements
Walter Vinson   Composer
Bruce Hughes   Producer
Muddy Waters   Author
Stuart Sullivan   Engineer
John Rummen   Graphic Design
Mell Dettmer   Engineer
David Travers-Smith   Engineer
Sheldon Zaharko   Engineer
Traditional   Composer
Cameron Nicklaus   Engineer
Brian Thorn   Engineer
Brian Losch   Engineer
Daniel Porter   Engineer
Steve Dawson   Producer,Engineer,Liner Notes,Project Concept
Matt Brown   Engineer
Cathy Ferrante   Engineer
Ron Forbes-Roberts   Liner Notes
Doug Heselgrave   Liner Notes
Bryan Smith   Engineer

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