'Made in Mississippi' - Blues in Britain magazine issue 55
Somewhat ironically, the album opens with a classic rocking Chicago style blues, "It's Me", which grabs the listener's attention. The first of two very famous friends (Pinetop Perkins) then takes his seat for the epic "Cryin' Down In Clarksdale", delivered Muddy Waters style, later returning to lead the band through his
own "One More Time". Elsewhere Sam Carr anchors things in his inimitable style on the Wolf-like "You Can't Have The Hoo Without The Do", the excellent Hill Country stylings of "I Wish Somebody", and "eBay Blues" which gives a 21st Century twist to the "My baby done left me" tale.
The album is mostly recorded using a classic core line-up (guitar, harp, bass, drums), but Cole and Edwards are equally at ease in an acoustic setting. This is neatly demonstrated on "Pickin' With Phil" (Phil Wooten, 2nd guitar), "Clarksdale Strut", and "Train Roll" (with Stan Street on harp). It is the full band though , with Terry "Big T" Williams, that heads homewards on "I'm Moving On", calling to mind "The Thrill Is Gone", before closing out in the best Jimmy Reed style with "Standing On The Edge".
"Made In Mississippi" is a belter of an album. Mark Cole and Rick Edwards, do not just "play" the Blues, they "feel" it too. This gives them the edge over many of their contemporaries, because they add their own original twist to what some perceive as the tired idiom of the Blues. If they can maintain this standard, they could easily find themselves being lauded as Britain's Jelly Roll Kings.
Rating: 9/10 Gordon Baxter