Review: miX&dorp – blues + beat

Posted on: Monday, Mar 28, 2011

B&T 036 front cover

miX&dorp
“blues + beat”
(Black & Tan CD B&T036)

From Dutch guitarist, producer and label owner, Jan Mittendorp, comes this quite stunningly recorded collection, “blues + beat”, subtitled “a collection of remixes, reinventions and rejuvenations”, twelve tracks given the afore-mentioned make-overs from artists who have recorded for his Black & Tan Records label.

We have been treated to teasers on Facebook for several months now but the finished “blues + beat” has been well worth the wait . . . it fairly roars out the speakers from the opening “Who Stole The Booty”, which was originally released by Boo Boo Davis, to the closing “Fee Fi Fo Fam”, recorded by Big George Jackson . . . a mass of lowdown guitar and harmonica grooves, with dance beats and loops, all sounding just marvellous!

Highlights are many, including “Keep On Lovin Me Baby”, another song that was originally recorded by Boo Boo Davis, and riding on a John Lee Hooker-style boogie guitar riff and some clever reworking of the vocal; Billy Jones “Ain’t Good Lookin'” is another gem, with a funky guitar groove reminiscent of David Bowie’s “Fame” and a fierce Howlin’ Wolf-inspired vocal, with some swirling electronic treatments going on.

“40 Acres And A Mule” has a nice Delta feel to it – the Harrison Kennedy original release being given an almost gospel-chant background; some of the fiercest guitar here is on the grinding “Dirty Dog”, another Boo Boo Davis treatment, and sounding just fantastic on the headphones! “Bad Luck” takes the pace down a little, a brooding mid-tempo number with beats galore and menacing slide guitar . . . Rosco Chenier never sounded like this before!

Elsewhere “Revolution Bluez” has a skanky reggae beat, courtesy of some dynamic guitar and drum work – the second Billy Jones re-work here. “St. Paul Woman” is a harmonica-led blues with a groove that gets inside your head, and leads to more impressive guitar work; the closing “Fee Fi Fo Fam” again is firmly in John Lee Hooker territory, with that driving boogie rhythm and more incessant, stabbing harmonica . . . superb!

As a way of livening up your label’s back catalogue this takes some beating, and Jan Mittendorp must be applauded for these bold re-workings, which to these ears sound simply great . . . needless to say, highly recommended to all!

GRAHAME RHODES

www.mixendorp.com

www.black-and-tan.com

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