Led by the weeping wail of bandleader Pierre Lacocque’s dexterous harp playing and the powerful soul-blues vocals of Inetta Visor, Mississippi Heat have been one of the most successful Chicago Blues bands to come out of the Windy City for years. Recorded in Delmark’s Riverside Studios, the band’s eighth album, and second for the world-renowned local label, Hattiesburg Blues, is a triumphant fusion of urban blues, southern soul and Latin and African rhythms. From the sassy, hoochie-coochie opener “Tiger man”, where Visor’s bra ends up in the sink, through the tempestuous Latin blues of “How Much Worse Can It Be” and on to a clutch of soulful numbers, yielding up one of the record’s highlights, “Forgot You Had a Home”, where yet another man turns his ungrateful back on some good lovin’, Visor shines brightly throughout. And with special guests Carl Weathersby and Lurrie Bell providing lead vocals on soul confessional “Hell and Back” and the steaming R&B number “Gone So Long”, respectively, and guitar chops to a handful of songs, while the ebullient Chicago Horns lend a blast of sweet cool air to the arrangements, this is the most exciting blues album of the year so far.
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