Record Review: North Mississippi Hill Country Picnic Volume II

by | Jun 1, 2011 | Country, Reviews

Various Artists
North Mississippi Hill Country Picnic Volume II
Potts Camp, MS

“One of the most off-the-radar festivals in America”

Held on a craggy piece of farmland in Potts Camp, MS that no interstate could find, the North Mississippi Hill Country Picnic is an annual summer weekend party.  It’s a standard bearer of the late Otha Turner’s legendary goat pickins.  If you had the first round of Fat Possum’s artists (R.L. Burnside, T-Model Ford, Kenny Brown, Junior Kimbrough) on one hand and the guys left hanging out at Zebra Ranch after Jim Dickenson died (North MS All-Stars, Jimbo Mathus, Alvin Youngblood Hart) on the other and you started clapping, this is what you’d get between your fingers.  And what you have is days of blues that creates that nasty layer of sticky sweat on your forehead just listening to it.

Old Fat Possum stable-mates Kenny Brown, T-Model Ford and Robert Belfour are here, providing continuity to the old glory days (1990s).  They are they’re usual bad selves, but things hit fifth-gear with the Zebra Ranch gang.  Hart electrocutes his previously acoustic “Big Mama’s Door” in a way that is as muscular and imposing as Big Mama herself.   Then Kenny Brown comes on and sweeps the stage with his slide guitar.  I might start sweating.  (Devil Down Records)

Produced by Sara Brown and Reed Turchi // Recorded, mixed and mastered by Reed Turchi