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Thursday, December 4, 2003

Review - Delta Experimental Project, Vol. 3

Artist: Various Artists

Posted on Thu, Dec 4, 2003 at 4:00 AM

Memphis producer Jim Dickinson continues his role as the Alan Lomax of Memphis with the third installment in his series documenting blues players in their natural environment. This slow-moving series -- the first volume appeared more than 15 years ago -- is long on blues quality and way short on studio polish. Each of the dozen tracks on this volume has a story to go with it -- like the fact that piano player Mose Vinson was the janitor at Sun Studios or the fact that Dickinson's musical mentor, Timothy "Alec" Teal, would never sing indoors -- and that's just in the liner notes. Sonically, Dickinson captures the combination of Mississippi River, mill work, segregation and grease that has made Memphis such an productive musical city for the past 50 years, while paying loud homage to the weird individualism that's kept it from becoming like Nashville. The music is leather-tough, hard-working and deeply spiritual -- just like Memphis.

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