Album review: MISSISSIPPI MacDONALD – Do Right, Say Right

Another Planet Music [Release date 19.11.21]

Mississippi MacDonald (despite his name!) is a 3-times British Blues Awards nominee, from London, England. He has been playing since he was 11 years old and has travelled on the US Blues trail, meeting the likes of Pinetop Perkins, Willie ‘Big Eyes’ Smith, Otis Clay and B.B. King.

All bar one song are penned by Mississippi MacDonald, who sings and plays the guitar, and he is joined by Phil Dearing (The Gillies, The Noun) on keyboards & guitar, Elliot Boughen (Soul Fixers) on bass, Mark Johnson-Brown on drums, and Lucy Dearing (Cottonmouth Kings) on backing vocals.

As MacDonald wisely says “Blues is often misunderstood. It’s not sad music – there’s great humour, great joy and there’s celebration. When the chips are down and it looks like you can’t go on, there’s always something – there’s always a little light shining through. There’s no heartbreak or bad luck that a horn section, a Hammond Organ and a few Albert King licks can’t cure. And that’s what this record is all about.” Indeed, ‘I Heard It Twice’ is a prime example of that sentiment, with its gusty Hammond, stylish guitar licks and the soulful vocals. Not content with being a top notch blues guitarist he also possess a soothing blues vocal.

The humour side of his music comes through on the chorus of ‘That’s It I Quit’. A clever piece of wordplay which you’ll just have to listen to! Heck, he even gives advice on making a good cup of coffee on the aptly titled ‘If You Want A Good Cup Of Coffee’. Oh, and heed his advice and don’t forget the chocolate digestives!

For the wee small hours ‘Drinker’s Blues’ hits the spot with a soothing piano, a mournful vocal with a little gospel backing and more of that wonderful guitar. The following song ‘Let Me Explore Your Mind’ continues thislaid back sound. I am not sure who plays the horns on this album, but along with the keyboards playing of Phil Dearing, they really add that little bit extra to the album’s overall sound.

The blues is in good hands with Mississippi MacDonald. He has made an album destined for many a blues fans collection. Great fun to listen to and here’ hoping he gets out on the road to play these songs soon, as the blues is music made for the live arena. ****

Review by Jason Ritchie

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