miX&dorp (Various Artists) – Black and Tan Edits (2012)

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Boo Boo Davis is among a half dozen Black and Tan artists who get the miX&dorp treatment...again.

DJ-manufactured dance/electronica/trance stuff isn’t usually my cup of tea, but maybe it’s the lack of good melodies to go along with the grooves. That’s the special advantage of Black And Tan Records’ “miX&dorp” party remixes of blues tracks out of their catalog of blues artists called Black and Tan Edits: the Chicago and Delta-inspired blues these guys play have hypnotic grooves, gut-wrenching blues ballads and soulful struts.

The “soulful” part is especially true of tracks like “Breakin’ Away” and “Here With You” (Billy Jones), which could easily be considered more soul than blues. The Howlin’ Wolf derived rasp of Boo Boo Davis returns with “Can Man” set to a devastating industrial grind. His “Mike In Jail” even borrows the riff from Wolf’s “Forty-Four,” and after being run through the miX&dorp factory, it’s got a bigger stomp to it. Big George Jackson, on the other hand, draws inspiration from John Lee Hooker for the simple blues boogie “Go For A Ride.” That tunes begins and ends with little else but a harmonica and guitar but swells in the middle as the boogie gets amplified and distorted, serving to highlight that simple beat. Doug McLeod’s swampy “The Devil Is Beating Is Wife” is given a haunting sonic wash that along with his aching vocals give it that Tony Joe White feel.

If this script sounds familiar to you, then you must have come across the first miX&dorp album from last year, Blues + Beat. That was an idea compelling and executed well enough to make it a left-field choice in my list of top non-jazz albums for 2011. Volume 2 here doesn’t have the home run tracks like “Ain’t Good Lookin’” but there’s six more cuts than on the first volume (nearly half originated from Davis recordings) and is pretty consistent in its mission to put the spirit of the real blues on the dance floor.

It’s a noble mission, and a mission accomplished. Again.

Here are ten free streams of miX&dorp remixes of blues tunes, some from the Black and Tan Edits album and others from blues icons like Big Mama Thornton, Bo Diddley, Muddy Waters and Big Bill Broonzy:

Black and Tan Edits goes on sale in digital-only form on February 28.

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S. Victor Aaron

S. Victor Aaron

S. Victor Aaron is an SQL demon for a Fortune 100 company by day, music opinion-maker at night. His musings are strewn out across the interwebs on jazz.com, AllAboutJazz.com, a football discussion board and some inchoate customer reviews of records from the late 1990s on Amazon under a pseudonym that will never be revealed. E-mail him at svaaron@somethingelsereviews .com or follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SVictorAaron
S. Victor Aaron
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