There are (thankfully) a lot of good Americana acts out there but I think the husband/wife team Blue Mother Tupelo has a little more going for it. Rick and Micol Davis do a great job reminding us of how Southern blues, folk and country morphed into Southern rock, a connection that sometimes gets lost these days.
The Only Sunshine CD, which drops on May 20, is a blissful, bountiful blend of this styles, handily spanning from Charley Patton to Lynyrd Skynyrd, sometimes within a single song.
“Meet Me Down River,” the second track from the new album, doesn’t just sing about meeting “at the banks of the French Broad River,” it even sounds like the rivers starting with the crickets chirps that accompany Ricky’s lead vocal and acoustic guitar and Micol’s sassy harmony vocal at the start. The backwoods boogie stomp thrusts into overdrive when an electric guitar and drums crash in on the second verse. To top it off, Ricky unleashes his dirty slide on the instrumental break.
The above video is a live rendition from last year, but the studio version doesn’t veer off course much at all; this and all the other songs from Only Sunshine were taped in the Davis’ home studio close to how they play ’em on stage.
Direct, pure and oh so soulful, Only Sunshine is more of Blue Mother Tupelo’s handmade treats. “Meet Me Down River” makes me want to grab a fishing pole and head on over there.
Visit Blue Mother Tupelo’s website for more information.