By Anita Stewart, Managing Editor
Album Review: “Do Right, Say Right”
Release Date: November 19, 2021
We have covered Mississippi MacDonald before (click HERE for the previous story) and love his brand of the Blues that sounds so distinctly American, it is hard to believe that he is from the UK. “It’s modern, it’s not musical archaeology,” is how he describes his music. The London-based soul-blues stylist Mississippi MacDonald continues: “It celebrates a fantastic tradition. It’s soul-blues, and you’ve got to put your best into it…I just do it because I love it.”
“Do Right, Say Right” is MacDonald’s latest release. He sings, and plays acoustic and electric guitar. Currently, his band lineup is Phil Dearing on rhythm guitar and keys (he also produces MacDonald’s studio recordings), Elliot Boughen on bass, Mark Johnson-Brown on the drums and Lucy Dearing on backing vocals. This album was recorded and produced by Phil Dearing at L Sound, London.
At a young age Mississippi was influenced by many artists. But one date in particular was pivotal in setting his future course in music. On Wednesday November 27, 1991 he saw Chuck Berry perform at Plymouth Pavilions. “I was 11 or 12 and couldn’t understand how he was making it sound like the record,” he recalls. “I was lucky, it was one of the shows where he was great. He had the cherry-red Gibson 335. It was transformative experience.” Soon after and without telling his parents, he withdrew all his savings and bought an electric guitar.
Mississippi MacDonald has done his due diligence, researched the music that has inspired him extensively and knows this tradition and hybrid of the Blues, Southern Blues, Soul, Rhythm and Blues mix. He has visited the landmarks of the south, been to Al Green’s church, visited Willie Mitchell’s Royal Studios in Memphis, he’s met B.B. King and Pinetop Perkins, Otis Clay and Sam Moore among many other notables. He’s been nominated three times in the British Blues Awards and has received even more accolades from his peers and from other music organizations. His vast experience can be heard by listening to his past recordings. Since 2014, he has released six albums; the last one titled “This Is How It Is” in 2020.
I loved every cut on this album, all are exceptional. I had a few favorites: “Drinker’s Blues” with the great slow tempo piano riffs and background vocals. “Let Me Explore Your Mind” had great lyrics and storytelling, “That’s It, I Quit,” “If You Want a Good Cup of Coffee” (with great lyrical allegories) and “I Was Wrong” were standouts.
Rock at Night says: “This album is such a beautiful mix of Blues, Blues Rock, Rhythm and Blues and Soul, a joy to listen to. With mostly medium tempo songs, great hooks and musicianship and a tip of the hat to the old blues players of the past and their classic recordings, this is one album to put in the player and sing along to. Bravo!“