Guest Reviewer: Brad Wheeler, music writer for the Globe and Mail

New Moon Jelly Roll Freedom Rockers Volume 1 Stony Plain

The best news I heard all month was that singer-harpist Charlie Musselwhite, singer-songwriter Alvin Youngblood Hart, Squirrel Nut Zipper founder Jimbo Mathus, and drummer Cody Dickinson and guitarist Luther Dickinson of the North Mississippi Allstars and their late father Jim Dickinson had made a record together in 2007. The second best news was that the album is finally seeing the light of day, on the Alberta roots label Stony Plain. The third best news that it’s called Volume 1. More to come, then.
Part one is professional fun, ragged as you’d want it be but not a bit more.  Musselwhite revives Strange Land from his debut album Stand Back! from 1967, but he’s in familiar territory. He blows harp on the Hendrix anti-authoritarian classic Stone Free like he’s a man a third his age.
Stand-out tracks include a cover of Canned Heat’s Let’s Work Together that tumbles and rolls, with Jim Dickinson on vocals. That’s him on the boozy take of Come on Down to My House too. “Let somebody else play,” he says at one point. A fiddle solo emerges, and then a twinkling mandolin. Everybody gets a nip at the jug here.

Oct 2020 - William Shatner
Oct 2020 - Bill Bourne