Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The M.S.G Acoustic Blues Trio's Done Spoke My Mind

I’ve been singing the praises of southeast Virginia’s own M.S.G Acoustic Blues Trio, Jackie Merritt (harmonica), Miles Spicer (acoustic guitar), and Resa Gibbs (vocals and percussion), since seeing them perform live in Norfolk and picking up their initial release, Meet Me In the Middle. Despite the musicians’ disagreement, much of the release, and their live performances, are danceable in the relaxed country Piedmont blues, Saturday night fish fry kind of way. The Homecoming Song frequently pops up in my blues sets and Midnight Special and Frankie Johnny are perfect songs for playful harborside swingouts.

The trio’s second album, Done Spoke My Mind, came out recently and I was one of the first people to grab a copy. I was particularly interested in the stripped down field holler spiritual “Ain’t No Grave”, which Resa Gibbs had done live with only her boot stomp on an empty stage and chain dropped in a box for accompaniment. I actually remixed the version here slightly to push up the bass thump and treble bite of the chain.

Having 3 solid singers gives the group a wide range of sounds, and any band that heavily features washboard is always a plus in my book. However, the group’s new release has the performers evolving into a more urban acoustic sound that offers up interesting lyrics with a fair dose of playful commentary on church and social issues, but unfortunately, at the same time, the music itself loses much of the previous energy that made you want to play and dance. Still, it’s a great listen.

However, as a dancer, the traditional Piedmont blues on their Meet Me in the Middle, is my recommendation. Either release is available on cdbaby.com or through their website, www.acousticbluesmsg.com.

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