MP3 The Mystix - Blue Morning
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10 MP3 Songs
COUNTRY: Americana, BLUES: Soul-Blues
When pros whoâve in their own ways done it all
put a band together,
When their different colors pool on small hot stages night on night
until four become one,
Then regulars turn from bars to listen open-eyed,
While strangers fill tables and put hands together,
And all go home much later feeling buzzed from
discovering what they always knew
Whether or not youâve heard The Mystix, this CD youâre holding is a storehouse of soulful surprise and staying power. The Mystixâ Blue Morning: The goods are inside. Enter and enjoy.
There is a language spoken by certain African-Americans in the south called "Gullah", it is a Creole-English based tongue and it's word for wicked is "juke". Juke Joints are roadside establishments where food, liquor and dancing are offered to a rough and tumble soundtrack playing throughout the night.
Now one has to search high and low to try and find an authentic juke joint in New England, right? So where the Hell did The Mystix come from? Maybe Hurricane Katrina relocated Robert Johnsonâs legendary crossroads in downtown Boston or perhaps this is another side effect of global warming (and, like less snow shoveling, a good one at that!) but Jo Lily and Company have just made things seem a little more Southern âround these parts.
Thereâs Spanish moss hanging on the maple trees thanks to The Mystix and their wonderful new recording BLUE MORNING (Mystix Eyes Records) and songs theyâre laying on us are all hot, humid and swampy.
This isn't some Bar/Jam Band affair either. These guys are seasoned musicians at the top of their game. They bring the best kind of experience to their craft and that being the knowledge that the material has to be there in order to create something wonderful. Their equation is plain and simple: GREAT SONGS = GREAT PERFORMANCES.
It is song oriented roots-rock with the musicians paying service to the tunes instead of the other way around. You won't find one endless guitar solo after another but the ones that are there are delivered with power and panache by Jo Lily and New England phenomenon Bobby Keyes who also co-produced the CD.
âYolandaâ kicks it all off with a stunning plea from Lily to the quintessential black magic woman who heâs painfully enslaved to, she has âthe lighting and the thunder that I just canât do withoutâ. Itâs a great boogie groove that Mystixâs incredible rhythm section of bassist Marty Ballou and drummer Marty Richards supply, while the guitars of Keyes and Lilyâs duel over top of it all. This is rump shakinâ stuff and very âjukeâ indeed.
âAnother Kind of Loveâ is quick to indicate why The Mystix (and the folks living on the North Shore of Massachusetts) are lucky to have Bobby Keyes playing with them, he is simply an amazing guitarist that stays true to the melody of the song in which he is playing. He can switch from âSurf-style-spaghetti-westernâ to Django Reinhardt style jazz to kiss-ass rock riffs in the blink of an eye and never break a sweat. These kinds of players donât come around that often (the late, great Danny Gatton comes to mind) and it is a privilege to watch him play. He is an in-demand session player and songwriter, who has worked with some of the best musicians this land has to offer, both past and current.
âA Change in Janeâ is a standout ballad that wouldnât be out of place on the last couple Bob Dylan albums, yes, itâs that good. Jo Lilyâs hard-bitten voice bears a striking resemblance to latter day Dylanâs and the quality of the writing by he and Keyes is on par with the Bard of Hibbing, Minnesota. This haunting song, thatâs just shy of three minutes, leaves you wanting more and reaching for the repeat button. Invoking strong visual imagery there is a film out there just waiting for this song.
The Deep South shows it roots once more with âNew Orleansâ. The reeling and rocking rhythms evoke a Bourbon Street party in full force. The Mystix drive back the flood waters on this one and remind us of the Musical Heritage we came horrifyingly close to losing. You canât help but having some serious restless leg syndrome as the boys go in search of âthe Fat Manâ and call the displaced residents to âbeat feetâ back home.
The title track, âBlue Morningâ, is a gentle, acoustic guitar driven song of longing and leaving. What do you do after you âfind your heart is crashed and burned in pieces on the groundâ and youâre left with nothing but questions? What can you do, stay and take it, or wait until the dawn and head for the door? The answer is never an easy one, and Lily knows it, but this is the kind of song the gives you the courage to face a new day. âBlue Morningâ is a classic sonnet of male heartbreak, the kind of song that Neil Diamond or Jimmy Webb used to write so well.
Shifting gears again, the album surprises you with, âWhich Side of Heartacheâ, and its strong classic Country Music leanings. Over top of some âFloyd Cramer-esqueâ piano and beautiful slide guitar the band reminds us of the by-gone era in Nashville when quality songwriting actually meant something. Itâs that kind of waltz-time ballad your father used to nurse his beer to at his local VFW. If only Country Radio would still play songs like theseâ¦
All these genre detours that The Mystix take are held together by a carefully crafted identity that Jo Lily and Bobby Keyes have provided with an immaculate production. The bandâs sound is always there coloring every tune with a coherence that comes from the familiarity of playing together for many years. This is a bunch of musicians that obviously love the music their performing and each one of them gets a chance to shine on Blue Morning.
The CDâs two non-originals also reflect the stylistic diversity of the groupâs approach. âIâm a Love Youâ by Jimmy Reed is the albumâs most straight ahead âold schoolâ blues number with Jo Lily vocal conjuring up the ghost of Howlinâ Wolf over top of some hot licks from Bobby Keyes. The other cover is âRattledâ by The Traveling Wilburys. Now the Wilburys were a chance for some old friends (Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Tom Petty, Jeff Lynne and Roy Orbison) to spend some studio time together and record a couple albums worth of lose-knit tunes. A similar situation was employed by The Mystix but there is nothing lose-knit about this effort and their version of âRattledâ is (blasphemy!) hands down superior.
âWithout Youâ has to be the albumâs most playful song, with its good-time, sing-a-long tag. Lilyâs lyrics are particularly tongue-in-cheek with lines like, âIâm confessinâ, Iâm stressinâ, I just canât seem to learn my lessonâ. Creating smiles aplenty, this could make the summer last all the way to winter.
The end-cut, âHi-Lineâ is a perfect closer. Itâs a three-in-the-morning last call at our Juke Joint for,â the whiskey, the women and the wineâ, as the band bids adieu and heads out the door for the mystical road that will take them to God-knows-where. If you like the stuff of Leon Redbone or early Tom Waits this oneâs for you.
So âset âem up Joâ and letâs hope The Mystix will be back our way again sometime soon. Blue Morning is Juke (Wicked) good.
Critical Praise For The Mystix First CD, Satisfy You
ââ¦serving up a home roux of tunes that draw on recipes of the Fatman, the good doctor, the first family of funkâ¦a steaming gumbo of funky New Orleans R&B.â
- Chicago Sun Times
ââ¦a stunningly moving, brilliantly executed CD by six of the best journeymen musicians in the industryâ¦â
- Southbound Beat Magazine
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