MP3 Michael Shipp Xcursion - Adventures of Roosterboy
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13 MP3 Songs
ROCK: Progressive Rock, ROCK: Jam-band
"Adventures of Roosterboy" by the Michael Shipp Xcursion has now sold in 14 countries worldwide. Well crafted tunes, working class lyrics, Shipp's growling voice filled with a life long trail of living recklessly, hurt, pain, and smoky roadhouses is sure to tug and identify with the heart of every listener. Guitar slingers rest easy, though. This CD is simply a hidden little treasure chest of tone! Michael collaborated with the ultimate tone guru, Billy F. Gibbons, his pal from that lil ole band from Texas, ZZ Top. The two had worked together previously in Shipp's escapades with Arkansas buddy, Billy Bob Thornton. Armed with a Goldtop, an arsenal of Gibson Goldtone amps, and the Rev. Billy G's tone blessing, Shipp cranked out some devastating licks, tasteful Keith Richards like rhythms, masterful feedback, harmonics and overtones for every single song on this CD. The tunes and the tones all seem to share some common threads that tie these tracks together marvelously. That is also the signature trademark of almost all great guitar grinders, and Shipp can hold his own. Another way of putting it, if it bothers you that every song has in your face signature licks with huge tone that form a character weaving in and out of the lyrics, this might not be your CD; and you probably don't dig the Rolling Stones, ZZ Top, the Allman Brothers, Eric Clapton......you get the picture! You'll be captured instantly on the opening track, "Voodoo In Tallulah", a song about shining and slinging some black magic. Shipp pays a very explosive tribute to Howlin' Wolf with some of his best guitar laid down in a frenzied pace filled with tremolo, sustain and that treasured tone. His raspy, sexy vocals lend plenty to all the tunes on this CD. "Feelin' Kinda Crazy" is a tune about a macho guy with a heart of stone starting to fall for an unapproachable chick. This tune is a sexy, drenching, dripping duet with Ms. Kimberley Dahme sharing the vocals. Ms. Dahme is currently the bass player for Tom Scholtz and Boston. She is all over Adventures of Roosterboy with her perfect well seasoned vocals.
Adventures of Roosterboy is a throwback to the early 70's concept type records. Co-producer Steve Tolson even suggests a heavy lean towards a headphone listen will unveil some very cool production and head tripping enjoyment. The CD follows the path of a poor guy, down on his luck as he proceeds with life in the Deep South. Caught up in love, losing women, and fighting off demons follows him wherever. Fooling around with a sheriff's wife lands him in Angola Prison for a crime he didn't do, as suggested in a slow ballad called "Blue Malibu". Shipp claims this song is about getting out of prison and going back to retrieve a lost love, not what you thought it would be. He says it "shows us that we all have our demons, but sometimes they are riding in the backseat with us!"
Continuing on a Southern trail of heartache, other great tunes include Drowning Soul, Messing With My Heart, and Staring at the Wall. The most haunting song on this eerie record is called 'Voices.' A song about self-righteous people, takes you down a path reflecting on Shipp's childhood memories such as JFK's assassination, and comparing it with traumas of his later in life challenges. A major guitar solo sees this song to bed and has been compared to the finest Mark Knopfler work.
Michael Shipp grew up in Arkansas, not far from Memphis. His guitar playing is phenomenal, but these songs on this CD are personal, yet we can all identify with them in some way. One track, "If You Had A Soul" is co-written by Shipp's longtime friend and partner, Billy Bob Thornton, the Oscar Winning actor as well as talented musician from Arkansas. Shipp met Billy Bob Thornton when the two were still teenagers. They shared the same passion for music then as now. In the 80's, while living in Houston, Texas, the two toured in a band called Tres Hombres. They nailed ZZ Top tunes in a tribute show, and also performed their own tunes. Tres Hombres recorded one album, (vinyl) on Trigger Records titled 'Gunslinger'. (Now out of print, although a few have surfaced on Ebay recently due to Thornton's movie fame and Shipp's popularity among his dedicated music fans.) The two Arkansas cats enjoyed touring 12 countries in 2002 promoting Thornton's Private Radio CD on Lost Highway Records. They also toured together on Thornton's 2003 release of 'Edge of the World' CD. Michael penned a nice tune with Billy Bob for this one titled 'Everybody Lies'. He also arranged several of the songs and played some cool guitar all over the CD. During that tour, Shipp left Thornton's band to focus on his own music, band and tour schedule. Thornton is quoted in the credits of Adventures of Roosterboy stating "Michael Shipp's eerie, swampy music is the southern music we miss so much these days". Another fantastic quote from a major artist says "you will have to listen to the whole CD once you have heard one of Michael Shipp's songs. He takes you on a guitar driven ride through Texas and ends up with the blues somewhere in Memphis", says Felicia Collins of the CBS Orchestra on the David Letterman Show.
Shipp's music certainly crosses over into the jam band genre, as well as blues rock, and progressive rock. One super cool moment on the CD includes a guest appearance by the Godfather of Jam Rock, Col. Bruce Hampton, ret. Hampton enjoyed major success with his Aquarium Rescue Unit in the 80's and is currently touring with his band, The Code Talkers. Col. Bruce guests on Adventures of Roosterboy on a track called CBH: Sermon from the Cell Phone. It's a sermon all right, straight onto the cheesiest answering machine and certainly follows up on the 'self-righteous' theme of the haunting 'Voices".
More on the life of Michael Shipp can be found on his official website, https://www.tradebit.com. A great article on another guitar giant friend, written by Shipp, discusses in detail a major jam session with Dickey Betts that took place on a steamy night in Cleveland, Ohio. Another article discusses a video directed by Thornton using Shipp's Arkansas studio featuring superstar jam band Widespread Panic. Shipp and Thornton are friends of this Athens band and have jammed with them a few times in the past. A great photo gallery including shots of Shipp with Thornton, Billy Gibbons, Johnny Cash (a major influence), Little Feat, Matt Damon, Felicia Collins, and many others is on the site.
Adventures of Roosterboy is a huge step in the career of this great artist. You will not be disappointed. If you love guitar rock, great songs, raspy vocals and dig artist such as The Allman Brothers, the Rolling Stones, (Keith Richards another huge influence), ZZ Top, Johnny Cash, and the concept records of the early 70's vibe, you will dig this CD. Take a trip, turn this CD up loud and you will rock like it's supposed to be done, starting with the very first tune. Every song, every story, this is certainly not one of those 'one song' CD's. So take a trip, crank it up, and give a listen......but watch out for those demons in your own backseat!
Note: Michael always appreciates hearing from you, your reviews, or stories of where his music may have taken you. Take a moment to email us, post a message on the guest list at the official website, or post a review right here on CD Baby. We want to hear from you.
The reviews roll in....here's what they're saying....
Blues Lightning This Good Never Strikes Twice!
by Cynthia Hawkins Rating: 10
The Michael Shipp Xcursion's "The Adventures of Roosterboy" knocked my silk stockings off! I haven't heard an album this good since the late Warren Zevon's "The Wind" came out last fall. The song "Voodoo in Tallulah" is worth the purchase price of this sensational album all by its lonesome, but the rest of the cuts are 100 pure backwoods gee-tar kaballah! "Messing With My Heart" has been messing with my head for weeks with its wicked, sexy riff. We're talking music on the prowl! I may never get my black stocking seams straight again! Axe-master Michael Shipp is a full-tilt-boogie sex god! Buy this CD!
by Bill Allison Rating: 10
Oh man. This is incredible. I've been infatuated with Mike's playing since I first heard a song called "Island Avenue" from a cd called "Hollywood Goes Wild". I'm not sure what it was, but something about his style just totally won me over in a way that no other axeman could ever hope to touch. Maybe it's just good old fashioned "soul". When I got wind that he had a solo album out, I was all over it, and believe me, I was NOT disappointed. Who knew that he was also a great singer as well? "The Adventures of Rooster Boy" is not only a great guitar-rock album (it's SO much more than just that) it's kind of a spiritual journey that will transport you to the backwoods of Arkansas (GOD I miss it) and will pick you up no matter how down you are. When I hear this, it (to put it simple) makes me glad to be alive. This is one of the few albums in my extensive collection that I can put on and never skip a song. I have to hear the whole thing straight through.
It's so refreshing to hear such an original voice out there. Michael Shipp is a one of a kind artist with a brighter-than-bright future ahead of him. His guitar work has effected me in a way that can never be matched and I'm HIGHLY looking forward to seeing him live.
Seriously folks, if you're tired of all the mainstream stuff that's passing of as rock music these days, this is a MUST own. I wouldn't just reccommend this to guitar-rock fans, I'd reccommend it to anyone who loves great music. I'm at a loss for words. I can't praise it enough.
PLEASE keep up the great work Mike.
Roadhouse Rock at its Best
by Carl Cotton Rating: 10
I went on the Michael Shipp Xcusion today. Just got the CD and am listening to it for the second time as I type. WOW! I love it. This album is filled with humor, heart, and the pain of lost loves. It's roadhouse rock the way it was born to be. When asked to define good rock 'n' roll, Lester Bangs said, "It's something that's makes you feel alive, it's something that's human...." He would have loved Xcursion.
Michael Shipp is a poet of the heart, who lays visceral feelings on the table. My favorite tracks, so far, are "Voices," and the untitled final song. About his voice, you guys remember when people used to say that Dire Straights sounds like Bob Dylan if Bob Dylan could sing? Well, Michael Shipp sounds like Tom Waits if Tom Waits could sing. No offense meant to anyone, I love, and listen to, all those guys.
The Lester Bangs quote is from his biography, "Let it Blurt," by Jim DeRogatis, and that's a good read by the way.
by Jahna Rating: 10
This artist has a great sound, dig those smokey vocals. Great talent and production.
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