CD Mississippi Soul [Digipak] (CD 628162),
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Mississippi Soul [Digipak]

  • 1. Sugar Mama Blues
    2. You Don't Love Me
    3. Brotherhood Blues
    4. Mississippi Soul
    5. Let's Get Down
    6. Rosalie
    7. Juke House Blues
    8. Bull Cow Blues
    9. Slow Down
    10. Sleeping Dogs Lie
    11. Talkin' 'Bout Jesus
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 035

  • Credits
    ProducerJim Gaines; Jim Gaines
    EngineerJim Gaines

    Personnel: Slick Ballinger (vocals, guitar); Slick Ballinger; Leon Baker, Leon Baker (drums); Blind Mississippi Morris (harmonica).
    Liner Note Author: Slick Ballinger.
    Recording information: Bessie Blues Studios, Stantonville, TN; Bessies Blues Studios, Stantonville, TN.
    Author: B.B. King.
    Photographers: Tim Brumbeloe; Trey Harrison.
    It's not meant as an insult to describe North Carolina born, Mississippi-based blues singer and guitarist Slick Ballinger's vocal style as being in the tradition of old-school blues queens like Big Maybelle, Big Mama Thornton, or even Janis Joplin; it's merely an accurate description of the high-pitched rasp this young man (barely 21 at the time of recording) has developed to deliver his take on electrified Delta blues. The vocals are by far the most interesting aspect of Mississippi Soul, which is otherwise a fairly undistinguished retread of the usual south-of-Memphis tropes. Saying that he makes blues standards like "You Don't Love Me" and Muddy Waters' "Rosalie" sound like originals is less a compliment to the off-the-rack generic quality of Ballinger's original songs than it is an indictment of Jim Gaines' one-dimensional production and Ballinger's one-trick-pony performing style. It's a shame, because Slick Ballinger is a truly interesting, original singer who could shine in the right context, but Mississippi Soul doesn't show him off at his slickest. ~ Stewart Mason

  • Critic Reviews
    Living Blues (p.62) - "Ballinger has a firm grasp of the quirky, indigenous north Mississippi style, and the remainder of his trio -- drummer Leon Baker and harpist Blind Mississippi Morris -- ground Ballinger's playing with confident, unshakable accompaniment."
    No Depression (p.138) - "The sound is crisp and biting, and Ballinger's in-the-tradition originals mingle surprisingly comfortably amid covers of Muddy, Sonny Boy, Willie Tubbs and Son Thomas."
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