|MISSISSIPPI LIVE & THE DIRTY DIRTY|
CD review: GOING DOWN
By: Dan Brisebois
If you're ready to give up on mankind when it comes to straight forward, no BS rock, Mississippi Live & The Dirty Dirty has the answer. Born in the great state, Connely Farr moved to Vancouver in the '90s and hooked up with guitarist and producer Jon Wood. As Mississippi Live, they released a self-titled album in 2009. They put together a touring band rounded out by Jay B Johnson on bass and drummer Ben Yeardley - and The Dirty Dirty was born.
Released in 2015, GOING DOWN is their third album and powered by an abundance of might, it takes full advantage of slick production, strong songwriting, and clever guitar licks. They know the value of a good riff, and they're happy to drill it into your brain. Their sound is as deep as the Delta mud it comes from, but they're not a blues band. They're not a metal band or truly a southern rock band either. They're a blend of all that and more.
The lead-off "Trouble" is a slower tempo number fuelled by slide guitar. It sounds like the offspring off something like Neil Young's HARVEST MOON, and is instantly appealing to anyone going for the americana/roots vibe. But from there, the band goes into third gear with the title track, "Hurtin'," and "It's So Easy." They have the searing guitars to lure in the hardest core rockers, and has the same aura as the slower tracks like "Bad Bad Feeling" and "Country Boy," but shone in a different light. This is truly an album for just about anyone.
You can compare Farr's voice on the sober ballad, "The Girl That Never Was" to any top rock balladeer out there - a Steve Earle for today, and he's one of the most critically-acclaimed vocalists on the west coast. The depth in the lyrics on GOING DOWN aren't just suface deep either. The longer and more you listen, the more you can add comparisons to Crazy Horse or John Hiatt just as easily. There are hints of Crazy Horse or John Hiatt in the energy of "Way Down Here,"
The influences are evident, but the sound is all their own. It's raucous, moody, and invigorating. GOING DOWN is a straight-up rock record, but the hints of roots and country give it an edge all its own. High charged guitar riffs and a pounding backbeat is a two-punch recipe for success, and these guys serve it with a smile.