o's news jessie mae

Now Is The Time/219records

They got a good thing going over in Clarksdale. At Jimbo Mathus' studio there, Mathus and his cohorts recorded one of last years best albums, Knockdown South . Now the crew is backwith another round of countrified blues with Mathus' wife Olga's new release, Now Is The Time, which is similar in approach and execution to her last outing, the entrancing Kiss Your Blues Away. Which is to say, it's a laid back affair, with Mathus and his buddies providing a remarkably adept backing band, and Olga's sultry voice proving that the blues is really good time music.

The title track employs Mississippi drum & fife rhythms that support slinky Hill Country slide guitar. "Ain't it a Shame" is a front porch daydreamer featuring mandolin and accordion. "Fool" shows off some jazz chops. And "Gotta Keep Moving" is a free-flowing funky blues number that sounds like a blast from the past. Like Knockdown South , the Clarksdale crew traverses the line between blues and country and funk and soul so much that the line is obliterated.

On lots of records "Going Down the Road Feeling Bad" would probably be the clear standout. Here is just fits.

--T. Speed, Honest Tune Magazine, April 2006

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