"All right, what is it? Sounds like Mojo Nixon's got a cold or Tom Waits is at his megaphone again. Lots of beating on something - but that don't sound like drums - and whoever's on the harp sure can wail a bit. These Pups got the mean ol' bottleneck Delta blues, all hot and vaporous, and it sort of makes sense that Michael Stipe co- produced this short LP's worth of tunes, as atmospheric and demonic as it all sounds. Adding to the mystery are the rather odd, mostly one word, song titles; check out: "Lon Chaney," "Raven" and "Frogmore." - Jim Caligiuri
"Pretty much nobody knows who the Chickasaw Mudd Puppies are anymore. It's a goddamn shame." - Andrew Tsks
"The Chickasaw Mudd Puppies, a duo from Athens, Ga., play a quirky, neo-primitivist version of Delta blues. but the group is actually about much more than playing music. The singer Brant Slay and the acoustic guitarist Ben Reynolds have taken the idea of Delta blues and blown it into a full-scale, three dimensional enterprise that includes stage props, clothing, specialized instruments, lyric topics and production techniques. The Mudd Puppies do blues as modem-day folk art.
The Mudd Puppies begin by decorating the stage like an old Southern porch or backvard. "Right now we're into clotheslines." Mr Slay said in a recent phone interview from Georgia. "On our last tour, it was quilts hanging from jute twine, and il turned into flannel shirts, overalls and union suits or clotheslines." Mr. Slay sings sitting in a rickety rocking chair, and the duo will bring on different Instruments, like a harmonica and washboard, or found objects to use as percussion. They dress In floppy hats, overalls and clunky work shoes.
On record, the band similarly tries to re-create the atmosphere and spontaneity of a 1930's front-porch jamboree. Mr Slay's voice growls and then jumps in little whoops and hollers.." - Karen Schoemer, N.Y. Times
"It may not be easy to say what genre of music Chickasaw Mudd Puppies play, but one thing's for sure: it's a lot of fun to listen to...
My copy of "White Dirt" was dubbed 13 years ago, and has been stored coverless in a milk crate with a lot of other coverless tapes for at least a decade of that time, which necessitated 10 minutes of digging before I found it. For all that, the damn thing still sounds really good. It's a bit muffled, but the production on the original recording was raw enough that it doesn't make that much difference. The album starts with "McIntosh", a rollicking, upbeat tune backed by skiffle-sounding percussion, heavy on the speedily brushed snare. Ben Reynolds plays an electric guitar, but his riffing is descended from a time when country and rock n' roll were far closer to each other than they are now. Meanwhile, Brant Slay's frantic harmonica solos and absurdist lyrics that pile up non-sequiturs about "a three-leg alligator layin' in a wallow" and "a great blue heron boxing with his shadow" without ever assembling them into any coherent narrative give the overall impression of hearing a radio station that's being beamed in from the bayou swamps of Venus or something. It's completely out of nowhere. It also fucking rocks.
The other songs on "White Dirt" vary in intensity, from similarly upbeat tunes like "Lon Chaney", which tells the story of the famous silent-film actor, but still from the perspective of the insane alien swamp creature who narrates "McIntosh" (sample "Lon Chaney" lyric: "Laugh that ol' laugh or he'll get slapped, the eyes are connected to the brim of your cap") to mournful country wails like the percussion-less "Skinny" and "Prison," which features a violin and at 3:57 is twice as long as almost every other song on the album. The entire thing is over in less than 25 minutes, and by the time it's over you just want to hear the whole thing again." - Andrew Tsks
Ben Reynolds (guitar)
Brant Slay (vocals, harmonica, percussion)
9.Sailor, Beat The Blood Out
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