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1. Mississippi Bollweevil
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NMAllstars - Electric Blue Watermelon - reviewed by Candise Kola
(reprinted from

If you know anything about the musical upbringing and historical witness of the north mississippi allstars, then you know they could be defined as a rhythmically gifted, burgeoning blues preservation society. Their music embodies a movement to inform and delight listeners about an era and genre of american blues that was once at risk for passing by virtually unnoticed by today’s society - the hill country blues of northern Mississippi. In this light, the nma’s craft is a gift to music history and a viable vehicle to influence listeners of all ages to consider and remember the stories of a passing time and place in history as well as a chance to think about the future shaping of the talent-rich culture of the south.

The good people in charge of Grammy nominations for 2005 obviously agree and have recognized the band’s latest cd, Electric Blue Watermelon as a slice of history remade indeed. NMA will be competing for the Best Contemporary Blues Album category in Feb 2006, marking the band’s third nomination.

The cd bears hand-drawn cover art (created by memphis artist tom foster) that introduces the characters who are part of the journey that your mind travels when you listen to the music and to whom the music has been dedicated. It boasts an impressive regional guest list (Lucinda Williams, memphis rapper Al Kapone, Robert Randolph, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Otha Turner and the Rising Star Fife and Drums, Susan Marshall among other local favorites). the collaborations on this tribute cd work beautifully and it is obvious that the studio time involved with the making of it was most certainly a family affair where the task was approached with a passion for the preservation process.

EBW is full of the blues-rock grooves that have traditionally pleased NMA fans. The juxtaposition of funky dance tracks and blues ballads will have you up and grooving then slowing down to sing along and contemplate the story being told. several of the songs recall the upbringings and experiences of the band which take the listener to special times and places of their beloved south while being reminded of past local legends that brought music and joy to their esteemed community. the music successfully and playfully immortalizes the living legends amongst them and also takes the time to point out the cultural shift in humanities in the south from an old school, down home youth to the evidence of a newer, faster living generation moving in.

The messages in this music are a brilliant blend of sounds and words that asks you to remember the roots, the love, the good times, the tragedies, the community, the contributions and reminds you to pay the respect due towards the musical productivity of generations before that shaped and defined the multifaceted genre we call the blues today.

Electric blue watermelon will go down in music history as “the little tribute cd that could” and is sure to influence its listeners to research further the stories of life and living it holds. World boogie is coming!

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