Muddy Gurdy

Muddy Gurdy

Vizztone Records, 2018

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


Now here's something really unique: a musical project of 3 French musicians – one who plays a Hurdy-Gurdy, a traditional French instrument. Muddy Gurdy was born as the collision of French sounds and North Mississippi Hill Country blues as the Hurdy-Gurdy becomes utilized as a second guitar.

To truly bring the concept to life, the French trio (known as Hypnotic Wheels) traveled to the United States and worked alongside Cedric Burnside, Sharde Thomas, Cameron Kimbrough, and Pat Thomas in Mississippi, making this an authentic meshing of Euro-folk meets Delta blues that they recorded live with a microphone preamp and a computer all across Mississippi.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

After the brief “Tia In The Rocking Chair,” which is just the tranquil sounds of gentle rocking, “Goin' Down South” dives right in and sounds very much like the South, with much emphasis on vocals and world music style percussion with hypnotic strings. “That Girl Is Bed” then brings in slide guitar and a lively, dance floor friendly vibe, meshing the cultures in an almost jam band sort of fashion.

At 15 tunes and over an hour, there's much to absorb her. Highlights include “See My Jumper Hanging On The Line,” a shuffling blues number with soulful vocals and great electric guitar, and “Station Blues,” which brings in female vocals and what sounds like a flute for a more modern, jazz influence.

Of the quieter tunes present, “Shawty Blues” is among the best and a bit darker in scope. The traditional “Glory Glory Hallelujah” is perhaps the richest and most soulful version of the song to date.

The album highlight, though, has to be a cover of Muddy Waters' “Rollin' And Tumblin',” where a  hypnotic and busy rocker really splits the difference between all the talent on hand.

There is a lot going on here, with each of the musicians taking their turn in the spotlight. It may be best not to try to dissect it and just enjoy this take on the North Mississippi Hill Country sounds that you're not likely to hear anywhere else.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2018 Tom Haugen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Vizztone Records, and is used for informational purposes only.