Mitch Mann – Blackwater Creek | Album Review

mitchmanncdMitch Mann – Blackwater Creek

Crazy Chester Records

www.mitchmann.net

14 tracks, 13 songs

Mitch Mann is an Alabama native who adopted the Muscle Shoals areas as how over 20 years ago. And outstanding acoustic guitar player with an impressive fingerpicking style, Mann delivers these 10 original tracks and 3 covers with style and grace.  His work is impeccable; the guitar work is hauntingly beautiful and his vocals are well paced and sonorous.  He’s got a little help here and there and the additions make the cuts even more interesting.

“Goin’ Down the Road Feelin’ Bad” opens the set. It’s a bluesy, traditional folk song.  It’s swinging and a lot of fun.  “Baby Don’t Forget” has a little harmonium thrown in for effect and it’s well done.  Mann analogizes all the good things his woman’s kisses are and asks here not to forget that she belongs to him.  The slide here is a very nice addition, too.  “Crows” begins with an intro track with harp and guitar doing a call and response and then it moves into the regular cut.    Mann and Jimmy Hall on the harp work this one up into a very bluesy piece.  The harp is crisp and the guitar remains fresh and clean.  Mann redoes the classic “St. Louis Blues” in his sweet acoustic style and Charles Rose pops in for some trombone, adding to the morose feel of the song.  Nicely done!  “Make This Last Minute Last” is a poetic ballad with a lot of deep feelings expressed.  There is some beautiful finger picking here.  “More Than I Could Ever Show” is similar, perhaps a bit more stridently expressed.

“Sometimes a Rock” changes things up with a blaring tenor sax being added to the mix. Harvey Thompson does the sax work and he’s got a great sound.  The song was written in part by Andreas Werner ad she also shares he vocals.  “Black Water Creek” is a sweet instrumental.  The title track is a mix of flamenco and folk, with some magnificent guitar work by Mann.    “Detour You” mixes the blues  with rockabilly in this cool cut and then “Hold You While You Got Her” switches to more of a rock base for the song.  There’s some good variety here.  “Tom Clark,” a song about an Alabama sort of Jesse James anti-hero, saunters to a hoof-beating tempo as Mann again switches up the styles.  “It’s Time” is a dark number about loss with some ghostly harmonies thrown in for effect.  “Good Things” concludes the album, a nice ballad with a more positive outlook.

Fans of acoustic blues and folk tunes will love this album. Mann is a superb finger picker with a flair for making the guitar exude emotion.  I enjoyed this album and recommend it to those who like really good acoustic guitar and vocals!

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