Although based in Los Angles there are influences from as far a field as the Mississippi delta, Chicago and Memphis. And they've clearly stopped off to pick up a bagful of New Orleans' eclectic musical salsa to add to the melting pot that makes up the sound of the Mescal Sheiks. The result is a sound of their own that can best be described as 'Mardi Gras blues'.
This mix of styles and genres is evident throughout this fine collection. "It Doesn't Really Matter" has a hint of Stax and a just a bit of gospel feel to it coupled with a wonderfully subtle Booker-T style organ in the background that makes it the highlight of the album. The opening track, "How Long", has a 'funkier up tempo blues sound; while "Better Get Ta Steppin' is reminiscent of Troyce Key & JJ Malone mixed with Louis Jordan and his Tympani Five. "Healin' Love" opens up with a Bootsy Collins style funky bass line, and then just keeps on going. With "Baby Watcha Do" and "Live From The Gates of Hell" it sounds like Clarence 'Gatemouth' Brown and Doctor John have joined the party.
The diversity and versatility of the band is emphasised by their rendition of the spiritual influenced songs "Walking To The River" and "This World Is Not My Home". Ably assisted on many of the tracks by the Texacali Horns this is music that is stripped back to the basics. No frills, nothing fancy and no over laboured production to distract you. It's just good music - plain and simple.
For more information on the band and to listen to some songs visit their Sonicbids EPK</a>.