Sunday, 19 August 2012

Lucky Devil

Lucky Devil
Meschiya Lake and the Little Big Horns

I find it effective when the past seeps into the present (and vice versa). Listening to Lucky Devil summons up images from the New Orleans of just about a hundred years ago; jazz, blues and slow-burning songs we can all relate to on one level or another.

It's a world inhabited by Bessie Smith, Duke Ellington and Jelly Roll Morton, where trombones and cornets rub shoulders with washboards and sousaphones and covers of half-forgotten dusty classics sit seamlessly alongside self-penned songs (Do For Myself, Slow Burn).

Meschiya Lake and the Little Big Horns were formed in 2009 and Lucky Devil was released in 2010. It could be said that the olde worlde theme is recurring; in these days of instant worldwide communication, the fact that we are just discovering this important new group harks back to another era, one in which news items retained a much longer shelf life.

Imagine sitting in the corner of a dark and smokey jazz club between the wars, with Humphrey Bogart on one side and Peter Lorre drifting through the crowd. There are important matters under discussion, including the stand against fascism, extreme black market trading and various plans to 'rub people out' but it passes you by because all you want to do is sit and listen to the music.

After a week of listening to Lucky Devil, the standout tracks are currently I'm Alone Because I love You, Comes Love and Slowburn.

Track list

I'm Alone Because I Love You
I Ain't Got Nuthin' But the Blues
Do For Myself
Backwater Blues
Comes Love
Lucky Devil
The Curse of an Aching Heart
Sweet Substitute
Gimme A Pigfoot
Joseph! Joseph!

The fusion of past and presents is a pervading theme, extended even to the CD artwork. The cover is a sepia-tinged modern interpretation of a famous piece by John Ernest Joseph Bellocq, a photographer from a bygone era famous for his mysterious snaps of New Orleans prostitutes. The pose is an authentic match to the original (the table and contents are close enough); Meschiya's tattoos offer the bridge between the generations.  Appropriately, the date of the original is estimated as 2012, bringing the 'hundred years' theme full circle.

Now the genie is out of the bottle, there's no putting it back. As I mentioned earlier this month, Meschiya Lake and the Little Big Horns will be touring the UK in another week or so and they will doubtless add to their growing band of admirers. I'm hoping to catch them live and if successful a full report will follow here.

Meschiya Lake and the Little Big Horns

Find out more about Meschiya and the Little Big Horns on their official website and on this page of Brookfield Knights website.

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