Mighty Mo Rodgers Blues Is My Wailin' Wall

Seemingly coming from nowhere, Mighty Mo Rodgers packs a massive punch that makes you ask, where in hell he came from? A brief stint in music (his was the organ solo on the '67 hit, "Gimme Some Kind Of Sign," and he acted as producer for Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee) ended in disillusionment with the industry. A retreat into a Masters degree (with a focus on "Blues as A Metaphysical Music"), he has returned to make music with "something to say." His brand of "spiritual" blues is for the people and of the real world. This is no revivalist camp, however, but a richly musical charge that recalls the work of the late Curtis Mayfield. Rodgers' deep, warm vocals embrace gospel and R&B, and his voice alternates between a powerful growl and a gentle caress across arrangements designed around solid hooks that first seduce the listener before driving home their message. Listen to "The Kennedy Song" and "Tuskegee Blues," chronicling man's inhumanity to man, while exorcising a few of his philosophical ghosts. The groove on this record is rock-solid throughout, boasting over-the-top marvels such as the title track, "Willie B. And Me" and the unforgettable "Shame!" The band supporting Rodgers on this release is, with the possible exception of guitarist Tim Pierce, star-free. Yet, the chemistry is undeniable and each polished composition is a modern classic. (Universal)