Various Things About Comin' My Way: A Tribute To The Music Of The Mississippi Sheiks

It's hard to imagine any other record this year boasting a more impressive cast of roots music stars than this tribute to legendary bluesmen the Mississippi Sheiks. Alongside such Yankee notables as Bill Frisell, Madeleine Peyroux, John Hammond, Kelly Joe Phelps, Geoff Muldaur and the North Mississippi Allstars is a Canadian contingent including Oh Susanna, Bruce Cockburn, Ndidi Onukwulu, Steve Dawson, the Sojourners and Jim Byrne. Producer/multi-instrumentalist/label head Dawson (the man behind the project) assembled such ace players as Wayne Horvitz, Keith Lowe, Jesse Zubot and Matt Chamberlain for the main sessions in Seattle. The performances are consistently strong and there's enough musical variety to appeal to more than just traditional blues fans. That's fitting, given that in their early '30s heyday the Sheiks drew on jazz, pop and country influences, not just blues. It's hard to single out highlights but the voices of Onukwulu, Oh Susanna, Peyroux and Robin Holcomb (on "I've Got Blood In My Eyes For You," the most left-field number here) outshine their male peers. One notable omission is Colin Linden, given that as a youngster he befriended Sheik Sam Chatmon. The likes of Bob Dylan and Jack White are fans and this superb tribute will bring more. As Teenage Head would say, "Let's Sheik!" (Black Hen)