Mud Boy & the Neutrons

They Walk Among Us

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Jim Dickinson doesn't have a plaque in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame yet, but there ought to be at least a peanut vendor stand named in his honor. He cut the last great Sun 45 (the Jesters' "Cadillac Man" and reason enough to get that peanut stand open), produced Big Star and the Replacements, played on Stones sessions, and has been the leader of this wild and wooly Memphis aggregation off and on since the early '70s. The operative words here are loose and crazy; it's the sound of a jam session where most everybody knows the basic chord changes, no one knows the endings, and nobody's bothered to check their tuning in the last five beers or so. I'm sure Dickinson and company could crank out a nice, slickly produced album if they wanted to. But they don't want to and that's precisely the point of this audio slop bucket. Their approach is so warped and chaotic that it doesn't matter if there's no original material aboard; what they do to the material is original enough. There's also plenty of weirdness and swamp voodoo popping up in unlikely places here ("Can't Feel at Home" taps into Blind Willie Johnson's eerie vibe quite nicely) and this is both part of its charm and Dickinson's master plan.

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