John Lisi

Dead Cat Bounce

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The confluence of roots hardened Delta funkers Cody Dickinson (North Mississippi Allstars) on drums, bassist/producer/multi-instrumentalist Jimbo "Hambone" Mathus, and guitarist John Lisi results in a perfect storm of lowdown Delta blues-funk on this explosive disc. Recorded live in one or two takes, the energy shoots out of the speakers even on ballads such as "Cheap Motel." The three-piece sounds crisp and vibrant digging into the tough groove of the elastic blues-rockers that dominate the set, and it's obvious that everyone involved was having a party during the recording. It just exudes fun, whether it's in the backwoods guitar and percussion breakdown of "Po' John" or the more boogie worthy "Flip Flops" and "Beer Soaked Couch Slug" featuring Lisi's frenetic swampy slide guitar. Take the ZZ Top of old, bring 'em down to Mississippi, let 'em go wild and this grinding, raucous album might be the result. Lisi's Everyman voice and "aw shucks" attitude capture the spontaneous nature of the sessions, which sound like the band has been playing for years instead of just joining together for this recording. As the song titles indicate, the lyrics aren't exactly poetic, especially "Git 'Er 'Gon'," which consists primarily of those words repeated throughout the tune. But that's inconsequential: since the performance is so inspired and brash, the words are secondary to the trio's rowdy tone and flexible enthusiasm. Even the unplugged mandolin of the closing "Blah Blah Blah" cuts with pulsating precision as Lisi treats it like an electric guitar. The disc effortlessly combines the rawness of New Orleans music with the swamp soul of the Mississippi Delta to create exuberant, Southern-rock funk in its purest and most primal form. Once you get the bug, you'll return for more.

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