"An unwieldy, shifting assemblage of horns, strings, percussion and voices, one minute graced with wistful melancholy, tempered with cautious optimism the next, they're one of the most curious and original bands in America." -Gabe Soria, MOJO Magazine
They may specialize in reissues, funk and soul and blues and gospel, but the fine folks at Mississippi also dabble in more contemporary sounds, The Spooky Dance Band (members of the late great Reeks And The Wrecks) and Sad Horse (members of the late great Fuck!) being the most recent, until now, and until Why Are We Building Such A Big Ship, hitch sounds exactly like it could be the title of a Mississippi compilation, but is in fact the name of a group, a BIG group, nine members, handling instruments like accordion, upright bass, banjo, bass drum, trumpet, French horn, sax, piano and euphonium. That should give you a rough idea of the sort of sounds these cats conjure up, and consider that this is a co-release with a label in New Orleans, so we're talking a sort of woozy, New Orleans style funeral jazz, or more modern references might be the Decemberists, or even a less rambunctious, darker more contemplative Pogues, that sort of jazzy, drunken, wandering minstrel sort of cabaret sound, the instrumentation makes the sound old timely, Dickensian even, the horns moan and bleat, the accordions wheeze, very playful, yet ominous and haunting, the arrangements are gorgeous, evoking cobblestone streets, and cloudy skied rain soaked afternoons, shuttered buildings, and rolling hills of brown grass and tumbledown structures. It's the music's very old timeliness that somehow makes it a perfect fit on Mississippi, and while it may not appeal to the blues / gospel / archival vinyl reissue purists, it is pretty cool, and should definitely please fans into the Decemberists, Beirut, Neutral Milk Hotel, Slim Cessna and other outfits not necessarily at home in this time…
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