Cab Driving Man
Mississippi Heat is one of Chicago’s best working blues bands. The ensemble has talent galore. Their leader Pierre Lacocque is the talented songwriter and harp player who formed the band twenty-four years ago. This is their twelfth recording overall and sixth for Delmark records.
Lacocque has written eleven new songs for this recording. Innetta Visor is the passionate vocalist heard on ten of these and also on the two covers. Lead guitarist Michael Dotson contributes three of his own songs and on these he also sings. The rhythm guitarist is Giles Cory who steps out and plays lead on four tracks. Rounding out the band is keyboardist Chris “Hambone” Cameron; bassist Brian Quinn; and either Terrence Williams or Kenny “Beady Eyes” Smith, drums. Special guests include Ruben Alvarez, percussion; and “Sax” Gordon Beadle.
Opening with “Cupid Bound”, the first of the originals, we are immediately treated to Lacocque’s inventive harp. Visor sings while Dotson, Cory, Quinn, Smith and Gordon complete the festivities. The song is dedicated to Lacocque’s daughter Natalie and her new husband Matthew who just recently tied the knot.
Other songs by Lacocque include the title track “Cab Driving Man” featuring Gordon on sax and Cameron on piano; the delta influenced “Flowers On My Tombstone” featuring Sumito Ariyo on piano; “Life is Too Short” with an exceptionally beautiful vocal from Visor; “Rosalie” with Quinn on an acoustic bass and Cameron on the B-3; “Mama Kaila” with a great guitar solo from Dotson; “Music is My Life” with another great vocal from Visor; “Lonely Eyes” featuring Williams on drums; and the instrumental “Hey Pipo!” complete with handclaps. Throughout these Lacocque’s harp playing is stunning.
Dotson sings on “The Last Go Round” and it is receiving a considerable amount of airplay. His other songs are “That Late Night Stuff”, and “Can’t Get Me No Traction”.
“Don’t Mess Up a Good Thing” was written by Oliver Sain who was a record producer, and multi instrumentalist and the manager of Fontella Bass. Originally recorded in 1965 with Bass and Bobby McClure; it is performed here as a vocal duet between Visor and Cory.
The other cover is “Smooth Operator” authored by Clyde Otis and Murray Stein and a single for Sarah Vaughan in 1959 on Mercury Records.
This is a fabulous recording as every track is a highlight. This is highly recommended.