Men of the Swamp LIVE
If you are looking for genuine traditional blues with a strong swamp flavor, Packrat’s Smokehouse is for you! They have just released their fifth album, Men of the Swamp Live.
The band hails from New Smyrna Beach, Florida and consists of Anthony “Packrat” Thompson on lead vocals and guitar, Robert “Lightning Boy ” Thomas on lead guitar and vocals, Peter “Brother Pete” Beers on keyboards and Aaron “Pop” Watson on drums. Thee are not kids; they are all veteran bluesmen who have been playing for years and it shows! Because I do not have the liner notes, I am not sure who blows the fantastic harp on some songs but it is too good not to mention, especially on the first song, “The Night Jack Frost Killed Possum Brown.” That song confuses me because I don’t understand all the references, but it is still a great original with mighty wailing on that harp!
The album is a two-disc live compilation, recorded in New Smyrna Beach and Tallahassee, Florida. It’s mostly extended versions of classic blues songs, like Jimmy Reed’s “Hush Hush” and “Caress Me Baby” and a killer version of “Smokestack Lightning.” There are at least two more originals worthy of note: “Sue City Sue,” another number with great harmonica and a fine guitar solo, and “Hoo Doo Woman Blues,” which uses a classic blues theme to create a powerful extended jam.
In all, there are around two hours of music here, with all the excitement of an accomplished band playing to an appreciative audience.
This is a band that deserves to be heard everywhere! Get the record. You will enjoy it!