Live My Life
Dr Sam Records
Stacy Mitchhart spent his formative years in Cincinnati but for many years has resided in Nashville. He performs 275 shows a year and maintains an “ongoing residency” at The Bourbon Street Blues and Boogie Bar. In 2009 his album “Grown Ass Man” received considerable airplay. He followed up with 2010’s “Live From B.B. Kings”. This new recording is Mitchhart’s twelfth.
This might be called a tour de force as Mitchhart displays his adeptness at different styles of the blues. All along his seasoned vocals exhibit his soulful passion. The band includes Mitchhart, vocals and guitar; Michael Dearing, bass; Darin James, drums; Jacob Tipton, keyboards and harmonica; Cory Distefano, trumpet; and Jules Caldarera, sax. Additional musicians include Mason Embry, keyboards; John Hinchey, trombone; and bassists Emanuel Cole and co-producer Scott McEwen.
The album opens with the first of seven new originals. “I Drink Whiskey” might be inspired by Willie “Big Eyes” Smith and some of his narratives. “I drink whiskey every night, whiskey every morning too, I ain’t drinking to forget, I’m trying to remember all the reasons why I ain’t with you.” Distefano and Caldarera’s horns add just the right amount of spice to Mitchhart’s cask cured vocal. The song ends with a discourse on the Bourbon family.
“She Knows Just What To Do” is a feel good song and contains a great guitar solo by Mitchhart. “Soul Stroll” is a Jazzy instrumental inspired by Booker T and The MG’s; the addition of Hinchey’s trombone completes the fabulous horn section. “Live My Life”, the title track, features Mitchhart playing a 3 string cigar box guitar. Mitchhart affirms the joys of life with this “stripped down” performance. “Boogie Bar and BBQ” co-written with Gary Vincent is about the venue that has become his second home. “Cat Bowl Blues” is a great instrumental played on the 3 string cigar git’ box. “Worried Mind Blues” is another fabulous vocal by Mitchhart.
Mitchhart utilizes a four string cigar box guitar on his version of Lennon and McCartney’s “Come Together”. There is also a fabulous cover of Gil Scott Heron’s “Legend in His Own Mind” on which Mitchart utilizes the full horn section to give us a New Orleans styled production. Also covered is Bill Wither’s “Better Off Dead” with percussion from Pino Squallace.
Mitchhart includes two more songs written by Gary Vincent. “Voodoo Doll” and “I’m The Reason (She Walks That Way)”. The later is absolutely fabulous and one of my favorite songs on this album.
Mitchhart took his time between albums but he has given us a great one. Thank you, Stacy Mitchhart.