Published on March 21st, 2013 | by TLV News0
Record of the Issue: The Hallelujah Bums Lp out now on Hill Country Records
by Bingo Gunter – published in The Local Voice #176
According to George Milburn in his Hobos Hornbook, “The song was found scribbled on the wall of a Kansas City jail where an old hobo, known as ‘One Finger Ellis,’ had spent the night recovering from an overdose of rotgut whiskey.” And such is the story about the origins of one of Mississippi’s newest editions to the music scene. The Hallelujah Bums is recently out on Hill Country Records and promises to lend itself to many a rowdy listen.
Fans of hill country blues and traditional songs will find a lot to like with the release of the first record by The Hallelujah Bums. Offering a selection of songs from Alan Lomax’s collection, this album transplants the listener to the front porch of good friends on a sunny Sunday afternoon. And, just our luck, these friends are amazing musicians. Led by Justin Showah (formerly of Jimbo Mathus & The Tri-State Coalition, Hill Country Records), the other members include Carl Massengale (The Revelators), Robert Chaffe (Kudzu Kings), Max Williams (Kudzu Kings, George McConnell & The Nonchalants), Jeff Calloway, and Ted Gainey (Blue Mountain, who recorded and produced the record as well).
There are a couple of key tracks on here. First, “Bullying Well” is a raunchy, bluesy take on the old classic which Showah hopes revives the spirit of Rose Hemphill. Your feet will sure to be patting time and your legs will itch to start dancing. You can just picture the guys playing, really enjoying themselves. Another memorable song is the one Showah included to pay homage to dear friend, Ed Dye. This rendition of “Shortnin’ Bread” puts a smile on your face and gets your head to start nodding in time with the beat.
This album has the capability of reintroducing these classic songs to a whole new generation of fans. If you often wish to be on your front porch, rocking in your chair with the sun on your face, this record can help you imagine yourself there.
You can pick up your copy in Oxford at The End of All Music, naturally, or order online at Hill Country Records website.