Spun: Things About Comin’ My Way

Things About Comin’ My Way, a tribute CD dedicated to 1930s band The Mississippi Sheiks, is a really fun listening experience. The idea of a compilation CD can seem risky at times because there’s a great possibility for inconsistencies between contributing artists. Although this is still evident in Comin’ My Way, the album is really enjoyable due to the re-appropriation of ’30s blues in a modern context.

The instrumentation used throughout the songs are varied with many different combinations of acoustic guitar, stand-up bass, brass instruments, banjo, fiddle and one rather odd appearance of something called “gang vocals.” However, the lead vocals’ musicality really make this CD special, introducing relatively unknown artists. Ndidi Onukwulu and Kelly Joe Phelps’ vocal texture are particular favourites on the album, leading to hopes for a bigger breakout for the two.

This music inspired by the Sheiks gives artists room to add their modern interpretation to the songs. However, the lyrics of the time still stand out as a relic from the past. With beautiful lyrics like, “I was in church last night / happy as can be / but that old preacher was trying to take my wife from me / he calls that religion!” is one among many reasons Things About Comin’ My Way is an album well-played in many a stereo.

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