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The Mississippi Hippies - Mississippi Hippies (Big Smoke Records)
Reviewed by Vince Velour, 21.06.05


Frank Garcia, Canadian based agent for the Hippies tells us that there is a German tour on the cards for September 2005. He also asked for recommended contacts so he could get them playing here in the UK... anybody interested in booking them, or any suggestions about who Frank could get in touch with would be gratefully received by Frank at: admin@amigowebservices.com This is a great band, lets get 'em playing here!

Don't be deceived by the name, the Hippies don't hail from the Delta.  However, they do appear to be hippies. Proper hippies, with ban the bomb symbols and excessive facial hair. But don't expect to find any Grateful Dead style love-ins here, this is party blues at it's best.
 
This Canadian trio, headed by vocalist John Dickie (also credited with "Mississippi Saxophone"), tear through this album with an originality and style I haven't heard for a long time. From the opening eight bars of opener Rockalator (think of a Gladiators style travelator with rocks on it) you know this album is gonna be fun. Imagine Little Richard and Elmore James playing a party hosted by Hugh Heffner in New Orleans, and you' be getting close. It isn't introspective, soul-baring blues, but with cuts like "Don't Touch My Hair" it's clear that isn't what the Hippies are about.
 
The musicianship is straightforward but classy, the guitar playing is competent and stylish but never oversteps the line of good taste.  The vocals are raw, and lyrically witty.  Dangerous Curves has more than a hint of Dr John. Occasional cuts feature a horn section, adding yet more class. 
 
It should be pointed out there aren't any half-baked covers on here, every song is an original. Yet it's easy to see where the Mississippi Hippies floral VW camper van is coming from: they've taken the most lively aspects of the past century of blues, mixed it in with some hash cakes, and served it up to an unsuspecting blues community.  And that can't be a bad thing.

CD Available on their website:
www.mississippihippies.com