Chickasaw Mudd Puppies “Fall Line”

Strolling Bones Records, 2023

Deep South Americana. Fast and furious.

Coming from Athens Georgia this duo has reformed from the Eighties following the discovery of some of their songs for the film ‘Tracing Cowboys’. This time they have also added a drummer. Championed by Michael Stipe they describe their music as swamp rocking hill-billy blues and that could not be more accurate ‘Fall Line’ is their first album in over twenty years and it’s a blast.

The songs are mostly very short indeed a number less than two minutes long. They are all very high energy and percussion-heavy it cannot be described as a subtle album. The pace on many tracks have a punk-like urgency about them and feel as they are from that era with references to “Tony Joe White on the eight-track” it both places it and dates it from then.

The playing is solid and well drilled with definitely enough fluidity to give it a great live feel. The standout feature is the outstanding wailing harmonica quality of Brant Slay, especially on the standout track ‘9 Volt’. It is very reminiscent of Lew Lewis at his height during the London pub rock scene. There is no finer accolade.

This is not an album that is going to change the world but if you enjoy high-octane southern blues played by experienced tight musicians then this is for you. To add to the ‘Southern Feel’ they use snippets of conversation before a couple of tracks in the same way Lynyrd Skynyrd have done to effect in the past. Highlighting the southern drawl.

‘Fall Line’ is a dish best served in a small, packed, sweaty club with a glass of bourbon in your hand surrounded and being crushed by others doing exactly the same. It feels very authentic indeed. Well worth a listen.

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