“A red second hand guitar with a bunch of knobs and switches, plugged into a Sears & Roebuck amplifier, an ass pocket of Jack Daniels and a box of fried chicken, riding towards a cabin set deep in the Mississippi backwood…**
Chulahoma trrance blues lives on in the drone and guitar thunder of one Eric Deaton. One of the members of Afrosippi Alliance and James Mathus (ie Jimbo, Jas) Knockdown Society.
(Afrissippi Alliance is a callaboration between Eric’s bunch of Mississippi Hill Country musicians, and Felani Musicians from Africa.)
A native of North Carolina, Eric made his way to the back roads of Mississippi and to Junior Kimbrough’s legendary Juke Joint when he was only 18 years old.
He absorbed the singular, soul felt, and not-to-be-named musical style of Junior Kimbrough.
Words cannot describe the gut-felt, ancient repetitions of this music.
Dancers sway in tiny rooms, of dirt floor shacks, that were/are the backroads Juke Joints of Mississippi.
A music both simple, and extremely complex.
It came from Africa. A sound that survived slave ships, and cotton fields, to eventually influence modern rock stars from far off cities.
On Eric’s newest release he talks about everyday grief, nothing fancy. But, from the first strains of tunes like the title track “Smile at Trouble” you can feel your mind start to melt and get into that deep groove that the music creates. It grabs you like the current of the mighty Mississippi and sweeps you down river into that vibe. The juxtaposition between the mundane and the divine, the troubles of living on this earthly plane and the unseen mystery that surrounds us, gets into your bones, like fire. If that last sentence makes no sense, then you need to put away your mind, and listen to the music.
Check out Eric Deaton LIVE on the Blues Breakdown! 2-4 July 30. He will be playing that night, Friday, July 30 at DBA, on Frenchman Street. Right here in the neighborhood.
*The above illustration is from the new album, “Smile at Trouble” on Hill Country Records. Illustration by Emelda Lee Miller. **The above quote is from the liner notes.
Thanks to Eric Deaton and Justin Showah for everything.