This week's column features my thoughts on an album from Bentonia's Jimmy "Duck" Holmes followed by consideration of a DVD/CD release from The Rolling Stones, and a call for more readers' "One-Hit Wonders" to be included in future columns.
'It Is What It Is,' Jimmy "Duck" Holmes (Blue Front Records, HHH)
This June 17 CD (also available on 180g vinyl and digital download) is the inaugural release from this record label named after The Blue Front Café in Bentonia (Miss.), where Jimmy's parents started a juke joint in 1948. It has been run by Jimmy since 1970. This album was recorded in those familiar surroundings. He has six albums on other record labels.
This is a different breed of blues: stripped down, "Duck" playing guitar with occasional harmonica. The haunting sound of these lengthy tunes will be enjoyed by some enthusiasts, but may be too weird for others.
My favorite tunes are the electric-sounding, traditional "Buddy Brown," the sorta-snarky title song, and its follow-up, the mournful "Evil," and the happier "So Glad."
Jimmy "Duck" Holmes is playing a unique kind of country blues that some readers will dig. Also, there are some shows coming up:
June 23 Iron Horse -- Jackson.
June 25 Ponderosa Stomp Event -- New Orleans.
'Totally Stripped,' The Rolling Stones (Eagle Rock Entertainment, HHHH 1/2)
The Stones made an album I haven't heard in 1995 called "Stripped," which consisted of both live and studio versions of some of their classic tunes presented in a "less-is-more" fashion. This June 3 follow-up release is available in multiple formats, including a deluxe version with a 60-page book along with the Blu-ray or DVD. I am happy to review the basic CD (with live/studio tracks from around the world) and DVD.
I'm not sure how I missed the album, but I probably gave up after seeing the "Steel Wheels" concert during the early 1990s. Johnny Ramone will be spinning in his grave now that the Stones have continued this long. The DVD is enjoyable, with great moments such as Mick, Keith and a backup singer joining pianist Chuck Leavell for a piano-backed "Tumbling Dice."
Vintage songs performed live include "Dead Flowers," "Shine a Light," "Gimme Shelter" and "Rip This Joint," only one of which normally shows up in stadium shows. Some fans may enjoy the version of "Like a Rolling Stone" here. The CD allows for non-visual listening. I was very pleased with this package.
Here's another plea for readers to email me their favorite "one-hit wonder" tunes and bands, even if you're sort of embarrassed about liking them.
Ricky Flake, a former punk rocker and current music fan, lives in Biloxi. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org