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Chris Mule - Down To The Bottom (2015)
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Chris Mule - Down To The Bottom (2015)

9-12-2015, 17:50
Music | Blues

Title: Down To The Bottom
Year Of Release: 2015
Label: Chris Mule' Records
Genre: Electric/Acoustic Blues, New Orleans Blues, Americana
Quality: 320 kbps
Total Time: 48:34
Total Size: 117 MB

1. Slow Poison (4:03)
2. She Goes Crazy (4:02)
3. Soul For Ya (3:34)
4. Heavy Thunder (3:05)
5. Demonized (5:10)
6. Ramblin' Fever (5:10)
7. Trouble Brewing (3:12)
8. Devil's Den (6:22)
9. Stranger (4:36)
10. Lost In You (3:45)
11. Save My Soul (5:30)

Chris Mule – Guitars, Shakers
Alfred 'Uganda' Roberts – Congas, Hand Toys
Rob Schafer – Bass, Backup Vocals
Benny Dominach – Guitars
Carlo Nuccio – Drums
Tom Marrin – Harmonica, Violin
Matt Grondin – Hammond B3
Matt Hubbard – Wurlitzer Piano
Aaron Wilkinson – Wah-Wah
Brad Walker – Saxaphone
Mark Levron – Trumpet
Greg Hicks – Trombone
John Porter – Guitar
Andrew McLean – Sitar
Ashley Beach – Tamboura
Matt Grondin – Mandolin

Singer, songwriter, finger-picking and slide-shredding guitarist Chris Mulé puts a mighty fine foot forward on his debut solo album, Down to the Bottom, a bluesy barnburner both deliciously tender and hauntingly tortured over the course of its 11 original tracks.

The album was produced with expert minimalism by Anders Osborne and recorded uptown at Parlor Recording Studio, a self-styled “throwback to the heyday of classic analog recording.” Mulé recruited 15 musicians spanning his native New Orleans’ sound spectrum for a seamless indoctrination into his steadfast, singular artistic voice and vision.

This technique ultimately resulted in songs “grittier, more stripped down and more personal” than tunes he has created thus far as part of the Honey Island Swamp Band’s transcendent swamp-rock.

Among the many guest appearances, standouts include the legendary local percussionist Alfred “Uganda” Roberts, who plies a steady hand and deep groove on nine tracks; guitarist Benny Dominach’s layered textures, from spooky to soaring on six songs, including the album’s top party jam, “Soul for Ya.”

Yet, the star attraction here may be the 1928 Martin D-18 acoustic guitar Mulé borrowed for the sessions. In his capable hands, the instrument evokes the raw emotion essential for the execution of Mulé’s vision as it immediately hooks listeners into the desperation of the opening “Slow Poison.” Mulé busts out his acoustic Martin for the back-roads boogie of the instrumental “Trouble Brewing”; a rollicking 40-second solo intro to “Lost in You”; and on the concluding “Save My Soul.”

Mulé’s guitar is the perfect accompaniment to introspective lyrics’ pleading for a melding of heart and mind, art and life, that defines the artistic achievement of Down to the Bottom. ~by Frank Etheridge

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