Mighty Mississippi

Mighty Mississippi
Deja Blues


By Lady K
March 2013

Mighty Mississippi is an acoustic trio based in the San Francisco Bay area. They play some smooooooth blues – old blues, newer blues, and their own original blues; and they do it all with blues panache and tons of respect for the genre and their (our) blues forefathers. Mighty Mississippi is Alan Adelman (harmonica and vocals), Allen Capeloto (acoustic guitar, vocals and songwriter), and Joel Wilson (stand-up bass). They also got a few other folks to join them on several of the Deja Blues tracks: Huntley Barad (stand-up bass); Byron Binns (percussion); Steve French (pedal guitar); and Daphna Rahmil (fiddle).

Deja Blues is a great listen; the only way to make it better would be with warm air wafting outside (instead of the Maine snow storm that Lady K is watching), and a jug of moonshine (FYI, Lady K ‘made do’ with Bombay Sapphire).

Deja Blues is aptly titled, as it contains a whole bunch of familiar tunes, including old traditional blues, such as “Baby Please Don’t Go” and “Matchbox Blues,” along with “Mean Ol’ Frisco” (Arthur Crudup), “Mr. Charlie” (Robert Hunter), “Don’t Lie to Me” (Tampa Red), “Big Black Mariah” (Tom Waits), and “Ay Ai Ai” (Clifton Chenier). The set-list also includes two Robert Johnson tunes: “Last Fair Deal Gone Down” (Lady K loved the transition from a long slow intro – almost a capella – that kicked into Johnson-like full gear) and “Crossroad Blues” (Adelman’s harp is so plaintive – it epitomizes the feelings one might expect, being alone in the late night, at a dark, empty crossroads).

There are three original tunes (penned by Capeloto) included on Deja Blues: “Twenty Ten Blues,” “Delta Lullaby,” and “Blues in My Lady’s Eyes.” “Twenty Ten Blues” is an up-tempo treatise on the state of the world (on a bad day, to which everyone is entitled on occasion), via a snapshot of life in the cold world. “With nothing to gain, and nothing to lose, no wonder we all got the blues.” “Don’t talk to strangers, lock up your windows, lock up your doors, there’s no one to call for help anymore.” Capeloto showed his less gloomy self with the other two originals – love songs.

“Delta Lullaby” is a love song to his baby girl – a slowish, river-drifting blues tune – heavy on harp. ‘When I “first saw you darling, once upon a time, you were the apple of your daddy’s eyes. I’d hold you in my arms, and whisper slowly, honey, I will love you till the end of time.” And now he reminds her “You’re still my little girl, and I sing for you this delta lullaby” – a very cool ‘love song,’ indeed. “Blues in My Lady’s Eyes” is so romantic: “I’ve seen the eagle flyin’ circles in the painted desert skies, but I’ve never seen more beauty than the playful bloom in my lady’s eyes.” And, following a lovely harp/guitar interlude, “I’ve felt the ocean breeze caress me on a southern beach, as the moon began to rise, but I’ve never felt more beauty than the gentle touch from the look in my lady’s eyes.”

Mighty Mississippi is the real acoustic deal!

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