When the latin rhytms meet the Mississippi Blues sound, the results cannot be less than incandescent. Carlos Elliot JR from Colombia has recently released his new album together with The Cornlickers, the Big Jack Johnson's band, called Del Otun & El Mississippi. The album cover is exquisitely 70's style and it is a record in which the Colombian artist showcases once again his great skills and ability on guitar and his unique mash-up of boogie, soul, Mississippi Hill Country Blues and Roots.
Del Otun & El Mississippi is a real fun record to listen to, which enhances not just the qualities of the Colombian artist as a guitarist/singer/songwriter but also as a deep connoisseur of the blues traditions.
The enthralling boogie sound coming from I Love You With All My Heart, the opener Down In Como or The Story Of Otun & North MS resemble the best moments of Muddy Waters or Bo Diddley's songbook.
The track Katrina The Mule carries echoes of Booker T. & The MGs, with Elliot's trademark guitar sound beautifully backed by The Cornlickers rhytm section. Even when Elliot steps into soulful ballads like Got This Feeling, with that unmistakable Motown feeling, the quality of the album remains very high. Elliott's voice, on ballads, becomes even more warm and tender, a pure joy to listen to.
One of the many highlights of the album is also coming from When The Beat Hits You, where Elliot and The Cornlickers turn vibrantly into pure Mississippi Hill Country Blues style, through the twists and turns that make this take on the traditional blues genre pretty much unique.
The surprises though, are not over at all. The instrumental My Mule Bray's In Othar's Hood is almost a military march, played solely by drum and Elliott's mouth pipe, a moment of little sweet self-indulgence on an excellently crafted album.
Another brilliant album from one of Colombia's finest musicians and a band that sounds at the top of their game. One cannot ask for more on a blues album.
Giovanni "Gio" Pilato
Del Otun & El Mississippi can be purchased as a download on Amazon