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Zebra Ranch

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Album Review

A year after its rootsy, Southern rock-styled debut, this North Mississippi Allstars spinoff kicks off its sophomore effort with a much tougher approach. In fact, the opening "Raise Your Right Hand" seems somewhat like Paul Rodgers fronting Deep Purple than anything born and bred in the backwoods of Mississippi. But after a few generic hard rockers, including a muscular, whiskey-fueled take on Don Nix's often covered "Going Down," Hill Country Revue, led by the throaty vocals of Daniel Robert Coburn, finds a slightly enhanced, organic yet still gutsy blues-rock groove. Where the debut was a stab at louder and grittier rock than what the Allstars produce, the follow-up finds the collective — the credits list nine musicians, but there are five core members augmented by guests — a confident, swaggering, boozy outfit ready to knock them dead at a rowdy outdoor Southern rock festival. The album is named after the late James Dickinson's studio located on his farm, where son/leader Cody recorded both Hill Country Revue discs. The material is predominantly original with four tracks written or co-penned by R.L. Burnside's son Garry, not a member of the band. Versions of "Going Down" and the Stones' "Wild Horses," the latter a nod to Cody's father, who worked on the original, are diversions from the new tunes that comprise the bulk of the set which, as it progresses, returns to the band's swampier, yet still electrified Mississippi vibe. "I Don't Know About You," with its slithering slide guitar — probably provided by brother Luther, who appears on a few tracks (like the debut, credits for each song aren't listed) — finds the Revue moving closer to the Allstars less bombastic playing. Cody's self-composed "Idyll," his only solo songwriting contribution, is a personal story of life lessons learned, and is the most introspective moment on the disc. Initially, the boisterous attack of much of this is rather disappointing, especially for fans of the Allstars' more spritely music, or even the Revue's melodic first album. But eventually, the in-your-face blooze rocking starts to sink in due to the tight, forceful, and professional playing, resulting in impressive if occasionally generic Southern rock a few notches above the genre's archetypal style.

Customer Reviews

finally here

I waited a long time for this and it was well worth the wait. Hill Country revue's Zebra Ranch is a southern Rockin' jem. Raise Your Right Hand starts us off with a great anthem song that will have everyone raising their hand at shows. Going Down cranks out some great rock riffs and vocals. Zebra Ranch's funky sound and percussion will have you thinking Allmans but it is HCR. You Hold My Woman brings it down a notch for some good southern soul. The rest is for you to find out but with 14 songs to go through at $7.99 it doesn't get much better! Enjoy!


Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s

Playing a by-now patented ragged and loose North Mississippi juke joint-based version of southern rock and blues, the Hill Country Revue was formed in 2008 by Cody Dickinson and Chris Chew of the North Mississippi Allstars along with drummer Ed "Hot" Cleveland, blues harpist Daniel Coburn, and guitarist Kirk Smithhart, with frequent appearances by fellow NMA-member Luther Dickinson on guitar, drummer Martin Shore, bassist Aaron Julison, and guitarist, singer, and songwriter Garry Burnside, the son...
Full Bio
Zebra Ranch, Hill Country Revue
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Customer Ratings