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Shake 'Em On Down - A Tribute to Mississippi Fred McDowell

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For her third release in her Mentors series, Rory Block honors Mississippi McDowell by offering inspired renditions of his tunes as well as a brace of originals based upon his life and music. The full range of McDowell’s lyric moods as well as his signature driving riffs are captured in sensitive treatments of “Kokomo Blues,” “Worried Mind” and a gender-switched “Good Morning Little School Girl.” Block’s gospel-slanted interpretations of “Woke Up This Morning” and her African-themed “Ancestral Home” are indicative of the imagination as well as the expertise she brings to this project. Block’s self-composed “Steady Freddy” (an account of McDowell’s early days) and “Mississippi Man” (depicting her encounter with Fred as a teenager) are vivid story-songs firmly in the Delta blues tradition. As always, Block’s slide-guitar work is awe-inspiring in its blade-sharp thrust and command of complex rhythms. McDowell is surely smiling down on Block for making Shake ‘Em On Down such an accomplished and loving tribute to his memory.


Born: November 6, 1949 in New York, NY

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Aurora "Rory" Block has staked her claim to being one of America's top acoustic blues women, an interpreter of the great Delta blues singers, a slide guitarist par excellence, and a talented songwriter in her own right. Born and raised in Manhattan by a family that had bohemian leanings, she spent her formative years hanging out with musicians like Peter Rowan, John Sebastian, and Geoff Muldaur, who hung out in her father's sandal shop, before picking up the guitar at the age of ten. Her record debut...
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Shake 'Em On Down - A Tribute to Mississippi Fred McDowell, Rory Block
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