Super excited to announce the next wave of artists for Red Rooster Festival […] Main stage additions [include] first ever UK festival performances from Muddy Gurdy.
– By PRB Presents, “promoters of twisted roots & punked up blues across Europe”
The Muddy Gurdy trio will perform at the Red Rooster festival in Euston Hall, Suffolk, on Saturday, June 1st.
This is a terrific, offbeat project. A young French blues group featuring a female singer/guitarist and a hurdy-gurdy filling in chords like a Farsifa organ travelled to the North Mississippi hill country outside Memphis and recorded live in-studio (and sometimes on-porch) with grandchildren of former local blues legends Otha Turner, Junior Kimbrough, and R.L. Burnside. Everything works sensationally well. The hurdy-gurdy with its bagpipe-like drone turns out to be a great instrument for one-chord hill-country blues. The French players are high-quality. The young American blues players give superlative performances. This is similar to some of the North Mississippi Allstars projects — some of the same artists, lots of the same feel. If you like the North Mississippi Allstars, or for that matter Turner, Kimbrough, Burnside, John Lee Hooker, Mississippi Fred McDowell, Howlin’ Wolf, this is a record you will enjoy.
– John, an Amazon customer. Get your copy of Muddy Gurdy on Amazon as well.
KVMR 89.5 FM’s Steve Cagle, whose show, Blues Spectrum, airs every other Sunday from 1 pm to 3 pm put Muddy Gurdy in his best albums of 2018 list, according to Nevada County, California, newspaper The Union.
French magazine Soul Bag Mag released its “Best of 2018” lists.
In the list curated by Stéphane Colin, Muddy Gurdy is represented in three categories! In the Albums of the year, in the Songs of the year with “Glory”, and in the Revelations.
Eric Doidy also put Muddy Gurdy, Hypnotic Wheels’ second album, in two lists: Albums of the year and Concerts of the year, for Hypnotic Wheels’ show at the Blues Rules Festival in Switzerland.
Three is supposed to be a charm. That is what Jacques Perin does by adding Muddy Gurdy in his Revelations of the year, for both the album and the live shows!
Find all the lists in the news (Actu) section of Soul Bag.
When the hurdy-gurdy meets the North Mississippi Hill Country blues…
The movie made by Yannick Demaison / Biscuit Production chronicles the amazing journey of a dedicated trio of French musicians (hurdy-gurdy player Gilles Chabenat, guitarist and vocalist Tia Gouttebel, percussionnist Marc Glomeau) and French sound engineer Pierre Bianchi. Their dream was to marry the haunting sound of the French hurdy-gurdy with the Hill Country blues of North Mississippi, which they did with guitarists and singers Cedric Burnside, Cameron Kimbrough, and Pat Thomas and fife player and singer Shardé Thomas, yielding the brilliant album “Muddy Gurdy,”
Released internationally through the VizzTone Label Group, Muddy Gurdy received critical acclaim and won the coveted Academie Charles Cros “Cri De Coeur” award.
Muddy Gurdy is one of the most exciting blues sounds today. Tia Gouttebel, Gilles Chabenat, and Marco Glomeau embrace and celebrate Mississippi Hill Country blues with special skill. Tia’s impressive guitar and vocals are complimented with Marco’s percussion and Gilles’s hurdy gurdy to deliver a powerful sound. Tia’s version of Jessie Mae Hemphill’s “She Wolf” is especially moving.
By William Ferris, American author and scholar, former chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, cofounder with Judy Peiser of the Center for Southern Folklore in Memphis, Tennessee.
NB: In 2019 William Ferris won two Grammy Awards for his Voices from Mississippi album: Best Historical Album and Best Album Notes.
How could anyone have imagined 50 years ago, when I made the first field recordings of R.L. Burnside and Otha Turner, that I would now be writing about some blues artists who traveled from FRANCE to make some field recordings of —and WITH— R.L.’s and Otha’s GRANDCHILDREN! The resulting album, Murdy Gurdy (titled after one of their instruments, a traditional French one called a hurdy gurdy), is so beautifully innovative that I have enjoyed listening to it repeatedly. Cedric Burnside and Sharde Thomas (and Cameron Kimbrough) were obviously inspired by this fresh approach to Hill Country Blues, and they sound great in these one-take, highly spontaneous recordings done on location (with rather more sophisticated equipment than I used in 1967). Since two other Hill Country artists I recorded back then, Fred McDowell and Jessie Mae Hemphill, had no grandchildren carrying on their music, the French trio, Hypnotic Wheels, recorded their own highly energetic and unique versions of “Shake ‘Em on Down” and “She Wolf.” Tia Gouttebel is the singer and guitarist, and may be the most innovative blues musician solidly grounded in tradition performing today.
By record producer and music historian George Mitchell.
George Mitchell has written several books, the latest being Mississippi Hill Country Blues 1967 which includes a collection of a hundred black and white photographs, released in 2013 by the University of Mississippi Press. Before, he published Blow My Blues Away (Louisiana State University Press, 1971), I’m Somebody Important: Young Black Voices from Rural Georgia (University of Illinois Press, 1973), Yessir, I’ve Been Here a Long Time: The Faces and Words of Americans Who Have Lived a Century (E.P. Dutton, 1975).
He also recorded numerous albums, which were released by Fat Possum, Arhoolie, Rounder, Testament, Hightone, Flyright, Southland and Swingmaster. Fat Possum has issued 26 CDs of field recordings known as The George Mitchell Collection.
‘Muddy Gurdy’ is een waar genot om naar te luisteren omdat het zo puur is en omdat het echt live is. Dit is de oer-blues. Het is ook mooi en boeiend om te ontdekken waar de latere Engelse blues zijn oorsprong vond. Je ‘hoort’ Rory Gallagher, John Mayall, Alexis Korner, The Stones, The Yardbirds, enz. enz.
Voor de echte blues liefhebber, die ook wat dieper wil gaan, is dit album een cadeau!
– By Bennuman, on Blues Magazine, from The Netherlands.
Which gives, in English: “Muddy Gurdy is a true pleasure to listen to because it is so pure and because it is really live. This is the original blues. It is also beautiful and fascinating to discover where the later English blues came from. You ‘hear’ Rory Gallagher, John Mayall, Alexis Korner, The Stones, The Yardbirds, etc. For the true blues lover, who also wants to go a little deeper, this album is a gift!
Muddy Gurdy was born when the French trio Hypnotic Wheels traveled to Mississippi to record a Hill Country blues album that included collaborations with the descendants of several North Mississippi legends. Muddy Gurdy wasn’t recorded in a studio. Instead, the band engaged in modern-day field recording using microphones and a laptop. The result is an album that sounds far more intimate than anything produced in a recording studio. On a quality sound system, Muddy Gurdy brings a back porch jam session into the listener’s living room. The performances are natural and spontaneous, with the various musicians playing off one another beautifully. Because Hypnotic Wheels includes a traditional French hurdy gurdy (hence the album name), along with guitar, percussion and vocals, they bring a unique twist to their take on Hill Country blues.
Cedric Burnside joins the band for a series of tracks recorded at Sherman Cooper’s farm in Como. On a cover of R.L. Burnside’s Goin’ Down South, Tia Gouttebel and Burnside trade vocals with ease. The droning sound of Gilles Chabenat’s hurdy gurdy adds a haunting ambience. A reading of Cedric Burnside’s own That Girl Is Bad kicks up the energy level. Guitars, percussion and hurdy gurdy all blend to create a sound that’s discordant but still grounded in North Mississippi’s trademark hypnotic groove. Sharde Thomas joins the band for a series of tracks recorded at Moon Hollow Farm. Her fife playing breathes life into a spirited rendition of Otha Turner’s Station Blues. While at Moon Hollow Farm, the band also recorded an intense performance of Junior Kimbrough’s Leave Her Alone. Cameron Kimbrough’s vocals drip with menace and paranoia, and his guitar licks add a dose of juke joint grit.
A pair of performances that feature Hypnotic Wheels unaccompanied by guest musicians demonstrates the band’s respect and devotion to Hill Country blues. The French musicians do justice to Jessie Mae Hemphill’s She Wolf and Fred McDowell’s Shake ’Em On Down. Tia Gouttebel is a standout —her voice has a natural depth and her guitar riffs seem to flow effortlessly. It’s great to hear a young group of European musicians exhibit such love and appreciation for traditional American music —Muddy Gurdy makes the sounds of North Mississippi fresh and exhilarating once again.
By Jon Kleinman. Read the review in the June-July, 2018, issue of Living Blues magazine.
Muddy Gurdy, Hypnotic Wheel’s second album, made it to #13 in Living Blues magazine’s April-May 2018 radio chart!