Les Inrocks: « At the high level of the best heirs of the blues »

Muddy Gurdy sort un album à la hauteur des meilleurs héritiers du blues du Mississippi […]

Cette musique est un fantasme. Celui, bien compréhensible, de tous les amateurs de musique qui un jour ont entendu le morceau Goin’ down South du bluesman R. L. Burnside, et ne s’en sont jamais remis. Cette chanson est un sésame, la porte d’entrée vers les mystères et les moites délices du blues du Nord Mississippi. Le Nord Mississippi n’est pas le delta. C’est le pays des collines, des forêts recouvertes d’un manteau de kudzu et d’une manière bien locale et sorcière de jouer du blues – hypnotique, électrique, érotique, dansant, fondant et fondé sur la pulsation rythmique plutôt que la mélodie. […]

Menaçant, chaotique et sexy, cet album est incroyablement bon, à la hauteur des meilleurs héritiers du blues de là-bas. C’était vraiment une bonne idée, ces ébats entre le vieux (blues) et la vielle (à roue).

Hypnotic Wheels’ Muddy Gurdy’s Project is featured in Les Inrockuptibles, one of France’s major music magazine —a critique full of praise written by Stéphane Deschamps.

Read the full critique (in French). 


The review, as translated by Richard Rosenblatt, founder-president of Vizztone, the label which releases the album this week:

This music is a fantasy. That, understandably, of all the music lovers who one day heard the song Goin Down South by bluesman RL Burnside and never recovered. This song is an ‘open sesame”, the gateway to the mysteries and sweet delights of North Mississippi blues. North Mississippi is not the delta. It is the land of hills, forests covered with a Kudzu mantle and a very local and arcane way to play the blues – hypnotic, electric, erotic, dancing, melting and based on the rhythmic beat rather than the melody .

Goin ‘Down South opens the first album of Muddy Gurdy. Muddy Gurdy is the parallel and traveling project of a French trio called Hypnotic Wheels, Of note: they play blues with a ”vielle à roue” —a hurdy-gurdy (Literal translation: Old Wheel). Last spring, they went down south, a Homeric voyage to record with some demi-gods, or their descendants, of the local blues – Pat and Shardé Thomas, children of Burnside and Kimbrough. The recordings were made in field-recording style, in houses or courtyards, with bits of dialogue, barking dogs and train sirens, far from any confinement.

Muddy Gurdy plays covers, these totemic songs shaped by RL Burnside, Fred McDowell, Jessie Mae Hemphill: Shake em on down, She Wolf, See My Jumper on the Line, Rollin’ and Tumblin’, and of course, Goin ‘down South. Playing covers is easy. Honoring them with a vision is better and that’s what Muddy Gurdy does. Used as a second guitar, the hurdy gurdy sounds like an African violin, with dense, rotating notes marrying this lascivious-aggressive North Mississippi blues. We find this huge, rumbling primitive rhythm, coming from fife & drum, the night of the blues. And these guitars like volcanic rock that becomes lava again.

Threatening, chaotic and sexy, this album is incredibly good, at the high level of the best heirs of the blues from there. It was really a good idea, these frolics between the old (blues) and the old (wheel.)