L.R. Phoenix & Mr Mo' Hell (UK / FINLAND)
Jumper On The Line - The North Carelian Lake Country Blues
©L.R. Phoenix 2010
L.R.Phoenix / Guitar/Harmonica/Vocals
Mr.Mo'Hell / Drums
Honey Lake / Violin
Just over a year ago I reviewed “Wrecked” the first CD that I’d heard from these guys – and I loved it, and I’ve been playing it constantly ever since. Here we are 15 months later with the follow up “Jumper On The Line”, which will tell you that they are still very much influenced by R.L.Burnside, and that influence extends to cover a lot of Mississippi hill country musicians too.
This CD is a very good follow up, equally as good as the last album, if not a little bit better. I made the comment when I reviewed the last CD that Finland isn’t a place that immediately springs to mind when you think of blues. If these guys carry on like this, then that could change over time. L.R.Phoenix is originally from England, but now lives and makes music in Finland together with Mr. Mo’Hell – usually Phoenix handles guitar and vocals, while Mo’Hell provides drum backing, but on 3 tracks of this album, they are joined by Honey Lake – playing violin on two tracks and providing some vocals on another – it makes a refreshing combination!
The CD opens with one of my all time favourite tracks “Shake ‘Em On Down”, and they make a really good version – changed to their own style from other versions that I’ve heard, which is good. The guys keep the flavour on the boil with “Don’t Want No Skinny Woman”, and by now you know that you are listening to some really good blues – forget where they come from, this is GOOD blues. The CD runs through mainly up tempo country blues, “Boggy Pine”, “Freight Train”, until it slows down a little with “Keep Your Hands Off Of My Woman” and then runs into R.L.Burnside’s “Jumper On The Line”. Nothing can compare to the original, os course, but this version comes very close. The tempo keeps up with “We Got A Thing Going On”, “Going To Memphis”, which is rich in hill country blues roots – possibly my favourite track on the CD. Track 11, “Truly” slows things way down, with a love song and then the last track gets the hill country blues going again, with a little Junior Kimbrough flavour in “Watermelon Skies”. If you like the feel of hill country blues, then this album is a must for your collection – it’s also a giant leap forward from the last excellent CD – it makes me wonder what they will do next!
By Terry Clear
Reviews / Quotes
"I really don't know how the musicians in Europe especially those in countries bordering the Sea of Finland, have managed to take the Genre of Blues, which some of us can safely say, has in some cases become a little too complicated, and offer a much leaner, cleaner, and I think more closer ideal of how the Blues was originally meant to be played like. Such is the case when it comes to L.R. Phoenix & Mo'Hell newest album, "Wrecked".
"Wrecked" is simply a brilliant representation of the old Blues, played in a simply manner with just a Guitar, Drums, and the good old Harmonica thrown in for good measure. The beat on this Album is infectious, the music and vocals are crisp and clear. If your head in not bobbing and your feet tapping from the opening track, you are simply not awake yet."
"In the tradition of Bullfrog Brown, another 2 piece group from the same area, whom I have called the “The New Voice and Sound of the Old Blues.”, L.R. Phoenix & Mo'Hell also carry the torch that will continue to light the way for the old blues for a long time to come."
"If you are not familiar with L.R. Phoenix & Mo'Hell, please do yourself a favor and give them a listen."
"I give "Wrecked" a 5 Star Recommendation"
Review by John Vermilyea (Blues Underground Network)
"Dirty blues is what I like and L.R. Phoenix delivers it. His songs are raw and passionate, played with a hard to beat attitude and a kind of dark atmosphere attached to them. This is the Mississippi Hill Country blues played right!" Przemek Draheim, Blues.pl Magazine
"R L Burnside's cut down blues grooves reincarnated - and now living in Finland!" Mike Garner, Blues News, New Zealand".
"L.R.Phoenix & MR.Mo'Hell Offer Us The Essence Of The Blues Past, While At The Same Time, Creating The Art Of The Blues Future" - John Vermilyea, Blues Underground Network"