Tuesday, August 28, 2012

M.S.G. The Acoustic Blues Trio Meets Us In The Middle

M.S.G. - the Acoustic Blues Trio is combined of Jackie Merrit, Miles Spicer and Resa Gibbs. They are among the acoustic blues perform- ers who are associated with the Archie Edwards Blues Heritage Foundation and this writer caught a wonderful performance by them as well as a nice extended play CD a couple years ago. They have just issued an self-named CD with a mix of some classic blues, spirituals and ballads with some very strong originals, the trio brings plenty of warmth and soulfulness to these performances.

I am not sure who first recorded the Doc Pomus number (although it sounds like something that Solomon Burke might have done well with), There is Always One More Time, but with Miles providing a spare accompaniment, Resa delivers the reflective lyric in a spellbinding manner that illustrates just how good a singer she is with a honey tone yet able to tear the roof off at times. Miles co-wrote The Home Coming Song, as Resa sings about it will be a long, long time before one sees her again as Jackie adds some nice harp here behind Miles effective accompaniment. Kazoo and bones are heard behind Miles’ affable vocal on the traditional Frankie and Johnnie, lending this classic ballad a folk, jug band flavor.

Resa is featured again on a terrific interpretation of the traditional You Don’t Know My Mind, and a spirited vocal on Midnight Special, both with more fine harp from Jackie. Another original from Miles is his take on the back door man Jody on his lively Jody’s Got Your Girl. Jackie’s Isabelle, sounds like a song written about a mistreating lover, but actually is a blues about Hurricane Isabelle that caused so much damage several years ago, and unfortunately timely in the light of Hurricane’s Katrina and Rita with Resa again shining on the vocal.

Like Miles, Jackie is an affable vocalist and handles the vocal on her Race Track Blues, a short number with a quick rhythmic accompaniment from Miles. A bit of the spiritual side of the trio can be held on Get Right Church and the closing acapella Come to Me in Prayer. The music is never less than tasteful and there are some truly exquisite moments on this splendid release.

This was the trio’s debut album and my review appeared originally in the March 2006 DC Blues Calendar.  For more info on MSG, check their website, www.acousticbluesmsg.com. Here is a video of them performing Isabelle.

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