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Mississippi Heat

I was happy to hear from Pierre when he called to ask if I'd write liner notes for Mississippi Heat WARNING SHOT, the bands 11th release. There was urgency and excitement in the voice of this harmonica-playing band-leader: "I'm s0000 excited about this album!" Normally Pierre is pretty even keeled with me, so his exuberance was a little out of character, and I couldn't wait to hear the album. My first encounter with Pierre was a spring 2005 phone interview, where he went to great lengths to tout contributions the entire band had made on their then current CD, ONE EYE OPEN (Delmark 783), and was very open about his personal life, sharing with me the chaos and loneliness he experienced as a child. Pierre explains that his melancho-lia may have come from some genetic pre-disposition. but it also came from an austere Calvinist environment that shunned joy and individual expression.

Music, sports (soccer in particular as he lived across the street from a famous soccer stadium in Brussels) were all discouraged. On the paternal side, two generations of ministers offered both serious thought and severe restriction; and on the maternal side, the arrest of his uncle Jean during WWII (who died in a concentration camp) and Pierre's grandfather (tortured by the Nazis for Resistance activities) caused a life-long period of unending mourning. There were other contributing factors to the feeling of detached loneliness, including being born a Christian in Israel, being for 12 years the only Christians with his brother and sister) in an orthodox Jewish school in Brussels, and living in 4 countries before age 5! He documents those lonely feelings on "Too Sad to Wipe My Tears". It wasn't "growing up black" in 1920s Mississippi, but the blues had found Pierre at a young age, and he wrestled with how to deal with them until age 16 when his family moved from Belgium to Chicago, and he happened upon the now legendary Big Walter Horton blowing harmon-ica at a performance near Pierre's University of Chicago neighborhood home. It was a lightning-bolt moment, and within days he was tearing into "the blues" with his newly purchased harmonica. Lacocque continued his harmonica playing while attending college in Montreal (1970-1976), but stopped after a few years when he mentally hit rock bottom. This was after he had won the Montreal Battle of the Bands with a quartet named "Oven."

He says stopping hod no real connection with that award, or with the sponsor reneging on paying the band S1,000.00 toward a record deal. He said he knew he couldn't continue emotionally, that he needed to put words to his non-verbal experiences of alienation. It was then he made a clear and formal decision to study existentialism, Jewish and Christian Theology; and made psychology his career path. He was especially drawn to Jewish theologian-philosopher Martin Buber and to Albert Schweitzer, whose writings were instrumental in Lacocque making sense of his life, and with affirming his family's values he says "I always knew were right," including equality, being considerate of others, and the mystery and beauty in connecting with people. Longtime Mississippi Heat drummer Kenny Smith says those values are apparent to the members of the band, adding: "He is one of the most genuine guys I know. He takes the time to understand you as a hu-man being and cares about EVERY musician on AND off the bandstand.

When we travel, he looks out for all of our needs. If the hotel isn't right, or the food isn't right, he takes care of it. Smith, one of the most in-demand drummers in blues and Mississippi Heat's drummer since early 1997, adds "Pierre is very sincere; he expresses his emotions through his music. You see it in the glare in his eyes when he plays. For me, I con 'feel' him and his passion when we're on the bandstand. He brings that chemistry every night, and that has a domino effect for the other musi-cians. That's what every musician wants, and when you feel that vibe you can't help but soak it up." Another band member he calls a dear friend, lead vocalist !nett° Visor with MH since 2001) amplifies Smith's praise for Pierre's caring nature, saying "The very first time I went overseas with the band, (guitarist) Carl Weathersby was on the gig, and got very ill, almost near death. Pierre stayed with him the whole time, got his wheelchair, got the ambulance and stayed at the hospital almost 'til show time.

Then went back after the show and stayed a week until Carl got out of the hospital. And that's just one example." Lacocque was clearly touched when I read his bandmates' praise back to him, and he was quick to return praise about Visor, Smith, M. Dotson and the rest of the band. Though this is Pierre's band, and he is the principal songwriter and stage front with his harmonica, there is on ensemble feel to all of Mississippi Heat albums. It shows again here in this stunning CD. The horn arrangements by Sax Gordon give the bond a fresh sound. The ensemble feel comes through in Visor's beautiful and heartfelt delivery. It comes through the fingers of guitarists Michael Dot-son (who also sings on 3 of his songs) and Giles Corey, who masterfully blend in and contribute harmonious rhythm parts and fiery solos. You hear it in the superb rhythm section featuring Brian Quinn on stand-up and electric bass, drummers Smith and Andrew "The Blaze" Thomas. It comes through the sweet and understated playing of young pianist Neal O'Hara, who sounds like a seasoned pro, and from returning guest Ruben Alvarez (3rd album with the Heat), whose percussion and Latin drumming add spice to 3 songs. As for Lacocque himself, I can listen to his playing for hours, which I can't say for most blues harmonica players.

Yes he can "blow his brains out' with the best of them, but it's his softer and more "foreign" sound that catches my ear. It's a distant cry that seems to have floated across the ocean from a strange land, a sound not unlike what you'd hear on a gypsy jazz ballad or a Jobim song. At times his harmonica has the feel of a wise old mon passing on his lifetime of accumulated wisdom. Oc-casionally, you can clearly hear a 5-year-old boy pleading his case to God for the loneliness to end.

So when you listen to this superb CD, you're not just hearing a band. You're hearing a family, one with a deep love, understanding, and respect for each other. That Sax Gordon is so seam-lessly incorporated into their signature sound speaks volumes about the trust Lacocque has for his band to welcome a prominent new guest into the fold. WARNING SHOT is a remarkable musical achievement! —Jon Norton. Music Director, GLT Blues Radio,



Weitere Informationen zu Mississippi Heat auf de.Wikipedia.org
 
 
   
 
Mississippi Heat: Handyman
Art-Nr.: CDCCD11064
 

Sofort versandfertig

(1999/2000 'Van der Linden)(63:06/15) Mit vielen Vorschusslorbeeren überhäuftes Album der Chicagoer Formation um den Harpspieler Pierre Lacocque. Wir haben dieses Album in Lizenz für Europa übernommen, allerdings darauf bestanden, es um zwei neu produzierte Titel zu...

15,50 € *

Mississippi Heat: One Eye Open - Live
Art-Nr.: CDDE783
 

Sofort versandfertig

(2005 'Delmark') (66:31/11) 'Recorded live at Rosa's Lounge, Chicago, July 18, 2005' - Diese Live-CD ist die perfekte Ergänzung zu unserem im Herbst 2005 erschienenen Studioalbum 'Glad You're Mine' (ccd 11085). Mit leicht veränderter Besetzung - allen voran...

15,50 € *

Mississippi Heat: Hattiesburg Blues
Art-Nr.: CDDE795
 

Sofort versandfertig

(2007 'Delmark') (63:02/13) Das erste Studioalbum für Delmark. Zweifelsohne zählt der 1969 nach Chicago ausgewanderte Belgier Pierre Lacocque zu den herausragenden, innovativen Mundharmonicaspielern des Blues. Er spielt flüssig, sauber, schnell mit sattem, tiefem...

15,50 € *

Mississippi Heat: Warning Shot (CD)
Art-Nr.: CDDE839
 

Sofort versandfertig

(2014/Delmark) 16 tracks. Vierzehn der sechzehn Songs hier sind Originale. Von Straightahead-Chicago-Blues, Boogie und Swing bis Latin Beat, Caribbean und Funk . MISSISSIPPI HEAT - WARNING SHOT 'I just listened to WARNING SHOT and it is a delight. Real blues...

15,50 € *

Mississippi Heat: Glad You're Mine
Art-Nr.: CDCCD11085
 

Sofort versandfertig

(2004 'CrossCut') (54:25/12) Mit der Sängerin Inetta Visor haben Chicagos Mississippi Heat eine der besten Vokalistinnen der Stadt in ihren Reihen. Bandleader Pierre Lacocque gilt eh seit vielen Jahren als einer der kreativsten Blues-Harmonicaspieler in den...

15,50 € *

Mississippi Heat: Delta Bound
Art-Nr.: CDDE823
 

Sofort versandfertig

(2012 'Delmark') (61:35/14) Vor zwanzig Jahren erschien das erste Album der Band um den aus Belgien eingewanderten Harmonicaspieler Pierre Lacocque, die sich längst als eine der innovativen Kräfte in der Szene Chicagos etabliert hat. Für sein Konzept setzt...

15,50 € *

Mississippi Heat: Cab Driving Man (CD)
Art-Nr.: CDDE848
 

Sofort versandfertig

(2016/Delmark) 16 tracks. 'Cap Driving Man' - ein weiteres Kapitel in der 25-jährigen Geschichte von Pierre Lacocque Mississippi Heat. 15 neue Songs, wieder mit Inetta Visor und Michael Dotson als Lead-Sänger. Eine wunderbare Mischung aus Mississippi, Chicago,...

15,50 € *

Mississippi Heat: Footprints On The Ceiling
Art-Nr.: CDCCD11071
 

Sofort versandfertig

(2001 'CrossCut') (58:41/14) Das vor drei Jahren erschienene 'Handyman'-Album dieser exquisiten Band aus Chicago wurde von Kritikern und Fans gleichermassen hoch gelobt und als eine der besten Veröffentlichungen jenes Jahres gepriesen. Mit einem wahrlich ureigenen...

15,50 € *

Mississippi Heat: Let's Live It Up
Art-Nr.: CDDE807
 

Sofort versandfertig

(2009 'Delmark') (60:13/14) Danke an Produzent und Toningenieur Michael Freeman für diese kraftvolle und ausgewogene Aufnahme! Über Mississippi muss nicht mehr viel geschrieben werden - sie zählen zu den populärsten Bands der Chicagoer Szene. Bandleader Pierre...

15,50 € *

   
 
 
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