Two discs. 44 min. each approximately. Remastered sound. First off this is not the complete session as claimed. Three tracks are not included,which are on the single disc release with the same title. They are: You Got To Move (done by The Rolling Stones),The Train I Ride,and You Ain't Gonna Worry My Life Anymore. If these tracks were throw-aways it might not matter,however,these tracks are as good as anything on the album. Aside from this,it's nice to have more McDowell to listen to.
Well-known as a country acoustic bottleneck guitarist,here McDowell plays an electric guitar with the inclusion of a bass and drums rhythm section. At the time,during the blues "rediscovery" period,it was thought that a rock rhythm section would be more in keeping with the era's listening habits. It was also decided that McDowell would play an electric instrument. Happily the rhythm section is mixed a bit below McDowell and isn't intrusive,and McDowell takes to the electric guitar like he had been playing it all his life. Interestingly,this is one reason McDowell spoke about amplified instruments,and that he did not play rock and roll,hence,the title. The music itself is immediate and vital sounding. McDowell's voice,as always, is an instrument in itself. The themes and the songs themselves may sound familiar,but McDowell makes them his own. Included is some between tracks asides and thoughts from McDowell. These are used sparingly and give the listener the feel of being in the studio along side McDowell.
The booklet is informative and the packaging is done nicely. If you are new to "Mississippi" Fred McDowell,seek out his earlier recordings on labels such as Arhoolie and Testament Records. From there it's a short jump into some good elecric bottleneck blues from a man who was a farm laborer all his life-but gave us some great music.