REVIEW -Music CIty Roots

Franklin Five-O – MCR 7.22.15

Posted by Craig Havighurst
Nashville veteran Mike Henderson shocked everyone to attention with loud and lusty guitar, ripping off three choruses of 12-bar blues before singing “Weepin’ and Moanin’.” One might be forgiven for seeing Nashville as just too genteel a place, too calculated in its musical designs, to produce blues singers who truly evoke the Mississippi mud. But Mike, who’s earned his artistic freedom with hit songs for Trisha Yearwood and The Dixie Chicks, could cut with the best of them in Clarksdale or Chicago or Memphis. His cathedral-large guitar tone is as rich as any we’ve heard – a combo of vintage gear, a heavy picking hand and a guitar tuned down two steps. When he goes low, it’s low. He played mostly fretted solos, but his slide is always on his left finger, ready to carve off a slice or two at any moment. On his set closer “If You Think It’s Hot Here,” the title track off his new album, he broke traditional blues form and leaned more on a pop/rock melody that was enhanced by a intense slide solo. We must salute Kevin McKendree’s keyboard playing, which got especially nuanced on the quieter stretches of “Unseen Eye.” And the rhythm section of Michael Rhodes on bass and drummer Pat O’Connor offered a clinic in time, taste and combustion.

Read the review of the full show at: MCR 7.22.15

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