by Rick Moore
Mississippi’s Lightnin Malcolm is a modern-day blues rocker who is influenced by far more than just the blues, but whose music carries the stamp of several styles that could be part of life’s soundtrack for anyone old enough to remember the Viet Nam war. With a guitar sound and style that can often be likened to that of ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons, but a repertoire that includes tunes that are also reggae and soul-influenced (with some nice horns), as well as some country (real country, not what the radio plays these days) and even a slight nod to rap in terms of drum sounds, Malcolm delivers a satisfying set on Rough Out There.
With some help from the Mississippi All-Stars’ slide-playing Luther Dickinson on several tracks, and teenage drum wunderkind Stud keeping the beat, Malcolm delivers 14 original songs on a CD that’s more than an hour long, something pretty unheard of these days. He feels what he sings and takes his guitar playing seriously, with an occasional flourish that brings to mind Stevie Ray Vaughan or Hendrix. But a guy who includes a track called “Stomp Yo Feet, Clap Yo Hands” had to have come up in the heyday of Pat Travers and similar FM rockers, and is obviously out to have good time and wants his audience to as well. Lightnin Malcolm is the real deal, a guitarist/singer will probably be buried with his guitar. Give this guy a listen if you want to hear somebody who still sings and plays like he means it.
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