John Mooney

Slide player/singer John Mooney is like his real-life mentor, the raw Delta bluesman Son House. He is not a “clownin’ man.” Mooney performances are a thick slash-and-burn experience, chock-full of Mississippi percussive rhythm and syncopated New Orleans rhumba funk. Five songs here are Mooney’s; the rest are his hero songs from Professor Longhair, Mississippi Fred McDowell, Ted Hawkins and of course, House. Mooney’s voice and inflection, as he ages, have become richer, in that gruff way the best Southern music deserves. His slide playing is superb. And in “Buried Treasure,” he sings about being Master of the Universe, but then rightly accedes that only New Orleans legend Ernie K-Doe deserves that title. If you’ve not heard Mooney but like John Hiatt, they are diggin’ in same paw-paw patch.