Mr. Sipp ‘The Mississippi Blues Child’ (Malaco) 5/5

mr-sippCastro Coleman AKA Mr. Sipp is clearly an accomplished guitarist, and for the first 8 tracks he treats us to his skills, blues bordering on heavy rock and not really to my taste at all. However, for us soul folk tracks 9 through to 14 save the day, the pace drops, and the guitar is relegated to the odd subtle solo or just helping to create a great southern soul sound. Let’s begin with “What is Love”. This slapped me in the face the first time I heard it, a down-tempo low-rider of the highest calibre, it has 4am Soul Essence/Soul4Real written all over it, prominent drum, base with guitar fills and some tremendous passionate singing, it’s the first time for ages I’v become so enamoured about a southern soul floater with no horns, bloody hell no horns, V.I.P ups the pace and is a lovely free flowing mid-tempo southern styled dancer that really is hard to stay still too, deserving some attention from a brave soul behind any decks.
Next up we have the sumptuous floater that is “Tonight” – another top dance floor moment with the added guitar solo that has George Benson stamped all over it. Straight to “Be careful”, which evolves into a monster stepper of the rare groove type, which really has grown in stature here at home. Finally “Too Much Water” drops the pace considerably and allows us to hear what a great voice this man truly has. An album then of two halves, it has left me wondering what the hell he thought he was doing in the first 9 tracks though, “What is love”, “Tonight” and “Be careful” will almost certainly be in my top tunes of the year, they really are top dollar tuneage. Those three tracks have already been tested at my Sunday Soul Sessions and the reaction was very very positive and “What is love” has gotten radio plays too. My rating therefore reflects those three stunning tracks.

Brian Goucher