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In the 1920s and ’30s, Hayes McMullan played blues around his home in the Mississippi Delta. He shared the stage with the likes of Charley Patton and Willie Brown, but gave it up after his brother Tom, a more popular local bluesman, died of poisoning. It wasn’t until blues archivist Gayle Dean Wardlow’s chance meeting in 1967 that the blues-guitarist-turned-church-deacon-and-civil-rights-activist finally preserved his songs to tape. Those landmark sessions are now available for the world to discover the greatest Delta bluesman they’ve never heard.
The most striking element of Everyday Seem Like Murder Here is McMullan’s guitar playing. He hadn’t played the instrument in over thirty years, yet his lines are fluid and modern, as if the booze Wardlow secretly provided to him during the recording sessions acted as a time-travel vessel. Here, the origins of The Flamin’ Groovies, AC/DC, Hawkwind and, obviously, The Rolling Stones unfold, each song a mind-blowing expression of pure, unadulterated six-string genius accompanied by McMullan’s strong yet tender voice. Wardlow’s recorded interviews with McMullan break up the tracks, perfectly encapsulating the era from which this music was borne.
Hayes McMullan may once have been lost to time, but now his legacy is finally preserved, allowing him to reach the ranks of Charley Patton, Lead Belly and Robert Johnson. Perhaps there is justice after all…
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