Brother, Bring the Sun rocked, and I waited impatiently for Chasing Mississippi, Dave Barnes’ sophomore album. The Nashville-based singer does it again. Chasing Mississippi does not have a bad track and can be listened to on repeat again and again…and again.
Unlike Brother, Bring the Sun, Chasing Mississippi sacrifices the appraised romance songs for a more upbeat feel. Fortunately for Barnes, his peppier songs are just as fun to listen to. In “Everybody But You” Barnes sings about a love interest who’s oblivious to his affections: “Everybody knows it here but you/I love you girl but you still ain’t got a clue.” The blues guitar with a Caribbean inspired rhythm section creates a playful feel, which is perfect for the content.
“Everybody But You” isn’t the only track where Barnes composes flawlessly for the accompanying lyrics. “Butterflies,” summed up by the catch “butterflies in my stomach/this just might be love,” can be skipped down the sidewalk to, with a ragtime piano solo in the middle that is reminiscent of finding love in the spring. Sound corny? It is. But corny, in this case, works.
Nashville obviously got to Barnes while he was writing this album. “Grey Hound” and “All That Noise” are slap and clap alongs, bound to appease listeners who want to get on their feet to a ragtime blues. They are masterfully woven into the overall album so as not to make the quicker beats sound hokey or overshadow the slower songs.
The romantic pieces, as mentioned in my review of Brother, Bring the Sun, are Dave Barnes’ strong suit. This remains true for Chasing Mississippi. “More Than a Man,” “Stay Away,” and “I Have and I Always Will” showcase Barnes’ fantastic vocal talent and bleeding heart. They all have guitar solos that are appropriately sweet and mellow as the song prescribes.
Well done, Dave. Chasing Mississippi is a wonderful addition to the repertoire.
Recommended Tracks: Buy this album