Back in 1970, Elvis Presley recorded an album entitled “I’m 10,000 Years Old.” I couldn’t help but think of that album when reviewing Webb Wilder’s tenth album, Mississippi Moderne. But don’t tell Webb that. As far as he is concerned, Webb is nothing more than a strapping youngster. Quoting Webb, “One thing I learned about myself is I haven’t grown up.” This writer feels Webb Wilder needs to hold onto that attitude. For Webb, it works. His song title to the second track says, “If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It.” How old you are, and how old you feel, are at opposite poles for Webb. But a word, don’t use the word “mature” around Webb. It’s not a good idea.
With his tenth album, thirty years in the making, Webb Wilder has compiled a list of originals and covers making an impressive album for this “Moderne” singer/songwriter. Mississippi Moderne is an album that covers 50’s and 6o’s styles, with an overlay of Texas and Chicago Blues. His music is a timeless capsule capturing Conway Twitty, Chuck Berry, and a British mix.
Webb opens with an intro to his last track, “Stones in My Pathway.” This thirty-second tease would make Robert Johnson smile. But its tracks seven, eight, and nine that are the strength of Webb’s album. “Lonely Boy Blue,” “Yard Dog,” and “I’m Not Just Anybody’s Fool” give Webb’s album raw mastery. The complete version of “Stones in My Pathway,” his last track, is another ear catcher. I love it when artists pay homage to musicians of the past.
Webb Wilder has an impressive package of old mixed with new. I especially like many of the guitar solos making the album au courant. Also, it’s an album that should move Webb to record number eleven in the near future. As Webb said, “The good news is I’m a musician. The bad news is I’m a musician.” With Mississippi Moderne you hear the good news. An added plus, Webb will kick off the sale of his new CD with a series of shows, including September 25 at The Basement East in Nashville. I’m JR Miller with High Note Reviews, and this is Webb Wilder singing Mississippi Moderne.