Chester, United Kingdom
By Lionel Ross
This CD delivers an affectionate and nostalgic journey through the lives of the Thomas brothers, Eddie and Frank, in their home town of Iuka, which lies in the hill section of North East Mississippi. All ten songs have been written and performed by Eddie while Frank has undertaken the recording, mixing and graphics.
The brothers made a considerable impression in the UK in 2005 when they completed two tours with their Angels on the Backroads show, which combined Eddie’s musical skills and Frank’s film-making expertise to depict the route on Highway 61 from Memphis to New Orleans.
The warmth and humanity that shone through those tours reappears in abundance in Maggie’s House. The album opens with the title track in lively, Hank Williams style before “Dancing With Bonnie” provides a rolling trip down memory lane with 1960s references and some mellow trumpet and harmonica embellishment. Warm memories are recalled in the slow and dreamy “In Perfumed Air”, which boasts lovely chord progressions while “Dancin’ ’Round The Table” is a gentle, country-style fable.
“Drive The Train” bounces along brilliantly with driving guitar work, which changes to a lovely finger-picking style for “White Lightning”, a pseudonym for home-brewed moonshine. The final four tracks comprise three beautifully performed love songs and “Young Boy”, a heartfelt reminiscence of happy childhood, to complete a delightful compendium of nostalgia. It is a timely reminder that a return trip to the UK by these hugely talented siblings is grossly overdue.
- Lionel Ross