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31 Days of Music: Best of 2013 - Day 2 - Mike Snowden - LIVE!

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Number 30 - Mike Snowden - One Man Cigar Box Guitar Band Live

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The next installment to the 31 Days of Music is a live album. I know most live albums are just another collection of tunes usually released at the holidays or in between albums to keep the musician relevant or as a money grab, but there are a few that stand alone as damn fine records. This one from Mike Snowden is one of those distinct few because it allows the listener to hear his music the way God intended us to do so, live and raw.

With a fuzzy guitar squeal and a steady thump of the drum Atlanta’s Mike Snowden kicks into the opening track, “Georgia Mountain Train” on his recently released album One Man Cigar Box Guitar Band Live. If you are not familiar with Snowden then I highly suggest you get aquatinted with his music.

Eliminating all the hassles that can be a part of band life, Snowden does everything himself. He builds his instruments, writes the songs and plays all the music. With nasty slide guitar riffs, pounding drums and sometimes an added bass string for a little extra rhythm, he is a true example of a one man band. His live shows are raw and high energy as he rolls through original tunes that are stripped down and sound like classic Southern blues music similar to that of Junior Kimbrough, RL Burnside or T Model Ford. With multiple studio albums under his belt, Snowden has recently released a live record that truly captures the Mike Snowden live experience.

Songs like “Where’s My Rooster”, “500 Mason Jars” and “Mudcat” explode off the record as he manhandles his hand crafted guitars making them whine and screech. Like much of the blues, the Devil always finds his way into the music in some form or another and Snowden’s music is no different. The sludgy “Mr. Evil” suggests that there is one person/entity causing all that is bad to happen to you and on the “Devil In The Record Store” he complains about the Devil scratching his records, causing him to lose his girl and spending his money, but actually the Devil is just him. Other highlights are “Little Demon” and what is usually everybody’s favorite the cornbread song, “Give Him Cornbread”.

From start to finish this is one bad ass collection of live music. While Snowden’s studio albums are good, playing live is what he is best at and this record brilliantly captures that. Loaded with catchy lyrics, chunky guitar riffs, whiny slide and chugging rhythms everything on this record is a treat to listener’s ears. I suggest you start the ball rolling by giving this record a listen then before you know it you will be going to his shows and filling your music collection with his catalog.

31 Days of Music: Best of 2013

31 - Futurebirds - Baba Yaga
30 - Mike Snowden - One Man Cigar Box Guitar Band Live

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