Home / Music / Album Reviews / Lightnin Malcolm: Rough Out There (ShakeDown Records)

Lightnin Malcolm: Rough Out There (ShakeDown Records)

Dec. 23, 2013
Google plus Linkedin Pinterest

 As a member of the North Mississippi Allstars, Lightnin Malcolm is best known for his raw bass playing, deeply rooted in Southern-fried blues. But on his latest solo album, Rough Out There, the man plays guitar, sings and reveals plenty of other musical personalities.

Rough Out There opens with a pair of straight-ahead blues cuts: the honky-tonker “Workin’ ” and the bop-till-you-drop “My Life’s a Wreck.” He cues up the big horns on the funky pop of future Mississippi dancehall classic “Dellareesa,” “Reality Check” dabbles in reggae blues, the title track smolders with slow-burn hip-hop, and North Mississippi Allstar’s Luther Dickinson shows up with his slide guitar for the pretty country ballad “Givin’ You Away.” Rough Out There closes with “How Blessed You Are,” a powerful Christian-influenced R&B cut that makes the mistake of using Auto-Tune.

By keeping most of this music as universal as possible, Rough Out There simplifies life’s most complex issues—which is the album’s greatest strength.


A Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission panel upheld the firing of former Milwaukee Police officer Christopher Manney for violating department rules last April when he encountered Dontre Hamilton before fatally shooting him. Do you agree with the commission’s decision?

Getting poll results. Please wait...