November 2013 sees the joining of two blues forces from opposite sides of the world for an Australian Tour sure to get audiences dancing and grooving to two distinct juke joint blues acts – Chris Russell’s Chicken Walk (AUS) & Old Gray Mule (USA).
Charley from Old Gray Mule on Chris Russell’s Chicken Walk :
“Chris Russell plays a hybrid of Mississippi/Tennessee music like I’ve never heard anybody else play. There’s definitely some Hill Country Blues in there…and some Delta, but there’s also some Memphis Soul and Junior Kimbrough era Charlie Feathers rockabilly in there too. He calls it Chrississippian, I call it badass. As for the live shows…we’ve played together anywhere from mansions in Adelaide to juke joints in Mississippi…and so far the only thing that’s the same between two shows is the sense of joy and fun. Spontanaity, improvisation and questionable content…they rule our stage.”
Chris Russell on Old Gray Mule :
First time i heard Old Gray Mule was at Club 2000 in Clarksdale Mississippi.
The place was heaving, i squeezed through the crowd around the door and got inside, just. I couldn’t move or breathe. My wife got a brief glimpse of the band. We met outside a little while later. I said ‘they’re black right’? Wife: ‘No’. Me: ‘Shit!’
I ended up meeting Charley Humphrey, Old Gray Mule’s brains and braun 2 years later. We did a run of shows in Melbourne and South Australia. The highlight was in an old mansion in Adelaide. We all played in the Ballroom and OGM lit it up like few things i’d ever seen or heard. The next morning, still drunk, we made our way back to pick up our gear. Entering the room i tripped and looked down to see a lone stiletto. Broadening my vision i could see high heels, bras and women’s underwear all over the floor of the once grand ballroom. My mind flicked back through the mayhem of the night before. It was as debauched and base as an ancient Roman Orgy. This. Is. Old. Gray. Mule.”
Since their tour together two years ago, both acts have progressed like everyone who saw them would have expected. Chris Russell’s Chicken Walk have released two critically acclaimed albums and toured with Tony Joe White and Clairy Browne & The Banging Rackettes, done sold out album launch shows for recent release Shakedown as well as their now legendary performance at Golden Plains. Old Gray Mule bring with them their latest releases Like a Apple on a Tree and No Sleep Till Memphis and will create their own legend based on their incessant touring of the USA.