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Elliot Sharp and Queen Esther: Mighty

On Mighty (Homestead 232-2; 50:07) Sharp teams with stunning vocalist Queen Esther under the name Hoosegow to perform a set of stark, striking Delta-flavored originals. Sharp’s lap steel underscores her haunting, dramatic delivery on “Intuition” and the title track. Together they get raw and funky on rougher numbers like “Later” and “Myopia.” On the brilliant fingerstyle showcase, “You Never Can Tell,” E# comes on like Mahavishnu Leo Kottke and his strangely-tuned fingerstyle approach on “Dead Or Alive” sounds like Piedmont style as played on Pluto. A raucous cover of Willie Dixon’s “I’m Ready” has Queen Esther belting with chilling power while E# accompanies her on a rich-sounding baritone guitar. On the inner sleeve, Queen Esther thanks God/Jesus Christ/the Holy Spirit. Sharp thanks his attorney and the Devil. It’s this kind of yin-yang that makes their union so potent.B

Originally Published