Of course blues in Mississippi was not restricted to the Delta or the Hill Country, but in fact spread throughout the length of the state. L. C. Ulmer, who is from Ellisville, Mississippi in the southern piney woods region, has been playing blues for nearly 70 years, but has his album debut at 80 years of age with the release of “Blues Come Yonder” on the venerable Hill Country Records imprint out of Jimbo Mathus’ Delta Recording Service in Como.
Although Ulmer hails from the southern part of Mississippi, his performance style has many points of similarity with artists from further north. The casual listener might notice moments where Ulmer superficially resembles Mississippi Fred McDowell, yet Ulmer’s style is largely his own, honed during a lifetime of wandering and working odd jobs across America. Legendary Mississippi alt-rock-county icon Jimbo Mathus and Afrisippi bassist Justin Showah provide sympathetic and unobtrusive accompaniment to Ulmer’s guitar virtuosity and vocals, which are particularly evident on the title track “Blues Come Yonder.” And while most of the tunes are in the rural blues tradition, the inclusion of the hillbilly breakdown “Get Along Cindy” and Hank Williams’ “I Saw the Light” reveal a hidden shared heritage and influence between white and black Misssissippians. A masterful debut from a living legend of Mississippi blues.