Cody Dickinson, Watermelon Slim, Cedric Burnside & Lightnin’ Malcolm join Roots Musician Ghalia on her new album

Article Contributed by Devious Planet | Published on Tuesday, August 20, 2019

You can't miss Ghalia Volt. She's a natural-born rockstar complete with leather jacket and wicked grin. Ghalia has been honing her blend of Americana blues since she was discovered while busking on the streets of Brussels. Her latest effort, Mississippi Blend, finds her delving deep into the American South,, recording at the famed Zebra Ranch in the Hill Country of Mississippi.

Six years ago, Ghalia was a die-hard R&B and blues fan who heard the siren call of America, and found it too strong to resist. Visiting Chicago, Memphis and Nashville, Ghalia’s livewire talent found a new home. Before long, on Let The Demons Out (2017), Ghalia fused the groove of New Orleans with her own punk-rock attitude, hooking up with bassist Dean Zucchero, guitarist Smokehouse Brown and harmonica player Johnny Mastro from the New Orleans legendary band, Mama’s Boys. Commercially and creatively, this debut release made a seismic impact, hitting #1 on Louisiana’s Roots Music Report, #15 on the national Contemporary Blues Chart and #23 on the Living Blues Charts – while scoring Blues Album Of The Month in Classic Rock Magazine.. 
 
Like any musician who loves the blues, Ghalia hungered to make a record in Mississippi. From the very beginning, her vision for Mississippi Blend was clear. This was going to be an album that had some of the region’s favorite sons add their raw sound.

There was one studio that fit the bill. Owned and operated by Cody and Luther Dickinson, The Zebra Ranch in Coldwater, Mississippi, is where titans like Delta bluesman T-Model Ford to R.L. Burnside have recorded. Rather than being intimidated by the studio’s history, Ghalia embraced the Hill Country influences with the punk, garage and rock ‘n’ roll that she came from. I’m not trying to imitate any style", says Ghalia, "I let my songs drive this music.”

Ghalia sings up a storm, while playing soulful dobro and slide guitar. But this is anything but a one-woman show. On drums, you’ll find Cody Dickinson of the feted North Mississippi Allstars, alternating with Cedric Burnside/ The veteran harp-blower Watermelon Slim duets with Ghalia, while Lightnin’ Malcolm, a guitarist credited with keeping the hill Country Scene so healthy, plays searing leads. 

By all means, take a slug from her hip flask. But don’t forget to play Mississippi Blend - and fall for the most powerful blend of star players you’ll hear this year. “I just can't wait,” says Ghalia, “to share this new album live…”