The aim of Mississippi Rail Company is moving music forward vi a a vehicle of the past. Their music is an experiment in irony, embracing New Orleans roots music, rock ‘n roll, folk, and blues traditions while refusing to fall subject to any of their claims. Their music breaks wholly new ground, rejecting any pull toward a simple re-hash of past musical genres. There is nothing tired, tried, or weary about their sound as it re-thinks (and re-shapes) a century of American musical traditions. In short, it manages to sound as if it could have been produced in 1920, even as its content and structure are decades ahead of its time.
The group is comprised of a consistent cast of young bucks, all of whom found themselves drawn to New Orleans with the specific purpose of imbibing the city’s musical heritage. Mississippi Rail Company’s first self-titled EP exemplifies a group who has breathed in, mastered, and understood hundreds of musical influences, only to breathe them back out in one unique expression. Their follow-up full-length Coal Black Train, recorded deep in the swamps of Maurice, Louisiana, leaves trails of ghost stories, love songs, and murder ballads of the American South.
In such fashion, Mississippi Rail Company continues to steam ahead in a manner evocative of so many old conventions yet remains fresh and exciting. They are to New Orleans music what Old Crow Medicine Show is to bluegrass and Los Po-boy-citos is to Latin: neither descendent from nor mimetic of their genre.