Last Friday, at Amazing Things Arts Center in Framingham, The Mystix brought their Roots Ramble Tour to the suburbs, for a revue style show of twelve- bar and beyond. Coming off the recent release of their new LP, Mighty Tone, The Mystix have taken a more rootsy Americana feel to their new material, and have assembled an all-star cast of guest musicians to embody this sound. Joe Lilly, guitarist of the legendary Duke & The Drivers, is the man at the center of the supergroup, whether it be crooning in his signature sandpapery tone or sending the band for a loop of solos.
The solos are where this band shines the most. Lead guitarist Bobby Keyes’ quick left hand leads to sophisticated riffs that are at times spider-fingery, but at others, more patient and articulated. Tom West does a solid job adding color to the sound on keys, while Marty Ballou works his way up the neck for a few bars when he’s not holding down the low end. The Mystix also featured a few special guests, including arguably the best living blues harmonica player, Jerry Portnoy. Portnoy has toured and recorded with some of the best, including Muddy Waters and Eric Clapton, but added another dimension to The Mystix, digging deep on tunes like, “Mighty Love.” Lap steel player Kevin Barry amazed as well, not just in adding southern shades to the sound as a whole, but stepping up for some truly marvelous solos of his own.
The Mystix’s take on the blues doesn’t stray too far from the original structures, but instead, reinterprets different regional and pioneering versions of the genre. Whether it was the folkier, Americana influenced “Blues #4,” or a take on Pop Staples’ gospel “Wish I’d Answered,” the band keeps it diverse and exciting. The Mystix are playing their boldest material yet, so get out to one of their shows this summer while they’re still playing with such an incredible lineup.
Photo Credit: Daniel Schiffer