As anyone who’s seen Honey Island Swamp Band lately can attest, they like to stretch things out. Last year at Jazz Fest they set a possible record by playing a mere 5 songs in a 50-minute set. But while jamming onstage is fine, when you hit the studio you’ve gotta have the songs. No problem on HISB’s fourth album, one that really underlines the diversity of their material.
Producer Luther Dickinson gives this album a slightly different feel than the HISB’s previous three: There are fewer outright rockers, and a layered sound (with horns, keyboards and mandolin) with less emphasis on guitar. While the songs are shorter than they’d be live, he does allow some jamming space, with a slide/mandolin tradeoff on “Through Another Day” and a long, swampy intro that sets up “Devil’s Den.”