On his debut album, Jesus Year, T Ferrell weaves whiskey-soaked tales of Mississippi working class heroes doing battle with corrupt preachers, man-eating vultures, and Confederate Generals. Recorded in Water Valley, Mississippi with the help of local Mississippi musicians, Jesus Year has an authentic, analog feel that complements the stories of the down-but-not-quite-out characters in Ferrell’s songs. As Ferrell says, “It’s a record of, by, and for Mississippi.”
Included on the album are strange, yet mostly true stories of how state prohibition finally ended in the 1960s and of how a band of ruffian yeoman farmers in South Mississippi left the Confederacy to fight for the North. The one love song on the record tells the story of how the leader of those Unionists fell in love with a former slave. There are also Huck Finn-inspired tall tales, murder ballads, and songs about drinking away pain and regret. But above all, there’s the unifying theme of the struggle of the Southern working man.
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