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Published: 2003/08/28
by Ray Hogan

Scrapomatic – Scrapomatic

Artists House Foundation

There's a strong link between Louisiana and Minnesota. Ask people at any New
Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival where they're from and you'll get a high
number on Minnie responses. Likewise, the veteran Radiators do as well there
as any other market barring New Orleans and New York.

Mike Mattison, now known throughout the community as the lead vocalist for
the Derek Trucks Band, and Paul Olsen, an extremely tasty blues-based
guitarist, went down to the Bayou in hopes of channeling some of the state's
one-of-a-kind hoodoo. They found it in spades. ScrapOmatic features
duo backed by a stellar band (including John Vidacovich, the otherworldly
drummer of Astral Project) and a batch of songs that benefited from being
recorded at Dockside Studios in Maurice, Louisiana.

The opening "Moanin'" represents everything right about the disc. First,
there's Mattison incredibly soulful pipes; there was a time when the guy
would qualify as a certified hipster. For his part, Olsen deftly balances
showing his prowess while still working for the good of each song. Then
there's the duo's ability to seamlessly combine elements of blues, funk,
soul and other styles into something cohesive and strong. Check out the
playful bounce they give Mississippi John Hurt's "Let the Mermaids Flirt
With Me." The band also knows how to slow things down to a nice simmer on
the slow burning ballad "I'll Be Around" or get Superfly soulful ("Bubble
Gum Song").

If Mattison and Olsen reveal any detriments (and some will argue they don't)
on "Scrapomatic," it's the some of the material on the second half of the
disc sounds more routine than that on the first half. Still, this is a hell
of an introduction. The disc comes with a bonus DVD of the recording
session, interviews, commentaries and Dolby Digital Surround Sound mix.

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