Born of Bisquick, lumpy Georgia MC Bubba Sparxxx turned grits and good ol' boys into a gold-selling gimmick on his 2001 debut, Dark Day, Bright Nights. But aside from wrasslin' pigs in his videos and treating Skoal as a sacrament, Sparxxx's actual music contained few touchstones to the Southern heritage he outwardly espoused.
All this has changed on Deliverance. A much more accomplished, assured affair, it's the very sound of the South, with harmonica, fiddle and beats nastier than a swarm of boll weevils. The down-home yodel of the Yonder Mountain String Band backs Sparxxx on "Comin' Round," single "Jimmy Mathis" rides mean harmonica and a woofer-rattling bass thump, and moaning fiddle makes the lovelorn "She Tried" surprisingly stirring. Best of all is the album's title cut, which blends Sparxxx's deep-fried drawl with acoustic guitar and handclaps.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
Deliverance isn't all backwoods charm: "Back in the Mud" is a sweaty drum & bass workup, while "New South" is a stab at rural rap rock. Through it all, Sparxxx sounds much more confident and composed. "I ain't even tapped into half my potential," he rhymes early on. "But I have shown growth, though, and that's essential." As is Deliverance.