"Up to No Good" album review: There is a swagger to the Jake Leg Stompers. They play their version of old timey music and make it relevant to this day and age. It may be old timey, but it’s not elderly. This is party music from the last century to this current one. There’s a lot of lustily sung choruses and shouted exhortations behind the melodies, and that’s a great part of the record. One of the recurring popular fads (and a good one in that) is the hard strummed guitars, harmony of vibrato strings, and passionate singing of the Avett Brothers, Mumford and Sons, and others working that loud acoustic instrument groove. The Jake Leg Stompers got that angle covered with an almost drunken enthusiasm even on the more down numbers. And they cap their subversive humor with a Shel Silverstein song that brings all this good crazy music to a smoking climax.
"The Jake Leg Stompers continue their finger-licking, jug-hugging love affair with all things prewar on 2013's Up to No Good. Up to No Good opens with a lush version of the Memphis Jug Band's Fourth Street Mess Around, featuring one of many memorable performances of Lela Mae Smith (Lisa Law Cook) on par with any chanteuse of the 1920's. Other highlights include a nasty juke-drunk cover of Robert Johnson's Stop Breakin' Down and a hot version of a dirty blues classic, Adam and Eve, that features Steve Gardner's always brilliant harmonica work. As the stewpot of styles simmers, Mackie Messer is a gleefully warped Weillian trip and Liza Jane's sorrowful notes could've come straight out of the Appalachians. Up to No Good is another sparkling, bathtub gin-soaked audio fun wheel that is not to be missed."
Mark Coltrain - Living Blues
"Maybe jug-band music is coming back. Works for me—what the world needs now is not love, as The Supremes once sang, but more kazoo players. The best thing that I've heard lately is Hill Country HooDoo. If you can listen to "Keep It Clean" without a smile breaking out across your face—there's no hope for you. You should just rush out and buy a Kenny Chesney record."
“The Jake Leg Stompers latest release, Hill Country Hoodoo, is plain good. It is an outlandish ruckus-raising love letter to the chicken-fried music of the North Mississippi hill country. Chasing the ghosts of everyone from Junior Kimbrough and Otha Turner to Sid Hemphill and Robert Wilkins, Hill Country Hoodoo is the product of a north Mississippi super group. The singing is all top notch and the songs are as diverse as the musicians. Sharde Thomas and the Rising Star Fife and Drum Band’s version of the old railroad work song Linin’ Track has to be heard to be believed. It’s easy to get mushy when romanticizing the bygone past, but the Jake Leg Stompers and their hill country gypsies do so in a way that the lost decades retain their dignity as well as their mystery, demonstrating that the spirit in many of those old George Mitchell field recordings and dusty 78 r.p.m.’s is still very much alive and well. Hill Country Hoodoo is essential.”
Mark Coltrain - Living Blues
“ Jake Leg Stompers, with their mix of Mississippi Delta Blues and Jug Band music, played amongst a mess of Vaudeville entertainment this April Fools Day. If you love pre-war music, this was the concert for you. The Eggplant Faerie Players were a recurring act in the show. The duo juggled bowling pins, machettes, rubber chickens and practically anything they could find. They juggled in pairs, in the dark, along with on a nine foot unicycle of death. At one point in the show, they juggled nine pins on either side of a slightly frightened volunteer. The beautiful and talented Leela Sophina, Queen of the Air also made multiple appearances throughout the show as she defied gravity on her trapeze. The concert was perfect. The acts were perfect. The crowd was perfect. The venue was perfect. In short the whole show was PERFECT! If you get a chance to see this show I would highly recommend it. ”
“The Jake Leg Stompers are the beacon of light that the music world needs to prove that musicianship is not dead. On their new album, Hill Country HooDoo, the Stompers resurrect the Pre-War sounds of the Mississippi Delta. With help from friends such as 2011 Grammy nominees Jimbo Mathus and Luther Dickinson, and a plethora of descendants of blues legends that have gone on to the great juke joint in the sky, the Stompers have created an album that is raw, fun, and above all authentic. Hill Country HooDoo’s opening track Beale Street Holiday makes you want to jump up and do the jitterbug, while tracks such as I Shall Not Be Moved tug at your heart strings like few modern songs can. The Stompers have truly created an Americana masterpiece with Hill Country HooDoo. Jake Leg Stompers: Hill Country HooDoo Tony’s Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars Recommended for fans of: Americana, Pre-war blues, and swing Not Recommended for fans of: screamo, metal, or rap ”