CD Reviews for 01/18/11 – Miss Tess, Reverend John Wilkins

Compact Capsules
by Dan Ferguson

Miss Tess
Darling, Oh Darling

Miss Tess
The Waltz Set

She calls her band The Bon Ton Parade and the implication is high style and good times. Undercurrents of each type, with a side of the Crescent City, are throughout the longplayer Darling, Oh Darling from former Boston-based singer/songwriter Miss Tess. Recently relocated to Brooklyn, jazzy blues, Western swing, and even rockabilly to go with the savory voice of Miss Tess fill the grooves of Darling, Oh Darling.
Even newer than Darling, Oh Darling is the breezy, light-as-a-feather six-song EP The Waltz Set. It mixes five original waltzes with a waltzing cover of the Skeeter Davis classic “End of the World.” Check out Miss Tess at

Miss Tess & the Bon Ton Parade headline a bill at The Narrows Center for the Arts on January 20 that has Girls, Guns & Glory in the opening slot.

Reverend John Wilkins
You Can’t Hurry God
Big Legal Mess Records BLM0259

His father was legendary gospel singer Robert Wilkins and he himself played guitar on O.V. Wright’s famous 1965 single “You’re Gonna Make Me Cry.” While born in Memphis, Reverend John Wilkins is truly a son of the North Mississippi Hill Country, a land synonymous with primitive, rough-edged blues. Now into his 60s, both bloodlines and his Hill Country upbringing are on display on his outstanding debut recording, You Can’t Hurry God. It’s a gospel-laden affair, Wilkins on vocals and guitar, which marries Memphis soul with Mississippi grit. Highly recommended. Visit

(Dan Ferguson is a free-lance music writer and host of The Boudin Barndance, broadcast Thursday nights from 6 – 9 pm on WRIU-FM 90.3. He lives in Peace Dale and can be reached at [email protected].)