Saturday, February 12, 2022 #542 > Big Train and the Loco Motives - Red Dirt Blues! Live From Ground Zero Blues Club


2022 – Independent Release

By Phillip Smith; Feb. 12, 2022

Original source :


I first met Jimbo Madsen aka “Big Train” in 2019 at Clarksdale, Mississippi while in town for the Sunflower River Blues & Gospel Festival.  He was visiting from Oklahoma and was friends with the group I had traveled down to Mississippi with.   In 2021, I saw him in Clarksdale again for the same festival.  This time, he brought his band The Loco Motives and was booked to play the legendary Ground Zero Blues Club in Clarksdale.  This eleven-track album is a recording of that captivating performance.  With Jimbo “Big Train” Madson on lead guitar and vocals, the Loco Motives are comprised of Mason “Thumper” Cullen on bass, Bill “Top Dog” Cummins on harmonica, and Mike “Pinebox” Lander on percussion.       

The choice of cover songs Madsen and his ‘red dirt’ blues band lean into validates the affinity they have for the blues artists who sprang forth from the Mississippi delta.  Right off the bat, they play Muddy Waters’ “Got My Mojo Working”, Willie Dixon’s “Built For Comfort” and John Lee Hooker’s “Bang Bang Bang Bang” as frontman Madsen sprinkles tidbits of blues trivia between songs.  They serve up a big plateful of simmering, electric-blues on “Hoochie Coochie Man” and certainly captured everyone’s attention.  I loved hearing their bodacious original “Baby I Ain’t Skinny No More”.  This blues song for foodies, mentions all that good southern food I crave but can’t get up here in Iowa.  Like a true bluesman, Madsen belts out “Make Love To You”, another Willie Dixon-penned song.  One cover song caught me totally by surprise, and that was “Glocoat Blues”, originally from the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and found on their 1974 album Stars & Stripes Forever.  This one put a big smile on my face for sure.  Bringing the album to its close is Elvis’ “Heartbreak Hotel”.  Madsen’s guitar tones are crisp and sound great.  

Big Train and the Loco Motives are unique and engaging.  Check out the album Red Dirt Blues! Live From Ground Zero Blues Club, and hit one of their shows if you get the chance. 


*All Photos by Phillip Smith

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Available on Bandcamp

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