Did You Say Love, Mississippi Queen 
Rhythm Bomb Records RBR 5629

This CD almost slipped through! Now that would've been a real shame, 'cause it's a mighty fine record that pleased my ears from the very first time I gave it a spin. Mississippi Queen delivered an excellent album, and every song has been taken care of with lots of passion, enthusiasm, and rock & roll by the band. All this commitment and plain hard labor results into this sparkling CD that I really like a lot. It's one of those platters that you throw in the player, puff a smoke, drink a beer and enjoy the ride. The selfpenned tracks have been well-matured and they grab you straight away. The coversongs underwent a nice treatment and received a great workover. Johnny Burnette's "Cincinatti Fireball" is a hard to cover song, but I just have to love this version.

"You're My Baby", a Johnny Cash song, mostly known in Roy Orbison's rendition, goes down smoothly. So does Johnny Horton's "You You You", but what really makes my heart tick faster are the selfpenners on this album. Just listen to "Don't Leave Me This Way" or "I'm Going Home"! The musicians are seasoned pro's: Ivan Semeš-Sammy is an awesome guitar picker and Karlo has a very pleasant voice to listen to. Double bass player Jurica completes the treesome and plays his bass the way I like it: producing really cool lines and actually playing the thing, instead of overemphasizing on the "slap-click-clickety-click" that you hear too much nowadays. I can't wait to hear the next album from these boys, but for now, I'm not finished playing this one for a long while! 5 stars from Unc!

The story of Mississippi Queen began in the fall of 1989, in Zagreb, capitol of Croatia. The band was formed by Jurica Štelma (upright bass), Karlo Starcevic (rhythm guitar, vocal), Renato Zgrablic-Pit (second rhythm guitar, harp, vocals) and Vedran Žanko (lead guitar, vocals). They played together for over a year, and recorded a few sessions from which tree songs were published on the compilation tape "Rock this town". These were first official recordings of Mississippi Queen. 1990 was a very successful Year for Mississippi Queen, because no other band ever had that line-up with a slapping bass in Croatia. They had hundreds of concerts and several appearances on national TV!

By the end of 1990 Vedran left the band, and from that period on, Pit took on the lead guitar. The next couple of years, the band performs as a trio, but just one session was recorded in that period. Those tree songs came out as bonus tracks on the first album, "Golden years" in 1993. At that time, two new musicians joined the band: Gorana Cehic (fiddle, vocal), and Igor Balent (drums). This album features the first self-penned song of Mississippi Queen, but no record company showed any interest in it at that moment, so the boys produced it on their own. After one year, the drummer left the band, so they decided to proceed as a trio again.

The next album, "Ten Years After" was recorded in 1999, with all cover songs, similar to what they usually played on concerts. But after a few years, the band got fed up with doing covers. They wanted to perform their own songs, and find an audience that would appreciate them. So the band started to write and the album "Did You Say Love" is now a fact. The CD was entirely recorded at the Lightning Recording Studio in Berlin, 2004. Mississippi Queen also appeared at the 2nd Rumburk Rumble in Czechia, Kralovstvi, 2005.

Bio courtesy of Karlo Starcevic.

Sunshine Again / Don't Leave Me This Way / Boppin' 747 / I'm Going Home / Another Hurtful Lovesong / Did You Say Love? / To Prove My Love for You / Dreamin' Of You / All The Time / Cincinatti Fireball / Still In Love With You / Lonely World / You're My Baby / You You You / Wonderful Day / Walkin' Away

Mississippi Queen are:
Jurica Štelma - Upright Bass
Karlo Starcevic - Rhythm Guitar, Vocal
Ivan Semeš-Sammy - Lead Guitar

Information & bookings:
Phone: +385 51 793 138 or
+385 91 254 27 87

Reviewed by Uncle_B, 2005