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Ten Foot Polecats / Press

“Jim Chilson may be the most important guitarist out there, strangling sheer godhead out of shale and filth, carrying down the road in a battered Ford full of snakes and salvation. Jay Scheffler channels the ghost of Howlin' Wolf and all the forgotten spectres of bluesmen who sparked and howled in lost jukejoints long forgotten, a mighty voice in the apocalyptic maelstrom of end of times, a prophet. Chad Rousseau pounds the skins of ancient civilization, tribal and bleeding, the darkest rhythm a voodoo rite screwing the very corpse of the lost and sanctified. Combine and verily...the Blues at the end of the world. And, without any doubt, the best live band out there.”

“The sound of the Ten Foot Polecats immerses into the bloodstream, coursing through the listener and only adrenaline remains. I could write about how they stand in the shadow of blues giants, allowing their audience in on a secret heritage not many are aware of outside the Black Keys and Jack White's of the world, but I won't. Instead, I need the reader to understand that the blues the Ten Foot Polecats play is unlike anything played before. They carry the torch by being innovators and not succumbing to the mainstream definition of blues; therefore, allowing the art to speak for itself; and what a voice it has.”

“You don’t have to be a radical and remove your guitar’s low string to play in open G, the way that Richards does. However plenty of players have followed his path to good result. One example is Jim Chilson of Boston’s Ten Foot Polecats, whose five-string open G finger-picking style is just one reason that band is rising up from the blues underground.”

“The Ten Foot Polecats out of Boston bring the serious, full-tilt North Mississippi deep blues mojo on their new chest-pounding, groove-infested long player rightly entitled Undertow. As the name implies, this bad boy sucks you down and doesn’t quit tugging you asunder until you wholly submit to the deep muddy abyss of booty-shaking rhythms. They may be from Beantown, but when these boys cut on the amps and microphones and the feeders are cued up, they take your ass all the way back to Junior Kimbrough’s old place in Chulahoma, Mississippi to feel the amplified sweaty smelly pain of the dirty South.”

“Ten Foot Polecats prove once again that they are fine students of the north Mississippi hill country groove but are far from purists (thank gawd) and have no problem kickin' their blues mule straight in the slats to get him movin' along down the road. That road might be in Mississippi or some yankee hell-hole. It might intersect with trippy psychedelic-influenced side roads and/or Allmanesque back-alleys via country roads. What ever the official blues map says makes no difference. They'll set it on fire and throw it out the damn window. This is tough, smart, hard and thoughtful blues that gives a big fat finger to anyone who says this sound is gasping. You and I know they just aren't paying attention.”

“Whether it's Jim's astronomical guitar playing, Jay's Howl'n Wolf vocals, or Chad's mathematically precise drumming, these are musicians that take their music and history of it very seriously while never taking themselves too seriously. Jim Chilson's guitar playing cannot be underestimated. He has a natural talent that needs to be seen live to be believed. Undertow also does that remarkable thing only real blues seem to do... be both pained and dark, then be righteous and joyful without missing a beat. No matter what your mood, Undertow seems to have a place that feels just right. The music scene of late has been tipping back and forth with a few glimmers of brilliance. There's not much middle room anymore like the "old days". I'm glad to see these guys getting an appreciative national audience and I have no doubt there are overseas gigs coming soon also.”

“Boston’s Ten Foot Polecats’ music has been described as “punk-blues” and “gutbucket soul.” It may also be deemed “North Mississippi Hill Country blues,” because they’re artistic descendants of one of that sub-genre’s practioners: T-Model Ford. After passing away recently at the age of 93, it’s apropos that “Undertow” has been unleashed so recently. The Polecats, whether they know it or not, carry on T-Model’s legacy of blues that can put listeners in a trance through its droning rhythms (hence its other name in this reviewer‘s “Styles” list). They are a high-octane trio of Jay Scheffler on vocals and harmonica, Jim Chilson on guitar, and Chad Rousseau on drums. Seeing that this album is their sophomore release, a follow-up to 2010’s “I Get Blamed for Everything I Do,” they’re hitting their groove just right.”

“Ten Foot Polecats latest album Undertow serves up more of their blues drenched sound that they squeeze out of their basic trio of vocalist-harmonica player Jay Scheffier, guitarist Jim Chilson, and drummer Chad Rousseau. Distilling blues down to its essence with only three instruments and a voice, Ten Foot Polecats come up with something more bluesy than many of their contemporary local artists who layer horns, keyboards, and additional guitars over minimalist beats.”

“The new album from Boston's Ten Foot Polecats ‘Undertow’ is gonna drag you out to the woodshed and kick your ass, a mixture of deep Mississippi mud, Chicago grit, Texas twang with flashes of San Fran psych layered as thick as the Boston molasses flood.”

“a sound born of blood, sweat, heart, soul and guts; a sound, in the simplest of terms, that is a combination of dirty rock’n’roll and aggressive blues. Now, I’m not talking neo-blues here, or pseudo-blues, which tends to pass for real blues in some circles these days for lack of anything better, but rather a sound influenced by traditional North Mississippi Hill Country blues…thereby inserting Ten Foot Polecats into what I refer to as the last of today’s living bluesmen, such as T-Model Ford, Possessed by Paul James, C.W. Stoneking, Bob Log III, Agnostic Mountain Gospel Choir, and Left Lane Cruiser, to name a few.”

“These cats are a very cool trio. Jay Scheffler on vocals/harp, Jim Chilson on guitar and Chad Rousseau on drums are pure passion whether onstage or on CD. These are top notch musicians taking the blues to another level. Unique and extraordinary. I love it!”

“TFPC brings new life to three-piece blues. This ain't no toothless panama hat blues. Ten Foot Polecats bring the vibe, the groove, the mystery, and the balls that blues music must have to carry on to the coming generations. Another fine and powerful recording by one of the best blues bands out there. Hail. ”

"high-octane punk-inspired driving blues music.....The Ten Foot Polecats are the wickedly pure stuff in the bottle with X’s on the front that your uncle keeps out in the woodshed that is able to bust through. Even to the most reserved music listener, when The Ten Foot Polecats start to screeching, your legs start twitching worse than a dog that’s got to piss like a Russian racehorse. This is raw, infectious, booty shaking, head banging shit that makes you boogie like a meth head on the business end of a stun gun."

“This aint yer Pappaw’s blues, the roots are heavily there, but this is heavy, gruff, complex, and our generation of roots resurgence, blues. It is layered instrumentally every bit as good bluegrass, so yeah it jams in its own awesome way. Trying to tell ya’ll how the album feels, all I can say is picture a camp out festival or a honky tonk, the music is driving and folks are dancing and beer is flying and all us gritty folks are having a grand ol’ time.”

“Ten Foot Polecats’ sound, although distinctive and original, is constructed from the joining of some recognizable styles, both old and new, like North Mississippi hill country blues and roots rock, among others. In fact, Ten Foot Polecats is the sort of band one would have found in the Fat Possum Records’ catalog of artists once upon a time. Ten Foot Polecats decidedly made the right decision when they teamed up with the folks at Hillgrass Bluebilly. After all, just as Ten Foot Polecats are unarguably one of the better blues-oriented bands touring and recording these days, Hillgrass Bluebilly Records is unquestionably one of the better independent labels currently operating..”

“Ten Foot Polecats keep it greasy with their roots in North Mississippi Hill Country bending punk blues into musical form. The three pieces create a tribal ripple early on with “Chicken Headed Man” and pound heart on a sleeve into submission with “So Good to Me”. Big beats hint at big wins with “Scratch Ticket” but it’s those late night confessions (“I’m Going Crazy”, “Bar Hoppin’”, “Tears on My Windshield”) where these guys step up and lay it out.”

“The hypnotic beat laid down throughout the album draws the listener into a musical world of heavy guitar licks, whiskey soaked original lyrics, and music that gets the dance floor jumping. It's overall a good album that intersperses exciting instrumentals with some great original material! Fans of jumping, stomping, rocking hill country blues will enjoy this album.”

“The Ten Foot Polecats have found their own sound and they do it very well. It shows off just how strong a groove Jim Chilson on guitar and Dave Darling on drums can create, and the absence of a bass isn’t a factor. These two musicians are locked together in these inspired arrangements and both play superbly throughout the album. For me, half the fun of listening to this album is the interaction between guitar and drums. Without bass, the sound is naked and primitive, but so full of clarity and energy.”

“Goddamn! The Ten Foot Polecats are the logical heirs to the Fat Possum legacy, a trio of white boys from Boston, trapped in the body of a couple hundred years of Mississippi groove and holler. Damn. It's easily one of our best records of the year.”

“The trio, who have no bass player, have developed a powerful raw blues sound with an energy and aggression to it which has helped to draw in younger audiences.”

“The magic behind the success of Ten Foot Polecats is that they create a lot of music with only three players, and they know how to construct tunes that have a lot going on within a simple framework. Giving a blues fan a lot to sink his teeth into is a winning idea. Ten Foot Polecats are going to be around for a long time. After taking the Boston blues scene by storm, the trio have toured successfully around the country. One listen to “I Get Blamed For Everything I Do” and you’ll know there is no stopping these boys.”

“There ain’t a lotta scrappy-ass electric juke-joint blues comin’ outta Allston, but this dirty trio’s first full-length album makes it seems that the Charles River is a direct tributary of the Mississippi as The Ten Foot Polecats add muscle, blood, and heart to a genre in need of all three.”

"I Get Blamed For Everything I Do" was a pleasant surprise - a surprise in that we didn't know what to expect. Its just not hard-drivin' blues where the songs are indistinguishable. There's plenty of diversity between tracks.

“Dirty blues is a sound that mixes the heavy foot of punk, a light dose of rockabilly and a solid North Mississippi Hill Country foundation, and feels like the modern day evolution of stripped-down barroom blues. The band Ten Foot Polecats has mastered that sound.”

“Ten Foot Polecats - Boston’s New Masters of Deep, Raw Blues Roaring into the Spotlight”

“Aug 4 2009 The Middle East Club Show Review: Scott H. Biram, The Ten Foot Polecats, Wicked Whiskey”

“Show review of The Harper's Ferry show in Allston MA on June 14 2009”

"Ten Foot Polecats - Sterno Soup" CD Review

"Cookin' with The Ten Foot Polecats" - Interview with The Ten Foot Polecats

“June 2008 Sterno Soup CD Review!”

“CD REVIEW: The Ten Foot Polecats - Sterno Soup”

"....then there are other times when a seasoned blues band, in spite of the audience geared for contemporary music, has the ability to convert an audience from curious listeners to a sweaty dancing throng. July 12 at The Georgetown Grille was one of those special nights in live music...."

“The Ten Foot Polecats - STERNO SOUP CD Review”