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. Singer Jay Scheffler blows sand and whiskey out of his throat and huffs harp like the deranged stepchild of Johnny Woods.
Jim Chilson whacks his guitar as if it were a bad mule, and Dave Darling pounds out the kind of beat that makes down-home folks in the Deep South grind groin-to-groin. Covering tunes by T-Model Ford, Son House, Charley Patton, and Jessie Mae Hemphill, the Polecats wear their influences on their T-shirts.
And yet, originals like the hypnotic “So Good to Me” and the whooping anthem “I’m Going Crazy” prove they’ve digested enough Fat Possum to leave the stink of kudzu and moonshine along any road they travel — even in the sensitively performed “Couple More Miles,” where Chilson gently channels the straight-from-Africa phrasing of the late Junior Kimbrough as Scheffler outright croons. The Polecats add muscle, blood, and heart to a genre in need of all three.
TEN FOOT POLECATS | Club Bohemia @ Cantab Lounge, 783 Mass Ave, Cambridge | April 30 @ 9 pm | 617.482.4920 or club-bohemia.com