Timeshift explores rarely seen images from the University of Sheffield's National Fairground Archive to ride back to the origins of the fairground. From the sideshows to the freak shows and early hand-powered rides to the arrival of steam and electricity, the story of fairs is the tale of one of our first forms of popular entertainment. The film shows how fairgrounds often provided the only entertainment to rapidly expanding industrial towns. It looks at how, from the 50s, the fairground was the site of youth rebellion and why we are still entranced by these travelling carnivals that arrive overnight and then vanish just as mysteriously.
Drummer/label head Pat Ford reunited with Charlie Musselwhite and brought along brother Robben Ford on guitar, producing this return to form. Musselwhite is up to the task in all departments – singing, playing (great tone), and especially songwriting (the title tune and "Seemed Like the Whole World Was Crying," inspired by Muddy Waters' death) – but it had been a while since Robben Ford had played low-down blues (touring with Joni Mitchell, putting in countless hours in L.A. studios), and it may have been wiser to give the guitar chair to Tim Kaihatsu, who by this time had seniority in terms of hours on the bandstand with Musselwhite, above any other Musselwhite alumnus. Pianist Clay Cotton is in fine form. This time out, the deviations (to be expected by now) include Don & Dewey's "Stretching Out," an impressive chromatic harp rendering of "Exodus," and Musselwhite's solo guitar outing, "Baby-O." Easily Musselwhite's best-engineered album yet (nice job, Greg Goodwin).