David McGee of Deep Roots Magazine provided this great review of Rhythmland.
If you’re looking to get down and rocking, Dennis Johnson & The Mississippi Ramblers’ Rhythmland might be just what the doctor ordered. On the other hand, if you’re looking to feed your soul as well as your body, Dennis Johnson & The Mississippi Ramblers’ Rhythmland might be just what the doctor ordered. A rollin’ and tumblin’ workout on Robert Johnson’s “Walkin’ Blues” kicks off the album on a rousing note, propelled as it is by Johnson’s muscular slide work, the band’s right-there support and a gritty Johnson vocal. Johnson is invoked by name later, on the album’s penultimate track, “Southbound Train,” a melancholy reflection on both the loss of blues giants over time but the music’s persistence as a life force; it’s appropriate Johnson should follow this with the heated “Revolution,” a chronicle of an earlier generation taking to the streets in protest of authoritarian policies, which sounds right on time for the current era. In between the start and the close of the album Johnson and his ace band (Tim Metz on drums, Jonathan Stoyanoff on bass, Craig Long on keyboards and background vocals) offer a feisty “Timbale”; a raucous blues workout on “High Heel Shoes,” concerning a certain fashion essential that makes a certain gal the life of the party; and a honky-tonkin’-styled homage to “Fillmore Street.” But there’s also a somber, sober cry of the heart in the stark vocal-and-guitar howl, “That Way No More,” emerging from the depths of a shattered love affair; a cool, bluesy “My Love Is Here for You,” terms of endearment made richer by Long’s tasty keyboard solo followed by Johnson’s understated slide solo; and most profoundly, “Faith,” austere and hymn-like with a rich, deeply felt Johnson vocal conveying the uplifting message of persistence in the face of dispiriting events, personal and otherwise: “You can feel it in a waterfall spray,” Johnson sings, “you can feel it in the wind on your face/you can feel it in the love someone gives/you can feel it if you let yourself live.” Minus these latter songs, Rhythmland is still a superb album; with them, we can talk about it being a great album, and certainly Dennis Johnson’s finest hour.