April 14, 2009


North Mississippi Allstars, Hill Country Revue at TLA (A.D. Amorosi, 4/13/09, The Inquirer)

You can detect the Dickinson family's DNA in every lick, crack, and blast of both the North Mississippi Allstars and Hill Country Revue. That undeniable heritage made Saturday's sold-out show at the Theatre of the Living Arts by the two bands something to behold.

Sainted Memphis soul-maker Jim Dickinson (Big Star, Stones, Aretha) produces the dirty Southern-fried records his kids, Luther (guitarist, singer) and Cody (drummer), re-create as the Allstars.

Beyond toying with traditional American folk, the brothers, along with the third member of the trio, bassist Chris Chew, herd juke-joint swing, country blues, dusty funk, and hiccuping blues-punk into one sloppy corral. Then they get real loud.

Hill Country Revue, a side project formed by Cody and Chris, opened the program. But this wasn't your typical crowd-warmer/headliner arrangement. One set cascaded into the other.

Chew was the bedrock for both ensembles.

The Dickinson's are even better with Robert Randolph and John Medeski in the sacred steel super group, The Word.

-CONCERT ARCHIVES: Live Music Archive > North Mississippi Allstars (Internet Archive)
-CONCERT: North Mississippi Allstars in Concert (WXPN, March 23, 2007)
-CONCERT: John Hiatt & North Mississippi Allstars: Americana (David Dye, September 11, 2006, World Cafe)
-CONCERT: North Mississippi Allstars: Down and Dirty (David Dye, December 16, 2005, World Cafe)
-North Mississippi Allstars' 'Electric Blue Watermelon' (October 23, 2005, Weekend Edition Sunday)

There's something sweetly familiar about the sound of the North Mississippi Allstars. The guitar-bass-and-drum trio's music recalls the feel-good Southern rock of the Allman Brothers from the 1970s, or the anthems of Lynyrd Skynyrd.

Guitarist Luther Dickinson says he formed the band to play hill country blues. "It wasn't the whining and moaning and crying the blues. It was about having a good time," he says of the Allstars' beginnings in the mid-1990s.

Luther and his brother, Cody Dickinson, who plays drums, are sons of legendary Memphis producer Jim Dickinson, and grew up in Hernando, Mississippi. Bass player Chris Chew rounds out the group, who've just released their sixth CD: Electric Blue Watermelon, which includes a duet with singer Lucinda Williams and contributions from pedal-steel phenom Robert Randolph.

-North Mississippi Allstars (Renee Montagne, September 12, 2000, Morning Edition)
-PROFILE: Heavenly 'Sacred Steel' (Liane Hansen, 8/05/01, Weekend Edition Sunday)
Liane Hansen visits pedal-steel player Robert Randolph in the House of God Church in Orange, New Jersey. The 23-year-old guitar prodigy is part of a little-known group of church musicians playing "sacred steel", and he's now playing more and more on the club circuit. The Word, on Ropeadope Records, with Randolph, keyboardist John Medeski and the North Mississippi Allstars has just been released on CD.

-CONCERT: The Word, Recorded Live in Concert (WXPN, December 28, 2007)

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 14, 2009 7:04 AM
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