North Mississippi Allstars album review: ‘World Boogie is Coming’


The performers North Mississippi Allstars will be performing in the Washington, DC area. (Jay Adkins)
September 12, 2013
NORTH MISSISSIPPI ALLSTARS
“World Boogie Is Coming”

Kindred spirits: Tedeschi Trucks Band,
R.L. Burnside, Junior Kimbrough, Scrapomatic

Show: Friday at the State Theatre. Show starts at 9 p.m. 703-237-0300. www.thestatetheatre.com. $27.

Luther and Cody Dickinson — the sons of late Memphis music icon Jim Dickinson — and their rotating troupe of crack musicians have explored north Mississippi hill country blues on seven studio albums and a host of other projects, including Luther’s solo efforts and Cody’s films. On their new album, “World Boogie Is Coming,” Luther Dickinson said the brothers “felt a sense of urgency to reconnect the multi-generational players back home. We lost our father. Duwayne and Gary Burnside lost their dad. . . . Junior Kimbrough, Otha Turner, they’re all gone. It was time to make a statement. We’re after a kind of primitive modernism, hill country blues for a new generation.”

The album features children and grandchildren of deceased hill country players on songs that showcase electric guitars, fuzz tones and a coffee can diddley bow. Robert Plant pitches in on harmonica on the bluesy first two tracks, “JR” and “Goat Meat.” “Granny, Does Your Dog Bite” and “My Babe” feature vocals, fife and drum from ShardéThomas, Otha Turner’s granddaughter. “Snake Drive” shakes and shivers; it’s down and dirty Southern funk. “Rollin’ ‘n Tumblin,” “Boogie” and “Jumper on the Line” are irresistible rockers. Licks from Luther’s signature Gibson and Cody’s propulsive, impeccable drumming underscore every track.

“World boogie” — a term Jim Dickinson coined to describe confluent musical styles — isn’t for the faint of heart. The Allstars’ music is intricate and informed, but it also romps, stomps and quickens your pulse. “You have to reach down in your gut,” Luther says, “and pull your art out in a way that connects the past to this day and age.”

Ernest Suarez

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