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North Mississippi Allstars

Moving into much rootsier territory than their former punk band DDT, brothers Luther (guitar, mandolin, vocals) and Cody Dickinson (drums, sampling) formed the North Mississippi Allstars in 1996 with bassist Chris Chew. The sons of legendary Memphis producer Jim Dickinson were born in Fayette County, TN, and their family later moved to northern Mississippi, where the boys soaked up the country blues sound of the region from artists like Mississippi Fred McDowell and R.L. Burnside. That became the chief inspiration for the Allstars, but the group also mixes in a rock edge, an alternative aesthetic (comparable to outfits like the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion and the Black Keys), and a road-ready rock & roll sensibility akin to jam bands like Phish. After touring as an opening act for a variety of artists and honing their chops as a unit, the North Mississippi Allstars issued their debut, Shake Hands with Shorty, in the spring of 2000. The album was a significant success, earning a Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary Blues Album, as did their 2001 sophomore set, 51 Phantom. Later in 2001, the North Mississippi Allstars teamed with John Medeski and pedal steel player Robert Randolph to form the Word, an instrumental gospel-blues band, for an album and tour.

The North Mississippi Allstars regrouped with the addition of guitarist Duwayne Burnside, the son of R.L., for 2003's Polaris, which was followed by the concert album Hill Country Revue: Live at Bonnaroo in late 2004. Electric Blue Watermelon, which featured guest spots by Lucinda Williams, Robert Randolph, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Otha Turner, and others, appeared in 2005 from Ato Records and earned the band its third consecutive Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary Blues Album. Also in 2005, the group spent time supporting John Hiatt, who showcased the Allstars on his 2005 album Master of Disaster. This was the first of many extracurricular activities for the Allstars: in 2007, Luther Dickinson became the lead guitarist for the Black Crowes, juggling those duties with leading the Allstars, and while Luther was with the Crowes, Cody Dickinson and Chris Chew pursued their own side project, Hill Country Revue. The core trio of the Dickinson brothers and Chew returned in 2008 with Hernando, the first release on the band's own Songs of the South label. A year later in 2009, the Allstars issued Do It Like We Used to Do, a two-disc set of live performances that also included a third disc featuring a video documentary on the band.

Luther and Cody's father, producer Jim Dickinson, passed away in late 2009. The brothers and fellow NMA member Chris Chew gathered in March of 2010 at the family-owned Zebra Studios to record a tribute. The band had help from a number of family friends who included Ry Cooder, Mavis Staples, Spooner Oldham, Alvin Youngblood Hart, and Jack Ashford. The end result was Keys to the Kingdom (on Songs of the South), a collection of new songs with a lone single-chord blues cover of Bob Dylan's "Stuck Inside of Mobile (With the Memphis Blues Again)" added to the mix. The set was released in early 2011. In the summer of 2012, James Luther Dickinson''s posthumous I'm Just Dead, I'm Not Gone was released. Recorded live in Memphis in 2006, it featured the NMA as his backing band. Arguably the band's masterpiece, World Boogie Is Coming appeared at the end of the summer 2013. ~ Steve Huey & Sean Westergaard, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

artbycourtne y d
They used to play at this bar I worked in college. I think we charged $5 cover. They're a long way away from those days now!
jacntom
My new favorite band!
More Alley music for the masses.
Saw them at Helsinki Hudson a bit back ... OUTSTANDING ! !
Saw them at this Bonnarroo... o h yeah
Saw them at a free concert in New Orleans last fall, with Alvin Youngblood-H a r t . Wow... I live in NOLA, so am used to great music, but I was blown away. Go see Alvin every chance I get. If you haven't done that.. see to it. Looking forward to 2014 Hogs foe a cause, where NMAS headline one of the days. THAT will be awesome. Cheers!
Saw them in a little bar in Little Rock back in, oh, 98. I was destroyed. They were the best thing ever. 3 years later, a friend told me about his fav band, showed me their CD's. I died to be able to get this on plastic. Fan ever since.
jemezboots
Saw them back up John Hiatt at Waterfront Blues Festival in Portland. Sunday evening, warm summer night, overlooking the Willamette and about 2000 people jumpin', jivin' and jukin'. Fine, Fine.
Local radio stations played them several yrs ago and I was hooked but then they dropped off and I never heard them anymore. Nice surprise on Pandora!
Caught them at Austin ACL in 2004. Sounded great live. Great, unique sound.
Luther is the best guitar player I have ever seen live- hands down. They play all over- seen them in Memphis, Milwaukee, at Northern Illinois campus on a Sunday- incredible. If you can see them with all the Hill Country members it is even better- Go to Beale St. Music Fest. and you might get some members joining bands live on stage on some of the bars on Beale.
Feeds my soul.
Blues and rock together in the baddest 70's way. 3 thumbs up!
Great Whiskey Music.
collin1407
Noth'n but good stuff to say about Luther, Thank god somebody is going in that direction.
The All-Stars are awesome. I've seen them (together or just Luther) multiple times at the Brooklyn Bowl and can't wait to see more. Luther is a witch with the 6-string.
dclong
Makin' me wanna drink me some muddy water...
One of my all-time favorite bands, along with the Black Crowes, the Allman Brothers and R.L. Burnside.
One of the best bands out there. Representin the Hill Country in the Mid-South!
romjr
The bros opened for Robert Plant and the Band of Joy at the Santa Barbara County Bowl, awesome!
arnold.tommy
love this band, makes me happy everytime i hear'em.. all their stuff is good.. and Luther played with the black crowes for their last 3 albums.. great stuff..
smileypatti
just downright great friggin music
never seen em but its nice to hear........ . . . . .
chadmccaa
I live in Mississippi. See them all the time. Excellent live jams.

Hmmm...inter e s t i n g . Very interesting.
Check out Luther's playing with the Black Crowes (Warpaint and Before the Frost...). Marc Ford was irreplaceabl e but Luther done did it.
jnicker9
Clishat, You must see NMA. There website is NMA.com You must see them, been to 6 shows in Arkansas, best shows ever. If you like NMA you should check out Robert Randolph and the Family Band or The Word
clishat
Wow, just got turned on, thanks to all, do they have a website? tour dates?
jtsolomon18
consistently my favorite act to see live! i'm originally from memphis, and love introducing new people to this band. such a unique blend of rock & nitty gritty blues. its a crowd pleaser.
magruver
what a awesome group. Love them !!!!!!!!!!!! ! ! ! !
Luther sounds alot like Duane Allman.My wife and I saw these guys in Milwaukee,wh a t a great show,been a fan of there's for along time.There are coming back to town in Feb.we will be dancing all night long....
bellm014
I heard this group in Mississippi, then at the Atlanta Midtown Music Festival. Blew us all away...could n ' t stop dancing.
I just saw these guys at the Georgia Theatre in Athens Ga and they we're awesome as usual. What a good time to just rock out. If you don't love these guys then you don't know what true artists and music is!

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