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North Mississippi Allstars Biography

North Mississippi Allstars Tickets

North Mississippi Allstars In-depth Biography

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 longtime Memphis production staple 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 or G. Love and Special Sauce), and a trad-rock jam-band sensibility (think Phish, Widespread Panic, or even Medeski, Martin & Wood). After touring as an opening act for a variety of artists, thus honing their chops as a unit, the North Mississippi Allstars issued their debut album, Shake Hands with Shorty, in the spring of 2000. 51 Phantom followed the next year. 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. They then regrouped, adding Duwayne Burnside (son of R.L.) and releasing Polaris in 2003. The concert album Hill Country Revue: Live at Bonnaroo followed 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. Hernando, the first release on the band's own label Songs of the South, was issued in 2008, followed a year later in 2009 by Do It Like We Used to Do, a two-disc set of live performances which also included a third disc that presented a video documentary on the band. ~ Steve Huey and Sean Westergaard, Rovi
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