Hernando North Mississippi Allstars
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- 1Shake (Yo Mama)03:00
- 2Keep the Devil Down03:50
- 5I'd Love to Be a Hippy04:54
- 7Blow Out01:34
- 8Come Go with Me03:35
- 9Rooster's Blues03:23
- 10Take Yo Time, Rodney03:53
- 11Long Way from Home05:13
Info for Hernando
Fittingly named after the Mississippi town in which Cody and Luther Dickinson and Chris Chew all grew up, „Hernando“ is the roadhouse trio's most personal record. It's also their finest. Recorded at their own Zebra studios (aka "The Barn") by Cody and Luther's father, legendary Memphis producer Jim Dickinson, and released on their own label, Songs of the South Records, the album has a warmth and earthiness that suggest comfort in their own skin and surroundings.
Most importantly, though, „Hernando“ is the first North Mississippi All-Stars record to break out of the blues tribute-band mold and reveal their biggest influences: '70s classic rock, '80s metal, and '90s grunge, the same stuff every pot-smoking teenager in America cut their teeth on. "Eaglebird" grooves like vintage ZZ Top; "Rooster's Blues" redirects Jimmy Page riffs through an Alice in Chains prism; and "Keep the Devil Down" is a bluesy take on late Metallica. Herein lies „Hernando’s“ greatest pleasure: a blues roots band staying true to its real roots.
„The North Mississippi Allstars have stripped things down a bit for Hernando, their fifth studio album and the first for the group's recently launched label Songs of the South, merging their usual Southern folk blues sound with elements of metal and even a touch of swing, all of it done with the lean efficiency of a maturing power trio. Led by Luther Dickinson's soaring slide guitar work and anchored by a thundering rhythm section of brother Cody Dickinson on drums and Chris Chew on bass, NMA on Hernando are no less than an obvious continuation of the late-'60s blues-rock tradition of Cream and the Jimi Hendrix Experience, with a little bit of AC/DC strut thrown in, and while the result isn't perhaps their best album, it isn't far off the mark, either. Recorded and produced by the legendary Jim Dickinson (father of Luther and Cody) at his Zebra Ranch Studio in Coldwater, MS, just a stone's throw up Highway 51 from the band's hometown of Hernando (hence the title), the sound is crisp and thundering, but still retains the ragged looseness that is a NMA trademark and is also one of its biggest strengths. This is blues-rock done Mississippi style, and if NMA swaps out a little of its hometown R.L. Burnside/Otha Turner leanings for the Led Zeppelin side of the equation, it isn't a drastic shift, and songs like "Keep the Devil Down" and "Eaglebird" (which features Cody Dickinson on electric washboard of all things and carries a co-writing credit for Kid Rock's bass player Aaron Julison) would fit seamlessly into any of NMA's live sets from the past ten years. Other highlights include the energetic skip-a-long "Mizzip," "Come Go with Me" (with a guest vocal from James Mathus), and a startling version of Champion Jack Dupree's "I'd Love to Be a Hippie" (sung by bassist Chew and featuring piano from East Memphis Slim) that is easily the most striking track on Hernando. Cut after cut veers off in interesting ways, and Luther Dickinson's guitar leads are always dangerously reckless and thrilling, echoing early Hendrix at times. The only thing missing on Hernando is that North Mississippi fife and drum tradition that NMA have so wonderfully updated for the rock era on past albums. It's understandable that the band might want to move on from that approach a little (and truthfully, it stills hovers here intangibly in the background), but they have always done it so well that Hernando seems strangely incomplete and unfinished without it.“ (Steve Leggett , AMG)
Cody Dickinson, vocals, guitar, drums, washboard
Luther Dickinson, vocals, guitar
Jimbo Mathus, vocals
Chris Chew, vocals
East Memphis Slim, piano
Amy LaVere, upright bass
North Mississippi Allstars
Brothers Luther (guitar, mandolin, vocals) and Cody Dickinson (drums, sampling) along with gospel bassist Chris Chew make up this power trio. The Dickinson brothers were born in Fayette County, TN, later moving 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.
While blues is the chief inspiration for the Allstars, the band also mixes in an alternative aesthetic (comparable to outfits like the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion or G. Love and Special Sauce), and a traditional rock, jam–band sensibility like Phish or Gomez.
The Allstars debuted at Dixie Fried '96, sharing the stage with Othar Turner and R. L. Burnside. The show was critically acclaimed in a Memphis newspaper as the Best Show of the Year. The Allstars soon began playing regularly at B.B. King’s Blues Hall and The Black Diamond on Beale Street in Memphis, TN. In the spring of 2000, the band released their debut album, Shake Hands With Shorty, which garnered them a GRAMMY Award nomination.
The North Mississippi Allstars' highly anticipated follow-up 51 Phantom, picks up where Shake Hands With Shorty left off — this time showcasing the songwriting talents of the brothers Dickinson, while continuing to delve into their southern roots. The album continues the band's love of groove–inspired jams and modern boogie, with a taut selection of original compositions. 51 Phantom resonates with classic melody and youthful groove.
Produced by Luther and Cody's father Jim Dickinson (The Replacements, Big Star, Ry Cooder, Primal Scream), 51 Phantom is a gritty and grooving masterpiece. From the snarl of "Snakes in My Bushes" to the anthemic title track, through the sweet ballads of "Leavin" and "Up Over Yonder," the Allstars have created a focused and brilliant masterpiece that sees them evolving their sound, while still keeping in touch with their Mississippi roots.
This album contains no booklet.