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Issue 1089

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Review

North Mississippi Allstars: âWorld Boogie Is Coming.â

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UK release date 21.10.2013

âIt all started when Seasick Steve told me; you are the one, you are the link, you have to keep it primitive and take it to the people.â So says Luther Dickinson of his band The North Mississippi Allstars.

Their new album âWorld Boogie Is Coming,â is a stripped back, raw blues, Americana and roots extravaganza, with at least one surprise. Ask me who plays harmonica on the tracks âJRâ and âGoat Meat.â Only Percy, thatâs who. Thatâs Robert Plant to you. He plays a mean gob iron too.

Their seventh studio album since forming in 1996, produced by the band themselves, the Dickinson brothers Luther and Cody had a little help from their friends in Duwayne and Garry Burnside, Kenny Brown, Alvin Youngblood, Sharde Thomas (Otha Turnerâs granddaughter), Chris Chew, Steve Selvidge, Lightninâ Malcom, Robert Plant and others.

âWorld Boogie Is Comingâ is a rallying cry and that cry is; itâs time to boogie. Think John Lee Hooker and Seasick Steve backed by ZZ Top on acid, and produced by T Bone Burnett - a soundtrack to hours of footage of road trips and incendiary live shows. It is a real treasure and one of the best albums of this year by far, in any genre.

Two years work here, and it sounds like one of those recordings where the right people are in the right place at the right time with the right material and everything is right. Right? Chemistry by the bucket load. They set out to make a âdefinitive and decisive recordâ and by golly they achieved that and some. âOur magnus opus.â

Four tracks in is the musical equivalent of measles; so damned infectious. âBoogie.â They find that groove and nail it, with a distorted vocal on top driving it along in a frenzy. Press replay.

Cody Dickinson produced British blues guitarist Ian Siegalâs last 2 albums, The Skinny (2011) and Candystore Kid (2012), both of which were nominated for âBest Contemporary Blues Albumâ at the annual Blues Music Awards in the USA (ex WC Handyâs.) Luther and Cody have recently toured extensively with Robert Plant & The Band of Joy, and toured internationally with Ian Siegal as part of The Mississippi Mudbloods.

With an obsession by most blues bands to be as heavy and loud as they can possibly be, using a reference point and influences that date back no further than the 1970s, this record is like a fresh Southern breeze on a parched face in the desert. You can hear all those glorious influences â including the brothersâ late father, legendary Memphis musician Jim Dickinson.

These talented cats are keeping it very real. They ainât trying to be trendy or go for gold and the next chart hit. Theyâre just doing what they do and if we dig it, we dig it, if we donât, theyâll probably carry on doing it anyhow. Their debut in 2000 and subsequent albums in 2001 and 2005, each won them a Grammy nod. Maybe this is the one that bags them that trophy.

** "World Boogie Is Coming" is released on Songs Of The South Records/Thirty Tigers. **
Words SIMON REDLEY

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