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Monday, May 20, 2013

North Mississippi Allstars & Sons of Mudboy pay tribute to Jim Dickinson this Thursday in Memphis

Luther and Cody Dickinson

This Thursday Luther and Cody Dickinson of the North Mississippi Allstars pay tribute to their late father, Jim Dickinson, with a show at the Levitt Shell advertised as the 50th anniversary of the "first Jim Dickinson Folk Festival at the Shell in 1963." The elder Dickinson was an important member of the Memphis folk community, a story that's well documented in Robert Gordon's book It Came From Memphis. There's a really good article about the 1963 show as well as Thursday's event by Bob Mehr in this week's Commercial Appeal 

Keyboardist/vocalist Dickinson later formed an electric blues-rock band called Mudboy and the Neutrons together with Jimmy Crosthwait (washboard), Lee Baker (guitar), and guitarist/vocalist Sid Selvidge, a native of Greenville who died last month. The "Sons of Mudboy," who will also perform Thursday include Crosthwait, Luther and Cody Dickinson, Sid Selvidge's son Steve, Lee Baker's son Ben, and Paul Taylor, who played together with Luther and Cody in DDT.

I spoke with Luther today, and he told me that he'll be performing a special show at the upcoming North Mississippi Hill Country Picnic together with Lightin' Malcolm (who has been playing bass with the Allstars regularly since Chris Chew left the group for health reasons), T-Model Ford's grandson "Stud" on drums, and Sharde Thomas--Cody will not be appearing. The Allstars' new CD, which will come out August on their own Songs of the South label, will feature Chew, Lightnin' Malcolm, Sharde Thomas, Kenny Brown, Duwayne Burnside, and some vintage sounds from Otha Turner--Luther produced both of his solo CDs.

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Thursday's show kicks off the Spring season of the concert series at the Levitt Shell, a wonderful outdoor venue in Memphis' Overton Park that sits right behind the Brooks Arts Museum. The non-profit organization puts on dozens of shows during their late Spring and Fall seasons, with groups booked every Thursday through Sunday night.  Fall events at the Levitt Shell will be included in the Bridging the Blues calendar.

For blues/roots music fans, highlights of this season include

June 1 - City Champs - classic soul instrumental group from Memphis
June 7 - Big Sam's Funky Nation - New Orleans funk
June 8 - The Slide Brothers - sacred steel super group incl. Robert Randolph and Chuck Campbell
June 9 - Eden Brent - pianist from Greenville, Mississippi
June 13 - George Porter & Runnin' Pardners - New Orleans funk
June 14 - Chubby Carrier - zydeco
June 22 - Cedric Burnside - North MS Hill Country blues
July 5 - Sonny Landreth - Louisiana blues



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