North Mississippi All-Stars

North Mississippi All-Stars

North Mississippi All-Stars

Keys to the Kingdom

Songs of the South

Cody and Luther reacted to the death of their father, legendary producer/keyboardist Jim Dickinson (Replacements, Big Star), as you might expect — by coming together and making art. From “Ain’t No Grave” to “Jellyrollin’ All Over Heaven” this is a record of death, but not depression. With friends including Mavis Staples (on “The Meeting”), Ry Cooder, Spooner Oldham, and more, the result is a grand example of triumph over pain. With all the hallmarks of the NMA sound intact — tasty slide guitars, in-the-pocket grooves, and frayed vocals — this is yet another great record from some of the busiest guys in the business (Luther is with the Black Crowes, Cody with the Hill Country Revue). While it’s a bit more mannered than earlier outings, it still reminds you of early ZZ Top, and when they tackle Dylan’s “Stuck Inside of Mobile With the Memphis Blues Again” you can almost imagine father Jim smiling. Great, great stuff, born out of pain. Rock on, gentlemen.

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