Release Date: Feb 1, 2011
Record label: Songs of the South Records
Genre(s): Blues, Americana, Pop/Rock, Blues-Rock, American Trad Rock, Rock & Roll, Roots Rock, Southern Rock, Retro-Rock, Boogie Rock
Click to listen to North Mississippi All Stars' "Hear The Hills" and "This A'Way" Deep roots, improvising valor and live-Cream brawn come easily to this trio. Catching it all in the studio has been harder, like juggling snakes and feral cats. Singer-guitarist Luther Dickinson, his drumming brother, Cody, and bassist Chris Chew come close here by lacing hard stuff like "New Orleans Walkin' Dead" with a spare fireside tension in the closing good time "Jellyrollin' All Over Heaven" and a spectral version of Bob Dylan's "Stuck Inside of Mobile With the Memphis Blues Again" that truly takes the song down South.
Keys to the Kingdom is the most personal recording in the North Mississippi Allstars catalog. That said, "personal" doesn't mean "quiet." It was recorded at their home Zebra Studios in the aftermath of Cody and Luther Dickinson's father, musician, producer, and Southern music historian Jim Dickinson's passing and the birth of Luther's first child. The words "Produced for Jim Dickinson" that adorn the album's back sleeve offer a hint as to the album's sound.
Southern rock band North Mississippi Allstars has returned with a new album, Keys to the Kingdom. Anchored by brothers Luther and Cody Dickinson, the group serves up a new batch of bluesy jams after a brief hiatus; Luther is also a member of the Black Crowes, and Cody has been busy with side project Hill Country Revue. The two reunited after the death of their father, legendary Memphis musician/producer Jim Dickinson, and recorded together at the family’s Zebra Ranch Studio.
After the 2009 death of Jim Dickinson, his sons Cody and Luther, who with Chris Chew comprise the North Mississippi Allstars, and some celebrated friends held a wake of sorts in the family's recording studio, Zebra Ranch. Keys to the Kingdom not only celebrates the Memphis, Tenn., music legend's life, but also that of Luther's newborn child. More song-oriented than some past Allstars efforts and with an emphasis on country and gospel rather than the trio's gut-bucket blues, it wallops undeniable warmth even when the material itself veers from the Dickinsons' natural strengths.