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North Mississippi Allstars, Dirty Dozen Brass Brand breathe life into their brand of Southern music

The Paradise, Boston, Oct. 14, 2004

By Jeffrey B. Remz

BOSTON - Southern roots music in the hands of folks like the North Mississippi Allstars is always welcome news no matter where they are playing. The Allstars played an extremely (too?) generous 2-hour set before about 500 people, who should have left with a greater appreciation for revved up slide blues playing.

The Allstars - brothers Luther and Cody Dickinson on guitars an drums respectively and bassist Chris Chew - know how to mix their brand of blues together for one fine night of music with kindred forms of soul and funky songs as well.

Luther Dickinson (he and Cody are the sons of well known producer Jim Dickinson) is clearly the centerpiece. A bit slight and bespectacled, the young guitarist plays one mean slide guitar. He just keeps going throughout the evening adding taut guitar lines to the mix, with a strong country blues feel. But the trio also add a healthy doses of blues rock to the mix, changing up the pace from to time.

While most of the focus is on Luther, brother Cody sets a very strong pace throughout on drums, and Chew added the big bass lines when needed as well.

The Dirty Dozen Brass Band from New Orleans preceded the headliners with a generally strong set highlighted by the musical interplay of the septet. The focus was much more so on the music than the singing throughout.

They're a lively group on stage with lots of different instruments to make it come together including sousaphone and tenor and baritone sax.

The band lived up their hometown in doling out lots of lively, good time music. They would get soulful and funky, all to good effect. And they closed with a strong version of the gospel chestnut, "I'll Fly Away."

As if to show that the bands' brands of music aren't all that far apart, members from both bands joined each other during each other's sets to make more enchanting music from two Southern bands intent on making their respective types of music come alive.

©Country Standard Time • Jeffrey B. Remz, editor & publisher •
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