North Mississippi Allstars, Shake Hands With Shorty

Kandia Crazy Horse

By Kandia Crazy Horse

on 04.22.11 in Reviews
Fresh, combustive readings of blues classics

The semi-mysterious north Mississippi hill country with its musical traditions characterized by specific strains of African retentions — like the drum-and-fife style of the late Otha Turner — are given a much-deserved spotlight by the virtuoso sons of legendary producer Jim Dickinson, Luther (guitar, vocals) and Cody (drums, washboard), as well as their friends, including bassist Chris Chew and assorted spawn of bluesman R. L. Burnside. Due perhaps to the peculiar virulence of racism and entrenched poverty in Ole Miss, hill music has been overlooked while other arenas of the Deep South more committed to overt harmony have been praised. Yet the blues standards herein, from Mississippi Fred McDowell's dance floor mutha "Shake 'Em On Down" to Furry Lewis 'much-covered "K.C. Jones (On the Road Again)," are anointed with some of their freshest and combustive treatment in years by these young 'uns. Long may they run!