music / Columns

Jam Central Station 2.25.12 : North Mississippi Allstars

February 25, 2012 | Posted by mojo4395

Hey all. Hope things are going well for you. I just started a new job in sales, which is exciting. It’s an adjustment though. I haven’t worked 40 a week in quite a while, and for the past almost 6 years I’ve had a job where I made my own schedule, so I was able to do some writing at work from time to time. It’s going to take a lot of planning to get used to writing this column around my new schedule. Hopefully I can figure out my schedule, for all of our benefits.

Also, and I know you want to know, the MuckleBuck show last weekend was awesome! Sadly we were missing our female singer (we love you Lavonna!) but we made the best of it and put on a hell of a show. I definitely feel a lot more ready for our big upcoming gigs at The Beachland and Nelson Ledges coming up. Ok, on with the show!

With Jim Dickinson as their father, it’s no surprise that brothers Cody and Bruce Dickinson would go into music. Over the past 15 years the Dickinson brothers and North Mississippi Allstars have grown to be one of the preeminent Southern rock bands, carrying on the traditions started by The Allman Brothers, ZZ Top, and Lynard Skynard. The brothers have immersed themselves in music, leading not just the Allstars but also a variety of other projects big and small. It’s a journey that has shown these brothers living up to their fathers legacy while making some amazing music.

Jim Dickinson made his mark as a studio musician and producer. He played on Aretha Franklin’s Spirit in the Dark as well as “Wild Horses” by The Rolling Stones. He produced albums throughout all genres, from The Replacements to Screamin’ Jay Hawkins to Mudhoney. Cody and Bruce grew up around their father’s music and were singing and playing together almost as soon as they could walk. While their father didn’t push them towards a career in music, music was a constant in their lives and they were able to learn playing and songwriting by watching some of the best in the business.

In the 80’s the brothers dabbled in a lot of styles, both separately and together. They did old covers, they did psychedelic, and they even did punk and thrash. By the 90’s, however, they were on a path that was strongly influenced by their father and their heritage. Their heavier music began transitioning into mix of southern-infused rock and blues with an edge. By the late 90’s they were performing and putting out cassettes under the moniker of the North Mississippi All Stars. By the end of the 90’s Chris Chew had taken over on bass from former DDT member Paul Taylor, and the lineup was solidified.

The band’s first studio album, 2000’s Shake Hands with Short, was a tribute to some of the classic Mississippi bluesmen from previous generations. The album stayed true to the band’s roots while branching out into new territory, and was successful enough to earn them a Grammy nod for Best Contemporary Blues Album. This immediately thrust the band into the limelight in the blues scene, and opened the door for the band to play with much more contemporary musicians. This helped the group rediscover their love for rock music and set the stage for their goal to modernize Mississippi hill music, not, as they termed, “fossilize” it. That became the focus of the band, both as a group and as individuals.

Their second album, 51 Phantom was a drastic expansion for the band, but still a success in the blues circuit. They garnered another Grammy nod and began touring arenas and ampitheatres opening for larger acts. They brought in guitarist Duwayne Burnside and began touring and recording as a quartet. While Burnside moved in and out of the band, they also brought in other guests from blues and rock to join them in studio and on stage. They updated classic blues songs while collaborating on their own songs as well. Burnside played with the band on Polaris and the subsequent live album.

By 2005 the band was on ATO records and releasing nearly an album a year. They also went on tour and into the studio supporting John Hiatt. By 2007, the band was moving towards side projects, with Luther becoming a member of the legendary Black Crowes while Cody and Chris Chew came together to form Hill Country Review. Despite a heavy touring schedule for both bands, they came back together in 2008 for Hernando and then a live double album in 2009.

The band members went their separate ways again, although tragedy brought the brothers back together again. In 2009 their father passed away after heart surgery. Before his death, he told the brothers that they needed each other, and that they were stronger musically together than they were apart. They reunited at the family’s Zebra Ranch in 2010 to record a tribute to their father and the legendary Memphis bluesman. Family friends joined the band for the tribute, making the Allstars a true all star cast for the album. Songs of the South was seen as a fiting tribute to the father who introduced the brothers to music and helped so many artists find their voice musically.

The North Mississippi Allstars continue to tour both as a group and in other formations. Their side project The Word is scheduled to play Mountain Jam this year, their first performance in years. They recently toured with Robert Plant and Band of Joy as well as doing their own tour of theatres. They’ve successfully moved Mississippi blues and hill music into a new era almost single handedly. They bring energy and excitement to everything they do, and they do it with a musical bond that few bands can match.

All Good announces lineup
The first All Good Festival at Legend Valley in Ohio has a pretty nice lineup from top to bottom. The event will be headlined by Phil Lesh & Friends, The Allman Brothers, and The Flaming Lips. Other notable artists include Bob Weir & Bruce Hornsby featuring Branford Marsalis, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Lotus, G. Love & Special Sauce, Galactic, Shpongle presents The Maquerade, Mickey Hart Band, Trampled By Turtles, Railroad Earth, The Werks, The Everyone Orchestra, and many others.

Governors Ball announces lineup
The second annual Governors Ball will take place on Randall’s Island New York this summer. The event will feature performances by Beck, Passion Pit, Chromeo, Explosions in the Sky, Major Lazer, Big Gigantic, and many others.

Mountain Jam adds artists
Mountain Jam added a handful of artists this week. The biggest new additions include the Tedeschi Trucks Band and Lotus. They’re joined by Nigel Hall Band, Simone Felice Band, American Crybabies, Caravan of Thieves, and others.

Avett Brothers head out on tour
The Avett Brothers will hit the road this Spring and much of the summer for an extended tour. The tour will take the band around the country and to a variety of festivals. Look for the shows at the smaller venues to sell out, so get on it quick if you want tickets.

3/07 Iowa City, IA—University of Iowa
3/10 Springfield, MO—O’Reilly Family Events Center
3/11 Wichita, KS—Orpheum Theatre
3/15 Baton Rouge, LA—Baton Rouge River Center Theatre
3/16 Orange Beach, AL—Amphitheatre at the Wharf (*)
3/17 Birmingham, AL—Boutwell Auditorium
4/12 Lincoln, Nebraska—Pershing Auditorium
4/13 Tulsa, OK—The Brady Theatre
4/14 Tupelo, MS—BancorpSouth Arena
4/17 Durham, NH—Whittemore Center Arena
4/18 Montreal, QC—Corona Theatre
4/20 Morgantown, WV—Creative Arts Center
4/21 Ithaca, NY—State Theatre
4/22 Albany, NY—Palace Theatre
4/25 Providence, RI—Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel
4/27 State College, PA—Movin’ On Spring Music Festival
4/28 Portsmouth, VA—nTelos Wireless Pavilion
5/09 New York, NY—Terminal 5
5/11 Fairfax, VA—Patriot Center at George Mason Univ
5/12 Cleveland, OH—Jacobs Pavilion at Nautica
5/15 Toronto, ON—The Danforth Music Hall
5/16 Toronto, ON—The Danforth Music Hall
5/18 Detroit, MI—The Fillmore
5/19 Columbus, OH—LC Pavilion
5/20 Pittsburgh, PA—Stage AE, Outdoor Stage
6/01 Ozark, AR—Wakarusa Festival
6/02 Grand Prairie, TX—Verizon Theatre at Grand Prairie
6/05 Shreveport, LA—Strand Theatre
6/07 Kettering, OH—Fraze Pavilion
6/08-10 Manchester, TN—Bonnaroo
6/22 Los Angeles, CA—Nokia Theatre
6/23 Berkeley, CA—Greek Theatre
6/24 Sacramento, CA—The Grove Amphitheater
6/26 Vancouver, BC—Vancouver International Jazz Festival
6/28 Salt Lake City, UT—Gallivan Center
6/29 Morrison, CO—Red Rocks Amphitheater
6/30 Morrison, CO—Red Rocks Amphitheater

Jam in the Dam
March 14-16, 2012
Amsterdam, Netherlands
The Jam in the Dam returns! 2012’s lineup includes moe., Mike Gordon, Dark Star Orchestra, Lotus, and Keller Williams. Each artist will play each a full set each night. Tickets are available!!

Suwannee Springfest
March 23-25, 2012
Suwannee Music Park
Live Oak, FL
Performers include: Yonder Mountain String Band, Peter Rowan & Tony Rice Duo, Emmitt-Nershi Band, Hot Buttered Rum, Infamous Stringdusters, Great American Taxi, Greensky Bluegrass, and many others. Tickets are available now!

Ultra Music Festival
March 23-25, 2012
Bayfront Park
Miami, FL
Performers include: Tiesto, New Order, Kraftwerk, Justice, Fatboy Slim, Bassnectar, Skrillex, Pretty Lights, Afrojack, Big Gigantic, and many others.

Mighty High Mountain Fest
May 18-20, 2012
Tuxedo Ridge
Tuxedo, NY
Performers include: Dark Star Orchestra (3 nights), Railroad Earth (2 nights), Cornmeal, and others to be announced.

Hangout Festival
May 18-20, 2012
Gulf Shores, AL
Performers include: The Dave Matthews Band, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Jack White, STS9, The Flaming Lips, The String Cheese Incident, Wilco, Dispatch, Gogol Bordello, Steve Winwood, Michael Franti & Spearhead, G. Love and Special Sauce, Shpongle, and many others.

May 24-27 2012
Cumberland, MD
Performers include: The Del McCoury Band, Steve Martin & Steep Canyon Rangers, Yonder Mountain String Band, Bela Fleck, Sam Bush Band, Railroad Earth, Leftover Salmon, The Travelin’ McCoury’s, Keller Williams, and many others.

Summer Camp
May 25-27, 2012
Three Sisters Park
Chillicothe, IL
Performers include-Three sets each from event hosts moe. and Umphrey’s McGee. Other artists announced include Janes Addiction, Primus, Gogol Bordello, The Bob Weir, Chris Robinson, Jackie Greene Acoustic Trio, Flogging Molly, Cornmeal, Victor Wooten, Greensky Bluegrass, and Hot Buttered Rum.

Festi di Bella Fiora
May 25-27, 2012
Harmony Park
Geneva, MN
Performers include: Primus, Weir, Robinson, and Greene Acoustic Trio, EOTO, Big Gigantic, and others.

Spring Hookahville
May 25-27, 2012
Legend Valley
Thornville, OH
Performers include: Multiple sets of ekoostik hookah, Gov’t Mule, Yonder Mountain String Band, Blue Moon Soup, Oakhurst, and others.

Sasquatch! Festival
May 25-28, 2012
The Gorge
George, WA
Performers include: Jack White, Beck, Pretty Lights, Girl Talk, Beats Antique, Tenacious D, The Head & The Heart, and many others

Mountain Jam
May 31-June 3, 2012
Hunter Mountain, NY
Performers Incude: Gov’t Mule, Steve Winwood, Michael Franti & Spearhead, The Roots, Lotus, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Ben Folds Five, The Word, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, and many others.

May 31-June 3, 2012
Mulberry Mountain
Ozark, AR
Performers include: Pretty Lights, Robinson & Greene Acoustic Trio, Edward Sharpe & Magnetic Zeros, G. Love & Special Sauce, Railroad Earth, Beats Antique, ALO, Keller Williams, The Infamous Stringdusters and others.

June 7-10, 2012
Manchester, TN
Performers include: Phish, Radiohead, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Avett Brothers, The Beach Boys, Umphrey’s McGee, Skrillix, and many many many others!

Telluride Bluegrass Festival
June 21-24, 2011
Telluride, CO
Performers for the 39th annual festival include: Yonder Mountain String Band, Leftover Salmon, Alison Krauss & Union Station, The Punch Brothers, Bela Fleck & The Marcus Roberts Trio, Greensky Bluegrass, and many others.

Re:Generation Festival
June 21-24, 2012
Hornings Hideout
North Plains, OR
STS9 will host and perform at the event. Other artists will be announced soon.

Governor’s Ball
June 23-24, 2011
Randall’s Island
New York, NY
Performers include: Beck, Passion Pit, Chromeo, Modest Mouse, Explosions in the Sky, Major Lazer, Big Gigantic, Cage the Elephant, and many others.

River Romp
June 28-30
Arrowhead Campgrounds
Grassy, MO
Performers include: Yonder Mountain String Band, Cornmeal, Hot Buttered Rum, Split Lip Rayfield, and others

Electric Forest Festival
June 28-July 1, 2012
Double JJ Ranch and Resort
Rothbury, MI
Performers include The String Cheese Incident (3 shows), STS9 (2 shows), Bassnectar, Theivery Corp., Girl Talk, Ghostland Observatory, Steve Aoki, Richie Hawtin, The Travelin’ McCoury’s featuring Keller Williams, Big Gigantic, Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk, EOTO, Das Racist, and many more

High Sierra Music Festival
July 5-8, 2012
Quincy, CA

Camp Bisco XI
July 12-14, 2012
Indian Lookout Country Club
Mariaville, NY

Forecastle Festival
July 13-15, 2012
Waterfront Park
Louisville, KY
My Morning Jacket will headline and curate the event.

All Good
July 19-22, 2012
Legend Valley
Thornville, OH
Performers include: Phil Lesh & Friends, The Allman Brothers Band, The Flaming Lips, Bob Weir & Bruce Hornsby featuring Branford Marsalis, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Lotus, G. Love & Special Sauce, Galactic, and many others.

Gathering of the Vibes
July 19-22, 2012
Seaside Park
Bridgeport, CT

Floyd Fest
July 26-29, 2012
Lover’s Rock
Floyd, VA
Performers include: Michael Franti & Spearhead, Leftover Salmon, Matisyahu, Galactic, Punch Brothers, Toubab Krewe, Drew Emmitt Band, and many others.

Newport Folk Festival
July 28-29, 2012
Ft. Adams State Park
Newport, RI

Newport Jazz Festival
August 3-5, 2012
Ft. Adams State Park
Newport, RI

August 3-5, 2012
Grant Park
Chicago, IL

Fall Hookahville
August 23-25
Frontier Ranch
Pataskala, OH

Camp Barefoot
August 23-26, 2012
Camp Hidden Meadows
Bartow, WV
Performers include: Zach Deputy, Brothers Past, The Motet, Euforquesta, That 1 Guy, and others. Headliners yet to be announced.

The Werk Out Music and Arts Festival
September 20-23, 2012
Legend Valley
Thornville, OH

Harvest Music Festival
October 11-13, 2012
Mulberry Mountain
Ozark, AR
Yonder Mountain String Band will host the event and perform multiple sets. More artists will be announced later.

Jam in the Sand
March 1-5, 2013
Breezes Grand Resort
Negril, Jamaica
Dark Star Orchestra’s first Jamaican event. This event will feature multiple DSO shows as well as three Keller Williams sets and other activities.

A bit of a rant before I go. You all know that I’m a huge Dave Matthews Band fan. I’ve been a fanclub member since the fanclub got started in 1998. I have extremely high seniority and I’ve been able to get front 10 row seats many times and first 3 rows 3 times. Well, they’ve changed their policies, and not for the better. First off, they have a standing room only General Admission pit at the front of the stage. So even if you have front row seats, you still have a bunch of people standing in front of you. I have a bad back, so I can’t stand for the whole show. Then, they’re selling the best seats for $250 a piece as a part of a VIP deal, getting people with huge money access to the best seats, not the fans with seniority. Finally, all pavilion seats for fan club members are $75. I know prices are going up, but that’s just crazy. $150 plus fees for a pair of tickets, and I have no guarantee I’ll get good seats even with my seniority. I’m gonna be looking at the secondary market this year. Even I can’t justify these prices.

Enough of that. Go check out Jam Central Station on Facebook and Twitter. Until next week, Jam On!


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