A wonderfully raw, gritty, and incendiary trio fueled by the dual fires of rock 'n' roll and the spectacularly rich blues heritage of Mississippi hill country, the North Mississippi Allstars have a blistering sound that's probably what the Rolling Stones aspired to in their early days. Guitarist Luther Dickinson, drummer Cody Dickinson—sons of famed Memphis producer Jim Dickinson—and bassist Chris Chew absorbed the rare hill country elixir that spawned the likes of Fred McDowell, R.L. Burnside, Junior Kimbrough, and Othar Turner. The Allstars' new Do It Like We Used to Do is a two-CD treasury of live performances spanning the band's twelve-year history, plus a DVD documentary with more performances. Compositions by the aforementioned foursome dominate, and highlights are numerous, including a blazing Hendrix-tinged dual-guitar assault by Luther and erstwhile member Duwayne Burnside on McDowell's "Crazy Bout You," the seemingly haunted boogie of R.L.'s "Jumper on the Line" (with the author himself supplying vocals and Luther's stinging slide howling like a tempest), and a deliciously greasy version of J. B. Lenoir's "Down in Mississippi" sparked by Jim Dickinson's phlegmy lead vocals. Opener Hill Country Revue is a side project of Cody Dickinson and Chew with more of a Southern rock vibe. The band also features drummer Ed Cleveland, harmonica player Daniel Coburn, guitarist Kirk Smithhart, and occasionally guitarist Garry Burnside, one of R.L.'s sons. 18+.
Thu., Feb. 5, 8:30 p.m., 2009