Luther Dickinson and the Collaborators

Aug. 22
7 p.m.
Acoustic, Blues, Country, Folk

Blues & Ballads: A Folksinger’s Songbook, the inspiration for this excursion by Mississippian Luther Dickinson and friends (including Shardé Thomas and Amy LaVere), is every bit as raw, intimate, and teeming with life force as anything folk archivist Alan Lomax ever collected. The material was culled from years of Dickinson’s notebook jottings, best known for his roots/punk rock ’n’ roll band North Mississippi Allstars, and reflects his Deep South influences: the Mississippi Hill Country drum-and-fife blues tradition, country and Delta blues, gospel, splinters of Beale and Bourbon streets, and, of course, the work of his father, the Memphis session musician and producer Jim Dickinson. “Hurry Up Sunrise,” credited to late Hill Country icon Otha Turner, sets the tone. The Allstars recorded it as a scorching rocker; here it’s a shuffling country blues duet between Dickinson and Thomas (Turner’s granddaughter) primed by Dickinson’s wicked slide. Another highlight: “Ain’t No Grave,” a stark but luminous duet with Mavis Staples accompanied only by Dickinson’s sculptural electric guitar.