North Mississippi Allstars: Up and Rolling
For the first single from their 10th album, North Mississippi Allstars chose “What You Gonna Do?,” a song that brothers Luther and Cody Dickinson first heard on a Staple Singers album from 1965 that belonged to their dad, the late musician and producer Jim Dickinson. They brought in Mavis Staples to sing on the cover and it’s a seriously rousing, funky, glorious affair—one of those tunes you could play over and over and never tire of. At some point while replaying it, though, you remember that there are 11 other tracks on the new album that also rock and roll with the same level of gutsiness and energy and, really, any of them will do the trick when you just need a reminder that real soul is still out there. Some of the tunes, like “Mean Old World,” also feature guests, in this case Duane Betts and Jason Isbell, and it, too, is real and gritty—just the kind of antidote you’d want if you’re having a shitty day. Some others, like “Drunk Outdoors” and “Bump That Mother,” require nothing more from a listener than the desire to have a little fun, while “Take My Hand, Precious Lord,” one of a pair of tracks featuring Mississippi bluesman Cedric Burnside, burns with gospel fervor. North Mississippi Allstars are inching up on their 25th year together but, somehow, even with all of that behind them, it seems like this party they’ve got going is just getting started.