Blues At Bucknell: The North Mississippi Allstars Review
Bucknell was at no lack for entertainment this past parents weekend. The problem wasn’t finding something to do; the problem was was narrowing down your options. One of the many selections was The North Mississippi Allstars concert. The North Mississippi Allstars are a southern rock/blues band from Hernando, Mississippi. Brothers Luther Dickinson (guitar, vocals) and Cody Dickinson (drums, vocals) founded the band in 1996. In 2008 the brothers decided to pursue other projects but after the passing of their father in 2010 they reunited. Their father, Memphis legend Jim Dickinson told the boys: “you are better together than you will ever be apart.” He couldn’t have been any more accurate.
The concert on Friday night would have been just eh, had the band not added some distinguishing touches to their performance. As talented as Luther Dickinson is, I began to feel that there was something missing after the first few songs. While soothing, the bluesy guitar solos got a bit repetitive. But just as I was starting to lose interest, The North Mississippi Allstars, accompanied by Shardé Thomas and Lightnin Malcolm, made a comeback!
Luther Dickinson’s soulful guitar solos became only one aspect of the band’s eclectic sound. The band marched through the isles in a drum-line fashion, Cody broke out an electric washboard, Luther strummed his lowebow, a variation of a cigar box guitar, and female fife player Shardé Thomas belted alongside the other band members. I was most impressed by the bands ability to change roles at the drop of a hat. One minute Thomas would be on percussion, the next she would be creating folky reverberations with her fife. The other artists also played various musical instruments, showing off their flexibility and immense musical talent. If you missed the show, check out Shardé Thomas’s powerful vocals and fife skills and Cody Dickinson’s intense washboard sound.
The North Mississippi Allstars ended up being quite impressive. They showcased a unique bluesy-rock sound and demonstrated true musical talent. I still wonder why it took so long to reveal the immensity of their capacity. Whatever the reason for the initial lack of excitement in their performance, I am glad that I pushed past my initial judgments, and stuck around to see what the innovative North Mississippi Allstars had in store!