Tonight? Mission well and truly accomplished.
There’s a wise saying, that fruit never falls far from the tree. Memphis legend Jim Dickinson played with everyone from The Rolling Stones to [a]Aretha Franklin[/a], and produced Big Star‘s landmark ‘Sister Lovers’. Unsurprisingly, when his sons Cody and Luther picked up instruments themselves, as North Mississippi Allstars, it was a raw and reverent take on the blues that poured forth.
And it’s a deliciously liquid groove that they chase tonight, the Dickinson brothers and bassist/vocalist Chris Chew tearing through blues standards with juke-joint bonhomie. No cosy guitar-wank snoozathon in the style of self-appointed guardians of the blues like Eric Clapton: the Allstars‘ gumbo is messier, funkier, looser than any such revivalisms. The boys Dickinson aren’t playing at bluesmen, they’ve lived and breathed this music since they were knee-high to a Blind Lemon Pie, and it shows in the ungentrified sprawl of their grind tonight.
Songs like ‘Shake ‘Em On Down’ and RL Burnside‘s ‘Goin’ Down South’ might be years old, but are revitalised by the Allstars‘ stripped-down,100 percent-proof spirit readings. It’s not the Allstars‘ authenticity or family connections that show Gomez up for the pale, Embrace-with-laryngitis chancers they are – it’s their simple desire to leave every room they play sweaty’n’bourbon-drenched, dancing and grinning like goons. Tonight? Mission well and truly accomplished.