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North Mississippi All-Stars - Do It Like We Used To Do

Songs Of The South Records

When not working with his second outfit the Black Crowes, guitarist Luther Dickinson squeezes in all the gigs he can with his own band the North Mississippi All-Stars. Jumping from one tour bus to another doesn't seem to bother him as he lives for those moments he can play on stage.

He also serves as the All-Stars archivist. He has made it a priority to sift through hours of tapes to compile what he feels are the group's best performances. With the workload he's got, there is no telling when his band will release a CD of new material.

The fans won't be miserable. The double CD package of "Do It Like We Used To Do" is a retrospective look at the group's career from 1996 to the present. There is enough Dixie fried, swamp rock, hill country blues on these tracks to shake your fanny too.

The focus is always on Luther's slide guitar playing that is as slippery as a water moccasin. Supported by brother Cody on drums and Chris Chew on bass, The North Mississippi All-Stars brew a concoction of blues as heavy as bourbon and as dirty as plantation mud.

Ranging with tracks recorded at New York' Beacon Theater to the Bonnaroo Festival, these cds document what the All-Stars do best: Playing the blues and spreading the news.

The audience is made up of college age kids. But they love it to death when Dickinson breaks out the low-bow guitar on Charlie Patton's "Mississippi Bollweevil." The band's energy is unabatable on a fast and furious "Goin' Down South." The 2004 Bonnaroo Festival recording captures a sweat drenched "Po Black Maddie/Skinny Woman" that surely must have been a crowd pleaser as it evokes hip shaking rhythms taken from a heritage of Delta stomp.

Although it's nice to see others jam with these guys like their father Jim Dickinson, Duwayne Burnside and R.L. Boyce, this band works best in a trio format. Taken from a Beacon Theater 2006 performance, their reading of Jimi Hendrix' "Hear My Train A-Comin" is almost letter perfect with Dickinson's leads waxing modern day psychedelia.

And it get's better. Included is a DVD that is a documentary on the band discussing their upbringing. You see film clips of fife master Othar Turner. And a glimpse of how Mississippi Fred McDowell influenced Luther's slide guitar playing.

Now you know what they mean when they World Boogie Is Coming.

Review by Gary Weeks

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