North Mississippi Allstars: Brooklyn Bowl, Brooklyn, NY 4/7/12

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The North Mississippi All-Stars seemed right at home during the second night of their two show stay at Brooklyn Bowl.  While Williamsburg is a far cry from Hernando, the love of southern fried electric delta blues is universal, noted by the varying ages and races of the fans in attendance. 

Those who were there for night two caught a hell of display from the trio, all night long the heavy bass from Chris Chew rumbled and kept things motoring along while Luther Dickinson showed off why he is one of the premier guitar players; his solos were ripping and each one seemed to top the next.  The standard “Sitting On Top Of The World” was played early and was anything but standard with it’s dirty slide guitar riffs all the while Luther smiled as if he indeed was on top of the world.  “Let It Roll” from the bands newest and most complete release Keys To The Kingdom just dripped a deep shade of blues while “Ship” featured a slick note filled solo in the vein of Trey Anastasio.  Luther even took some time out to help brother Cody on drums as the guitarist put away his six string and got grooving on a big bass drum marching band style.  

The cover of Mississippi Fred McDowell’s “Crazy About You” contained some licks that teased “Hear My Train A’Comin” and the band happily broke out that Jimi Hendrix gem later in the set.  Teases of a whole host of tunes like “When The Saints Go Marching In” were sprinkled in the as the band wallowed delightfully in the blues culminating in their interpretation of “No Skinny Leg Woman” which was a pure gas containing deep grooves and even a Grateful Dead style trip out that would have made Jerry Garcia smirk.  Cody Dickinson got the spotlight for an eight minute electric washboard solo that was cool, but about five minutes too long.  When the band stopped to let him go off on a drum solo later in the set they should have just gone without that to keep the momentum flowing. 

Things gained steam again though as the band played their tribute to Martin Luther King with a take on “Freedom Highway” as Chew took over lead vocals.  The community spirit was alive and well while the music felt organic and fresh even if some of the songs presented were one hundred years old.  The blues roll on and when players as talented as NMAS are around, you must get out with them too get on down.    

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