Stop freaking out. Seriously, you are embarrassing yourself. The North Mississippi All-Stars have not broken up. Brothers Luther and Cody Dickinson and long-time brother-on- the-road Chris Chew have spent almost all of their adult life playing together, and like all families, sometimes you just need a break.
Luther is off working with the Black Crowes, while Cody and Chris have launched a new group, Hill Country Revue. The Hill Country Revue started off as a sweat-fest, super jam at Bonnaroo in 2004. The famous open-ended, come-on-up set featured the last public performance of blues great R.L. Burnside that led to the release of a 14-track CD release, dubbed Hill Country Revue.
Cody and Chris brought back the core of that group in February of this year. Mixed in the mess was R.L.’s youngest son Garry Burnside, who wrote many of the songs, the Memphis-based slide guitar of Kirk Smithheart, vocalist and harp player Daniel Robert Colburn, and drummer Edward “Hot” Cleveland.
Many of the songs on the newest Hill Country Revue album, Make a Move, were road tested, some with the Revue and others with the All-Stars.
From the hard edged opener of the R.L. Burnside song “Alice Mae”, you are warned right away about messing with that woman. Moments later we find ourselves searching for pain with the begging plea to “Let Me Love You”. My favorite song on the album was the restless anthem “Highway Blues”, whose whaling cry leaves that woman with only the faint sounds of footsteps after she finally used us one too many times.
All you All-Star fans can stop your worrying; there are more similarities between the two groups then there are differences. The 10-track, 45-minute Make A Move is full of energy. Just remember to roll down the windows and work up a nice summer sweat.
Make a Move is out now on Razor & Tie.