It was a celebration of life through music.
Jim Dickinson influenced so many souls while on this Earth, and for one night, many of those souls did their best to pay homage to the departed legend, filling the humid Bluff City air with grateful notes of remembrance.
Memphis wouldn’t throw a party any different.
The second annual Jim Dickinson Folk Festival was a free show at the Levitt Shell, and the people showed up in droves. With an all-star (pun intended) line-up of local musicians who were touched by Dickinson, bodies stretched as far as the eye could see along Overton Park to see the likes of Lucero, the North Mississippi Allstars, Jimbo Mathus, and patriarch Dickinson’s former cohorts, Mudboy and the Neutrons, playing billed as the Sons of Mudboy; Luther and Cody Dickinson would sit in their father’s stead.
From the opening notes of the evening, it was clear that the evening would be a special one; thunder and lightning raged through the previous night on into the morning, but short of a few random brief sprinkles, the night was a clear one. The few drops that did fall were undoubtedly tears from above, paying homage to the man celebrated by those on stage.
The Sons of Mudboy played a solid set at the front-end of the proceedings. Jim’s old pals Sid Selvidge and Jimmy Crosthwait played alongside Luther and Cody, who brought along old friend Paul Taylor to play washtub bass. With a set of gospel-tinged offerings, it was a poignant way to work into the night. The band delivered a touching blend of music, opening with "It Was Sad When That Great Ship Went Down." The group ran through familiar tunes like "Codine" and closed their set with "KC Jones > Glory, Glory," and then ceded the stage to Dickinson associate Jimbo Mathus.