North Mississippi Allstars
January 14, 2009
After a short hiatus due to Luther Dickinson’s stint with The Black Crowes, North Mississippi Allstars are on the road again, and they kicked off their "Do It Like We Used To" tour in Fayetteville, Arkansas at George’s Majestic with Hill Country Revue opening the show.
Having played a mediocre "favorites" set on New Year’s Eve in Memphis, it was uncertain what to expect from this “re-formed” band. Surprisingly, the time apart did nothing to squelch the magic that brothers Cody and Luther Dickinson possess.
Fayetteville, home to The University of Arkansas, is renowned as a college town. With winter break just over and this being the first show of the new tour, the presale crowd of 300 had more than doubled by the time NMA went on. The stage was set for the “perfect storm.”
The Allstars opened with the R.L. Burnside tune "Goin’ Down South" which segued into crowd favorite "Yo Mama." The evening progressed with bassist Chris Chew confidently performing vocals on "I’d Love to be a Hippie" and "Love the One You’re With."
During the evening, the remaining members of HCR rejoined the stage for a triple guitar attack (both Dickinsons and Kirk Smithart), and at times a double drum combo, especially great on a blistering "Po Black Maddie > Skinny Women > Shake ‘Em on Down" medley.
One of the highlights of the evening, other than the exuberant crowd, was an incredibly in sync double drum solo by Cody and Ed Cleveland.
Not to be outdone, HCR’s Dan Coburn, energetically urged on the crowd with a feverous fist pumping "Whoop That Trick" during an already insane "Snake Drive" while Luther worked his scratch magic on his guitar’s pick up switch, another of the stand-out moments of the show.
After the concert, most of the band members surprised the crowd by joining them in the front area of George’s to listen to a string band playing an after show gig.
This was an incredibly high energy show that went off without a hitch. If the tour progresses in this fashion, these shows will certainly be a “don’t miss" in 2009.