"We’re a blues rock band and set out to make a blues rock record," said Luther Dickinson, talking about the North Mississippi Allstars’ new release, Hernando, and he’s right on the money.
With the new release, the Allstars have put together their most solid album in years. From the dirty, gritty sound of "Keep The Devil Down" to the bluesy, easy-paced "I’d Love To Be A Hippy," this is one of those albums that you can listen to front to back in one sitting. "Soldier" is a stand-out track; Cody Dickinson’s drumming is top-notch and propels the song. "Blow Out" has a real rockabilly vibe – even though it’s less than two minutes long, they rocket through that tune like it’s their last.
The album is best at the aforementioned blues rock, though. "Shake" and "Come Go With Me" are classic North Mississippi Allstars. However, much of the cadence of "Take Yo Time, Rodney" sounds remarkably like "Drinkin’ Muddy Water," to the point that it’s odd they didn’t pick up on the similarity while recording the track.
Across the board, this is what Allstars fans have been waiting for – a disc of original material that stands up to their previous, cover-laden albums. The biggest gripe about the band has always been that they can’t write – that they merely take old Mississippi hill country tunes and put their own spin on them. Hernando should finally lay that criticism to rest, because the Allstars knocked one out the park.
Hernando is out on Songs of the South Records on January 29.