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Tuesday night, Sacramento is going to receive a heavy dose of crushing hillcountry blues in the form of a visit from the three-time Grammy-nominated North Mississippi Allstars, who will be burning Harlow's to the ground, figuratively speaking.
The Allstars hail from Hernando, Miss., a town 80 minutes north on The Delta Blues Highway from the birthplace of the blues (and the famous crossroads where Robert Johnson sold his soul those many years ago), Clarksdale, Miss., and 30 minutes south of "Blues City", Memphis, Tenn.
Along this stretch of Highway 61, you can't throw a dead cat without hitting a really good blues musician. And the cat probably played a mean harmonica. If you ever have the chance, go to an open mic at Red's or Ground Zero in Clarksdale: Your mind will be blown. You have to be incredible to stand out, but stand out is exactly what the North Mississippi Allstars do.
As if there wasn't enough geographic pressure on the group to be spectacular badasses, throw in a little genealogical pressure: Luther (guitar and vocals) and Cody (drums and vocals) are the progeny of Memphis bluesman and producer Jim Dickinson, who, among other things, fronted Mudboy & the Neutrons.
It's not easy to emerge from the shadow of a legendary father, but emerge they have.
Sadly, the elder Dickinson passed away in August of '09. At the time of his passing, NMA was on hiatus, with brother Luther playing lead guitar for The Black Crowes while brother Cody manned the skins for Hill Country Revue. In the months before his death, Jim told his sons that he wanted them to play together, that they were far better together than they'd ever be apart.
The younger Dickinsons honored their father's wishes and dedicated their new album, "Keys to the Kingdom," to his memory. "Keys" is the "Allstars' swampiest, greasiest, grittiest, funkiest – and most heartfelt, poignant and honest – release to date." (Relix)
If you like jammed-out Mississippi swamp-blues (and who doesn't?), you'd better be at Harlow's Tuesday night. It doesn't get much better than this.
Doors open at 8:00pm.
See you on the dance floor.