It would be an understatement to say that Luther Dickinson (North Mississippi Allstars, Black Crowes) has been keeping busy lately. And on May 8 it will all pay off as he will be releasing three separate records.
The first, Hambone’s Meditations, is an instrumental guitar record featuring pieces in the style of John Fahey’s “Tacoma tradition,” as Dickinson refers to it. “It was Jack Rose who made me realize that the medium of instrumental guitar was there for me to utilize. It had never occurred to me to try it myself and it was a satisfying relief when I did. I write musical ideas all the time and writing this record felt as natural as breathing. This record was very timely in my life as well. My daughter was just an infant as I wrote this material and I was still meditating on my father’s passing. The music fit the mood of the Mississippi winter of 2009.”
Also out on May 8 is the debut album from Dickinson’s latest group, The Wandering. Go On You Can’t Stay Here features the dually accomplished female vocalists and instrumentalists Shannon McNally, Amy LaVere, Valerie June, and Sharde Thomas. The band fearlessly tackled many traditional standards and classic Americana songs with this record, covering artists like Robert Johnson, Kris Kristofferson, Little Willie John, Ray Charles and Sid Selvidge . “The idea for the band came together one day when I saw a picture of Valerie playing the banjo, which led me to think about Amy playing upright bass, which led me to think about Sharde playing drums and Shannon playing guitar,” Dickinson explains. “So I called them up and arranged a session. We had no idea what to expect and I had no idea what I was getting myself into, but it couldn’t have been lovelier.”
Lastly, the South Memphis String Band will be releasing their sophomore album, Old Times There… Featuring Dickinson, Jimbo Mathus and Alvin Youngblood Hart, the album features songs that deal with “the legacy of slavery, Civil War, reconstruction, and Jim Crow-sanctioned segregation.”