An Evening With
An Evening With
This event is 21 and over.
$25.00 – General Admission (Advance)
$30.00 – General Admission (Door)
*plus applicable service fees
Tickets available at The Independent box office (628 Divisadero, SF) with no service charge.
All doors & show times subject to change.
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A forgotten roll of film inspired a musical accompaniment, the North Mississippi Allstars new record Up and Rolling. Shot before the turn of the century, the photographs resonate with the music of four families from the Mississippi hills. The album captures the communal spirit upon which the band was founded.
In 1996, a photographer from Texas, Wyatt McSpadden, traveled to North Mississippi looking to photograph local musicians. Brothers Luther Dickinson and Cody Dickinson had grown up just south of Memphis and cut their teeth playing experimental rock & roll together, as well as the roots repertoire pioneered by their father, Jim Dickinson, a legendary producer (Big Star, The Replacements) and session player (The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan). Their feet were firmly planted in the North Mississippi mud and music scene, and they were excited to show Wyatt around their community, to introduce him to the musical families of Otha Turner, R.L. Burnside, and Junior Kimbrough.
Their first stop was Otha Turner’s farm. “He looked sharp that day, still in his Sunday best and ready for a good time.” They all sat together on Otha’s fabled front porch, which was something like a classroom for the elder Dickinson brother. The two would sit for hours, the kid playing guitar while the old man made up lyrics on the spot. That’s how “Call That Gone” came into the world, decades before the Allstars recorded it for Up and Rolling.
“When we make a record,” says Luther, “we invite the people close to us at the time to join us. Recording with the musicians we are touring with or hanging with help capture a record’s time frame.” The great Mavis Staples takes them all to church on the old spiritual “What You Gonna Do?” Jason Isbell joins to record a tune that has been in the Dickinson family for years: “Our father recorded ‘Mean Old World’ with Duane Allman and Eric Clapton during the Layla sessions. Jason invited me to record an acoustic, slide guitar duo version. Cody came up with the new arrangement and wanted to record an electric version with Jason and Duane Betts, using Mean Old World as a vehicle to lay down an epic statement about modern-day roots rock guitar.”
As Cody puts it, “It’s all inclusive. Everyone is invited, the bar is always open, and drinks are on the house. But it’s important to us that we stay true to the vision of Hill Country music. There is incredible talent here in North Mississippi, so I’m always learning. The best thing about being in this band this long is developing a sound and identity that is unique. That’s truly a blessing, so we do our best to keep the music honest.”
While inspired by the community and music of that Sunday more than 20 years ago, Up and Rolling is the sound of modern Mississippi. Luther hopes, “the music is rooted, but spreads evasively from the kudzu jungle grown over Junior’s concrete slab and Otha’s porch boards thru the Zebra Ranch’s razor wire chain link fence. Transcending time and space, music reaches out into the dark of night like the wisteria vine, looking for free-hearted souls to latch onto and wedge into the foundations of hate, slowly tearing down walls a generation at a time.”