The group releases their newest album with a number of guest appearances
Brothers Luther and Cody Dickinson are back with a fresh twelve track album, Up and Rolling. This album is more of a polished and precise piece of work when compared to their last few albums. The funky, rock album was recorded in their home studio, The Zebra Ranch, which was established by their father, Jim Dickinson. The album features guest appearances including Mavis Staples, Jason Isbell, Duane Betts, Cedric Burnside, and Otha Turner. Up and Rolling finds North Mississippi Allstars getting back to their roots and reclaiming the collective character their sound originated from.
One of the most popular songs on the album, “Up and Rolling,” has a groovy, blues-rock vibe. The track starts with a smooth and inviting electric guitar melody paired with some soft drums. The musical storytelling of this revved-up track takes the listener into the lives of the Mississippi hippie band, which involves narcotics and the expression of relationships through county-blues music. The opening lines are, “Grew up a Mississippi hippie tripping LSD/ smoking stems in season, drinking mushroom tea.” This line is repeated throughout the song and can be referred to as the beginning of the chorus. This vibey song also expresses the bond between hippie friends through the lines, “Singing the blues with our friends/ yeah, we be up and rolling.”
Another top song off the album, “What You Gonna Do?” features rhythm and blues singer Mavis Staples and she certainly brought her rhythm and blues to this track. This is a funky, rousing take on the Staple Singers’ classic gospel song originally found on their 1965 album, Freedom Highway. According to Paste Magazine, when asked about the track Dickenson said, “Freedom Highway became one of the records that changed my life. Pulled from my father’s record collection, this music recorded live in a Chicago church, transported me into a live church service with The Staples Singers with drums and bass! This did not sound like my grandmother’s Baptist church. This gospel was so beautiful, yet funky. ‘What You Gonna Do?’ is the bluest gospel song I have ever heard.”
This groovy 12 track album combines country-rock with funky blues, which can be listened to in a quick 45 minutes. while the band is coming close to its 25th year anniversary, they continue to astonish their listeners with soulful and impeccable music.