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North Mississippi Allstars Biography

Birth Place: Hernando, Mississippi, USA
Years Active: 1996 – present
Genres: Southern Rock, Blues-rock, Jam Band

North Mississippi Allstars is an American southern rock/blues band from Hernando, Mississippi, founded in 1996. The band is composed of brothers Luther Dickinson (guitar, vocals) and Cody Dickinson (drums, keyboards, electric washboard). Founding member Chris Chew (electric bass guitar) is currently taking a break from the band.

Luther and Cody Dickinson's father was the Memphis musician and record producer, Jim Dickinson. He, besides releasing music in his own name, worked with Ry Cooder, Bob Dylan, Rolling Stones and Primal Scream. Jim Dickinson also set up the Zebra Ranch recording studio complex during the 1990s in Hernando, Mississippi. His career spanned more than four decades before he died on August 15, 2009.

In addition to the guitar, Luther also plays a cigar box guitar called the “lowebow.” A “lowebow” is a variation of the cigar box guitar, created by John Lowe in the 1990's. It involves one cigar box, with two wooden rods projecting from it. Each wooden rod holds one string each, a bass string and a standard acoustic guitar string. This allows the player to pluck a one-string bass and a one-string guitar at the same time. Each of the two strings has its own individual electric pick-up that feeds into the amplifier. This guitar was created with the One-man band performer in mind.

In November 2007, Luther Dickinson joined The Black Crowes as lead guitarist, and has appeared on their albums “Warpaint” in 2008, “Before the Frost...Until the Freeze” in2009 and “Croweology” in 2010. Luther Dickinson currently devotes his time to both the Black Crowes and the North Mississippi Allstars.

The band now backs up and tours with John Hiatt. They released an album with him in 2005 entitled “Master of Disaster.” All the members of the Allstars have also teamed up with Robert Randolph and John Medeski to form The Word. They also served as the house band for a short period in 2004 on “Last Call with Carson Daly.”

North Mississippi Allstars' first release, the 2000 LP “Shake Hands With Shorty,” was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Blues Album. Since then, 2001’s “51 Phantom” and 2005’s “Electric Blue Watermelon” have received nominations in that same category. Their seventh studio album, “World Boogie Is Coming” was issued in September 2013.