Chattanooga Now Allstars bring Southern blues/rock grit to Track 29

Chattanooga Now Allstars bring Southern blues/rock grit to Track 29

March 2nd, 2012 by Casey Phillips in Chattnow Music


What: North Mississippi Allstars featuring Lightnin' Malcolm.

When: 8 p.m. Saturday.

Where: Track 29, 1400 Market St.

Admission: $16 in advance, $18 at the door (plus $3 fee for ages 18-20).

Phone: 521-2929.

Venue website:

Less than a year after wowing audiences at Riverbend, the incendiary blues/rock trio North Mississippi Allstars will return to Chattanooga Saturday to make their debut at Track 29.

The Allstars were founded in the hills of Northern Mississippi in 1996 by Chris Chew (bass) and brothers Luther Dickinson (guitar) and Cody Dickinson (drums), the sons of Memphis blues legend Jim Dickinson.

In addition to their father, the Dickinsons were avid students of the area's rich musical history, growing up cheek by jowl with celebrated bluesmen such as R.L. Burnside and Fred McDowell.

In a 2008 interview, Luther Dickinson said he was having trouble remaining interested in the rock band he was playing in when the idea for the Allstars came to him -- not quite in a dream, but close.

"I was trying to fall asleep on this green shag carpet listening to Fred McDowell, and the whole idea just came to me," Dickinson said. "It was like, 'OK, we're going to start a band called North Mississippi Allstars, and we're going to use as many of the local players as possible. We're going to play the traditional, hill country material.' "

The band rose in popularity quickly, including landing the first of three Grammy Award nominations in 2001 for debut album "Shake Hands With Shorty." The band has since toured with many notable artists, including John Hiatt and Robert Plant.

The Allstars are touring now in support of their 2011 album, "Keys to the Kingdom," which they recorded in their family studio, Zebra Ranch, as a loud and loving tribute to the Dickinsons' father, who passed away in 2009. The tour will continue through the end of April, taking the band throughout the Southeast before heading up the East Coast.

Track 29 founder Adam Kinsey said he's excited to see the Allstars take the stage there, having been blown away by their performances at Bonnaroo.

"North Mississippi is one of my favorite bands," Kinsey said. "They're a great, high-energy, Southern blues/rock band with a lot of different elements to it.

"[The music] crosses a lot of different genres. It's just a good time with great musicians."