North Mississippi Allstars, 12/30/11

North Mississippi Allstars
Variety Playhouse
Atlanta, GA
December 30, 2011


For North Mississippi Allstars fans, there was no option to spend the last day of 2011 with the Mississippi-bred, Southern rock and hill country blues trio. This wasn’t because the Allstars did not have a NYE gig scheduled — they did.  Unfortunately it was scheduled at what turned out to be the festival debacle of the decade. The Bond-fire Arts and Music Festival, a virgin fest filled with problems that eventually cancelled at the last minute, left a legion of outraged fans and a slew of bands that had counted on the South Florida event to ring in the new year with their faithful.

Never a band to complain, NMA simply rolled into the Variety Playhouse prepared to deliver a New Year’s Eve-worthy (minus balloons and confetti) helping of their blend of blues and rock to a packed house of delighted Atlantans and those that traveled to the Little Five Points venue. Plus, in celebration of the new year, NMA is offering their latest studio album, Keys to the Kingdom, for five dollars. (See below)

The North Mississippi Allstars are now back to touring as a trio after a lengthy time out as a duo, something that front man and guitarist Luther Dickinson has longed for, as he described in a very deep recent video interview with Honest Tune. On this night, the band clearly showed why Dickinson has been wanting to get the trio back on the road.

Luther opened the show with a solo seated performance that, while mellow, was a special treat and demonstrated his prowess not only on an electric guitar but on an acoustic as well.  He was later joined by his drumming brother Cody and southpaw bassist comrade, “Big Chris” Chew. The additional cohorts immediately capitulated the show’s energy to another level.

Highlights from the night included Bob Dylan’s “Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again,”  Tampa Red’s “It Hurts Me Too,” a tune popularized on the jam scene during the Pigpen Grateful Dead era, and some great sandwiches such as ” Po Black Maddie > Chevrolet > Skinny Woman” and “Snake Drive> Mississippi Party> Snake Drive.”

The Allstars delivered a vibrant, joyful, blues-filled evening that was a great warm up for those with big New Year’s Eve plans the next night.



Station Blues (Sittin’ On Top of the World), The Meeting, It Hurts Me Too, Mississippi Bollweevil, Preachin’ Blues (Up Jumped the Devil), Circle in the Sky, This A’way,  Shake, People Get Ready, Everything I Do Gonna Be Funky (From Now On), Goin’ Down to the River > Drop Down Mama, Someday Baby (Worried Life Blues),  Mean Ol’ Wind Died Down, Moonshine, Po Black Maddie > Chevrolet > Skinny Woman > Capricorn Briarpatch, Steal Away, Keep The Devil Down,  K.C.Jones (On the Road Again), Boogie > Sugartown, Shake ’em on Down, Rollin’ & Tumblin’,

Encore: Jumpercable Blues, Hear the Hills, All Night Long, Snake Drive> Mississippi Party> Snake Drive


Click here to download an audience recording of this show. (Stream this show below the photo gallery)


Click the thumbnails to view photos from the show by Ian Rawn…