Simply put, the North Mississippi Allstars recent two-night run at San Francisco’s fab The Independent on March 11-12 shored up their place amongst the greatest trio’s rock has ever known. Bold words but backed up by the sinewy, incredibly diverse and endlessly tasty playing of Luther Dickinson (guitar, vocals), Chris Chew (bass, vocals) and Cody Dickinson (drums). While justifiably identified with the blues, NMAS displayed equal facility with gritty soul, tattered denim rock and roughhewn psychedlia. Touring behind the finest album of their career, Keys To The Kingdom (see review here), the Allstars have loads of new material to chew on, and their bite was firm and sharp in San Francisco, the three of them dripping sweat as they chased down each tune, men driven by angels and devils – lusty and wondering and hard-nosed in their determination. Without hyperbole, Luther Dickinson is one of the guitarists of his generation – there seems to be no end or ceiling on his invention – and it was a downright treat that he opened both nights with a solo (mostly) acoustic set, where he ranged through antique gems, works by contemporaries and his own fine songbook before being joined first by his brother and then Chew, who knocked out some amazing vocals this weekend. This band is playing at the top of their game, showing folks just what a trio is capable of and having a fine old time in the process. (Dennis Cook)
While we always dig John Margaretten‘s work, this batch from The Independent shows ranks as some of his finest pictures to date.