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), and Chris Chew (electric bass guitar). In addition to the guitar, Dickinson 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.
Duwayne Burnside, who formerly played second guitar in the band, is a son of R. L. Burnside (who also played on some of the band's tracks).
Allstars' first release, Shake Hands With Shorty, was nominated for a Grammy Award for "Best Contemporary Blues Album". Since then, 51 Phantom and Electric Blue Watermelon have received nominations in that same category. The group also won a Blues Music Award for "Best New Artist Debut" in 2001.
The band made their network television debut in 2000 on Late Night with Conan O'Brien. They also served as the house band for a short period in 2004 on Last Call with Carson Daly.
The band now backs up and tours with John Hiatt. They have released an album with him entitled Master of Disaster. All the members of the Allstars have also teamed up with Robert Randolph and John Medeski to form The Word.
In November 2007, Luther Dickinson joined The Black Crowes as lead guitarist, and has appeared on their albums Warpaint (2008), Before the Frost...Until the Freeze (2009) and Croweology (2010). Luther Dickinson currently devotes his time to both the Black Crowes and the North Mississippi Allstars. Cody Dickinson has also started a side project, Hill Country Revue, featuring Daniel Coburn, Kirk Smithhart, Doc Samba and Ed Cleveland. They are sometimes joined by Luther Dickinson and members of the Burnside family. They have released two albums, Make A Move (2009) and Zebra Ranch (2010).
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, the 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.
The band opened for Robert Plant and the Band of Joy on their concert tour in 2011. They also opened for Dave Matthews Band in the spring of 2013.
Their latest release, World Boogie Is Coming was issued on September 3, 2013.
Shake Hands With Shorty (2000),
51 Phantom (2001),
Tate County (Hill Country Blues) (2003) Private Release,
Hill Country Revue: Live at Bonnaroo (2004),
Instores & Outtakes EP (2004),
Electric Blue Watermelon (2005),
Screwed & Chopped EP (2005),
Keep On Marchin' - Live In Burlington, VT (2007),
Mississippi Folk Music - Volume One (2007),
Boulderado - Live At The Fox (2008),
Do It Like We Used to Do (2009, 2CD+DVD live set),
Live In The Hills - Bootleg (2010),
Keys To The Kingdom (2011),
World Boogie Is Coming (September 3, 2013)