by Andria Lisle
Musician/producer Jim Dickinson will be fittingly eulogized with a free concert at the Levitt Shell tonight.
On the bill: Dickinson's eldest son Luther, his former Mudboy & the Neutrons bandmates Jimmy Crosthwait and Sid Selvidge, and friends and proteges Keith Sykes, Reba Russell, Paul Taylor, Steve Selvidge, Jimbo Mathus and Shannon McNally.
While Dickinson was known around the world for his work with the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan and Aretha Franklin, he was also a major presence at the Midtown amphitheater throughout his career: In the late 1960s, he helped organize the folk and blues festivals that melded the music of 102-year old Nathan Beauregard and his fellow bluesmen Furry Lewis, Fred McDowell and Bukka White with eclectic modern acts like Electric Blue Watermelon and Insect Trust. In the 1980s, Mudboy & the Neutrons were stalwarts at the shell; in more recent years, Dickinson shared bills with the likes of Lucero and Amy LaVere.
A free venue, filled with great music that blends the borders between roots music and raucous rock-and-roll — I don't think Dickinson would ask for anything more.
From Chris Herrington's article that ran in this week's Flyer:
According to event organizer David Less, who worked with Dickinson on a string of excellent solo albums in the last decade of his life, the show is "in response to an overwhelming need from the local music community and those touched by Jim and his music. When we produced the benefit concert on August 8th, the intention was to raise funds [for medical bills and expenses]. After he died the next week, we heard from many people who were unable to participate and wanted to memorialize him in some way."
In related news, Luther Dickinson and the "Sons of Mudboy" — Sid Selvidge and Jimmy Crosthwait, plus Paul Taylor, Steve Selvidge, Shannon McNally and Jimbo Mathus — have recorded Upward and Onward, a gospel album due for release on Memphis International Records on November 10th.
Cut at Jim Dickinson's home studio, Zebra Ranch, just three days after his death, the album was recorded with two microphones plugged directly into a two-track ½ inch tape recorder. Ardent Studios owner John Fry mastered the tracks directly from the two track to the mother stamper from which (vinyl) pressings were sourced. Most of the songs were nailed in just one take.