James Luther Dickinson: Killers From Space (Memphis/Elite) BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2007

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James Luther Dickinson: Eloise
James Luther Dickinson: Killers From Space (Memphis/Elite) BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2007

In a cover which looks like it was thought up by a couple of drug-addled on-line kids -- and with a title from a B-grade movie -- comes the latest album by one of the great ignored/overlooked/wayward talents from the South.

This is a man for whom a never-recorded, whiskey-soaked Sun session overseen by a voodoo priestess with Mick'n'Keith (c '72) formed the cornerstone of this album -- which has elements of Exile on Main Street as much as Charley Pride and a desperate Hank Williams.

Dickinson -- not one of the greatest singers we'll concede immediately -- is perhaps the blackest whiteman on the planet (he once got away with recording as Little Muddy) and now in his late 60s (that's my guess). And now he has unleashed yet another brittle, unscholarly and unrepentant album of Southern blues-rock shot through with fears, rage, swampy guitar solos, moonshine-cured soul-blues vocals and much more besides.

Not many listeners know about James Luther Dickinson -- but as Jim Dickinson he played piano on dissolute Stones' sessions in the early 70s (he's on Wild Horses), produced Big Star and other classic Memphis albums (Replacements/Green on Red/Tav Falco), and counted among his fellow travellers early Ry Cooder and Screamin' Jay Hawkins.

He is a major figure in the whole "It Crawled From Memphis" scene. His sons are in the North Mississippi All Stars.

'Nuff said.

This is wayward, wild, sometimes sad-drunk, undisciplined and possibly -- in the ears of some -- so scattergun as to be unlistenable. It is also possibly too long for many.

In other words, Elsewhere music.

Enjoy y'all.

Mine's a double . . .

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