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

 |   |  1 min read

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 . . .

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Salmonella Dub with the NZSO: Feel the Seasons Change (Virgin)

Salmonella Dub with the NZSO: Feel the Seasons Change (Virgin)

To be honest, I have always been vaguely suspicious of the rock-meets-orchestra thing. For a kick-off I wonder who such events/albums are made for. But then again I had Deep Purple's terrible... > Read more

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2011 Rumer: Seasons of My Soul (Atlantic)

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2011 Rumer: Seasons of My Soul (Atlantic)

There are a lot of wonderful new soul singers around these days -- Mayer Hawthorne, Adele, etc -- and any number of artists who have you reaching for a historical reference in the same territory... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE BARGAIN BUY: The Who: The Kids are Alright (DVD)

THE BARGAIN BUY: The Who: The Kids are Alright (DVD)

Elsewhere is of the very firm persuasion that some things should be compulsory. Nothing too outrageous . . . but Mad magazines free to every school child rather than bottled milk, shoes on aircraft... > Read more

GUEST WRITER DON McGLASHAN on the power of songwriters in a cold climate

GUEST WRITER DON McGLASHAN on the power of songwriters in a cold climate

What follows is Don McGlashan's speech at the Apra Silver Scroll Award in Auckland on September 13, 2012. We print it here with Don's permission and it's our privilege to do so, as much for... > Read more