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

Paolo Russo: Imaginary Soundtrack (Odradek)

Paolo Russo: Imaginary Soundtrack (Odradek)

In a world awash with ambient music styled for as-yet-unmade movies, atmospherically evocative and cinematic sounds not to mention bona fide film scores, the title here seems a bit unimaginative if... > Read more

IN BRIEF: A quick overview of some recent releases

IN BRIEF: A quick overview of some recent releases

With so many CDs commanding and demanding attention Elsewhere will run this occasional column which scoops up international artists, in much the same way as our SHORT CUTS column picks up New... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Charlotte Ivey and Harley Williams of The Tiny Lies

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Charlotte Ivey and Harley Williams of The Tiny Lies

The Tiny Lies who are based in Lyttelton but are currently touring (see dates below) describe the music on their debut album The Oaks They Wil Bow as "alt-folk-country-noir". At... > Read more

LORD OF THE RINGS: The never-ending story of music, marketing and merchandise.

LORD OF THE RINGS: The never-ending story of music, marketing and merchandise.

A handsome blonde organ-playing Scandinavian with an interest in The Lord of the Rings? It almost sounds like a soft-porn joke, but Bo Hansson from Sweden has a small but early stake in... > Read more