Stony Plain Records
Luther Dickinson explains how this 2007 recording session came to be. “The New Moon Jelly Roll Freedom Rockers …was conceived in the back of a tour bus…Alvin Youngblood Hart, Jimbo Mathis, and Charlie Musselwhite had hit the road together with the North Mississippi Allstars as the house band”. Cody Dickinson continues “Once we got off the road, it felt natural to go in the studio…I recall recording at Zebra Ranch, looking out from the drum “rock” room at Charlie. He and our dad, Jim Dickinson, had a great rapport. Day one was the core band, playing mostly what we had worked up together on the road. Day two, with Jimbo and Alvin coming in, is a bit of a blur. We were creating on the spot. Recording engineer Kevin Houston had the tape rolling. Dad passed in the summer of 2009 so these sessions were shelved. Twelve years passed before Stony Plain founder Holger Petersen heard about the session, and enthused he wanted to release it”.
Luther, guitars, mandolin, bass and vocals; and Cody, drums washboard and vocals; are accompanied by their father Jim, piano and vocals; and lifelong friends Musselwhite, harmonica and vocals; Hart, guitar, mandolin and vocals; and Mathis, guitar and vocals.
Musselwhite fronts the band on “Blues For Yesterday”, and “Black Water” while adding some great harp throughout the session. Mathis sings lead on two he has written, “Searchlight (Soon in the Morning) and “Greens and Ham”; while “Millionaire Blues (If Blues was Money)” is from Hart.
The ensemble also covers six more songs. Included are Junior Wells’ “Messin’ With The Kid”; Earl Hooker’s instrumental “Blue Guitar” played by Luther; and the Memphis Shieks’ “Blues Is a Bad Feeling”. Other re-workings include Hart singing on Doug Sahm’s “She’s About A Mover”; and Jim Dickinson’s versions of Jimmy Reed’s “Can’t Stand To See You Go”; and Charlie Mingus’ “Oh Lord, Don’t Let Them Drop That Atomic Bomb On Me”.
The liner notes conclude with a quote from Jim. “Like the scratches on the rock wall of some prehistory cave- the recordings we leave behind are our immortality, our means of communicating with the future. This is an act of communion between you and us. Though we are separated by time and space as you listen – we are together”.