Wednesday, March 24, 2010

South Memphis String Band ~ All Memphis ~ Memphis International Records ~


As the free world teeters once again on the terrifying brink of depression, return with us now to those bygone days of yesteryear and lose your troubles in the timeless songs of the South Memphis String Band. Three young contemporary blues artists, each in his own right, a rising star. Three modern Mississippi musicians on a knight’s quest to retrieve, preserve, and carry into the future America’s most unique and meaningful musical statement.
Jim Dickinson (1941 – 2009)

When Luther Dickinson, Alvin Youngblood Hart and Jimbo Mathus got together to make music, it certainly wasn’t out of commercial consideration. This troika of roots-imbued musical pros coalesced through a shared vision and consuming passion for the music of their forebears, most notably the Mississippi Sheiks, Memphis Jug Band, Gus Cannon’s Jug Stompers and other practitioners of pre-blues era roots sounds
Home Sweet Home, their first album, out on Memphis International, showcases their passion for the old timey tradition that is underscored by the group’s name: South Memphis String Band.

South Memphis, of course, is that rough and tumble area of the Bluff City extending from downtown to the Mississippi border, and beyond. It’s where Stax Records as well as, literally, hundreds of churches thrived. The sacred and profane, holy rolling and dice rolling, were cheek by jowl in old South Memphis and its modern day namesake reflects that ecumenicism quite brilliantly. For Luther, Alvin and Jimbo, South Memphis is more of a musical state of mind than a specific geographical location.

They’ve been called a “regional roots music supergroup” but the alliance of Dickinson (from the North Mississippi Allstars and, of late, the Black Crowes), Hart (the Grammy winner who is as equally adept at thrash rock as he is at country blues) and Mathus (of the Squirrel Nut Zippers) is more like three good friends just putting it down in a very traditional way. Mathus explained, “Luther, Youngblood Hart and myself have been musical co-conspirators for over a decade. It is only fitting that we should come together with acoustic instruments and perform Mississippi music.”

Home Sweet Home-Produced by The South Memphis String Band and Bill Wax
Recorded by Jackson MacInnis and Michael Taylor at Sirius/XM Performance Studio, Washington DC

Additional recording and mixing by Justin Showah and Winn McElroy at Delta recording Service, Como, MIssissippi
Mastered by Larry and Kevin Nix at Ardent Studios, Memphis, Tennessee

The Specialty Show will air this Friday night March 26th at 10:00 pm (CST Memphis Time) and will repeat on Saturday morning March 27th at 10:00 am (CST Memphis Time. The Specialty Show features an up close interview with Jimbo Mathus.

Special thanks to The Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau
and The Memphis Commercial Appeal
for their true support of
All Memphis Music!

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