Today, GuitarWorld.com presents two new videos featuring North Mississippi Allstars guitarist/vocalist—and former Black Crowes guitarist—Luther Dickinson.
First, you'll find a performance video of "Ain't No Grave," a track from Dickinson's new album, Blues & Ballads (A Folksinger's Songbook Vol. I & II), which was released February 5.
Below that, we present the premiere of an exclusive lesson video for "Ain't No Grave," which Dickinson wrote about the passing of his father, the late, great Memphis music maverick Jim Dickinson. In the clip, Luther talks about the background of the song and shows off some slide techniques.
Blues & Ballads is a retrospective of Luther's life and includes new songs—songs he wrote with North Mississippi Allstars, songs he learned from friends and family, songs passed down to him by his heroes and mentors of the hill country blues scene and songs that have lived in the American subconscious for decades. All of the songs are presented in a similar stripped-down palette of voice, acoustic guitar, drums and some blues fife and Beale Street piano.
"This collection of songs interpreted simply, recorded live, solo or with a small group of friends reflects my relationship between music, songs, the written word and legacy," Luther says. "It celebrates the American oral tradition of blues and folk songs, not only being passed down and evolving but being transcribed (the original recording technique) and entered into the discipline of written sheet music and songbooks.”
While Blues & Ballads has a retrospective flavor, it’s not a greatest hits. It’s a means of translating songs to a new moment, of letting them breathe and take new shapes. Luther is joined on the album by Mavis Staples, Jason Isbell, Jim Lauderdale, JJ Grey, Charles Hodges, Jimbo Mathis, Amy LaVere and Sharde Thomas.