The Wandering, Luther Dickinson Early Warnings (Music) Recommended Soundboard

When: Thu., May 17, 9 p.m. 2012

Last week Luther Dickinson of the North Mississippi Allstars released three new albums by three different acoustic projects, and he appears with two of them tonight—first under his own name, then with a band called the Wandering. (The third project is the South Memphis String Band, which is surprisingly tepid considering that it involves Alvin Youngblood Hart and Jimbo Mathus.) Dickinson opens the show with a set of instrumental acoustic guitar similar to the material on Hambone's Meditation (Songs of the South), with a bit of Delta blues slide playing and some John Fahey-style fingerpicking. In the Wandering, Dickinson has the support of four strong singers and instrumentalists—bassist Amy LaVere, guitarist Shannon McNally, banjoist and guitarist Valerie June, and drummer and fife player Sharde Thomas (granddaughter of the great Otha Turner). On Go On Now, You Can't Stay Here (Songs of the South) they cover a diverse mixture of traditional country, blues, and folk songs (as well as a few rock-era classics like "Mr. Spaceman" by the Byrds and "The Outlaw" by Sid Selvidge). The performances are appealingly loose, jumping playfully from one tradition to the next—rather than fret about maintaining perfect fidelity to any of them, the band sounds happy just to enliven them all with the same energy. —Peter Margasak

Price: $15

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