WHO ARE THEY? The long-running southern-blues jam band anchored by singer-guitarist Luther Dickinson and drummer Cody Dickinson, the sons of legendary producer and musician Jim Dickinson.
WHAT IS THIS? Their 10th studio album in two decades — which is about 10 too few for fans of their updated juke-joint jams.
WHAT DOES IT SOUND LIKE? The Dickinsons kicking back in their musical comfort zone. Recorded at their late father’s Zebra Ranch Studio and inspired by old photos of the brothers and other local musicians shot in the mid-’90s, Up and Running is an appropriately homespun and warm set. On these 12 cuts, the brothers simultaneously revisit and retool their musical roots with the help of bassist Carl Dufrene, singer and fife player Sharde Thomas and vocalist Sharisse Norman — plus a roster of influencers, pals and peers like Mavis Staples, Jason Isbell, Duane Betts, Cedric Burnside and others.
WHAT WOULD BE A BETTER TITLE FOR THIS ALBUM? Before And After Picture. Or maybe Home Is Where the Art Is.
HOW SHOULD I LISTEN TO IT? While seated comfortably with your drink of choice at hand.
WHAT 10 WORDS DESCRIBE IT? Authentic, unvarnished, loose, swampy, welcoming, mellow, celebratory, nostalgic, inclusive, flowing.
WHAT ARE THE BEST SONGS? Star-powered tracks like the gospel stirrer What You Gonna Do (featuring Staples, natch) and the guitar-layered blues-rocker Mean Old World (with Isbell and Betts) are easy go-tos, but don’t skip gems like the fife-and-drum workout Call That Gone and the low-slung psychedelia of Peaches.
WHAT WILL MY FRIENDS AND FAMILY SAY? ‘Can they really call it the blues when it makes you feel this good?’
HOW OFTEN WILL I LISTEN TO THIS? It’s a great album for autumn. So it will probably stay close to the top of the playlist for the next little while.
IF THIS ALBUM WERE A GATHERING, WHAT KIND OF GATHERING WOULD IT BE? A fall potluck supper with family and friends.
SHOULD I BUY, STREAM OR STEAL IT? Between the songs and the great guests, you’ll get more than your money’s worth.