may 2017

Cody (left) and Luther Dickinson.

The brothers Dickinson return with a grinding blues ’n’ roll homage to their home turf’s tough sound, spiked by slicing slide guitar from Luther Dickinson and guest Kenny Brown.

Although the North Mississippi Allstars have been making music as a band and touring the world for 21 years—Prayer for Peace, arriving June 2, will be their 17th full-length album—the group’s feet have always remained planted firmly in the soil of the Magnolia State’s hill country. That’s where Luther and Cody Dickinson’s father, the famed producer, pianist, songwriter, and raconteur Jim Dickinson, relocated his family after decades in Los Angeles specifically for the benefit of his sons’ musical education.

Obviously they learned well—forging a highly original sound from the foundation of the region’s legendary musicians, including R.L. Burnside, Othar Turner, Junior Kimbrough, and, from an earlier generation, Fred McDowell. That sounds drives “Run Rooster Run,” an exclusive Premier Guitar preview from Prayer for Peace. Luther Dickinson’s fat signature slide guitar grinds over his brother’s powerhouse drumming—which manages to propel the song like a freight train while still threatening, like the best Mississippi juke joint music, to jump the rails.

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Sam Fender shares a moment with his saxophonist and childhood friend, Johnny "Blue Hat" Davis, at London's O2 Brixton Academy in September 2021.

Photo by Linda Brindley

The British songwriter traversed the bleak thoroughfares of his past while writing his autobiographical sophomore album, Seventeen Going Under—a tale of growing up down-and-out, set to an epic chorus of Jazzmasters and soaring sax.

British songwriter Sam Fender hails from North Shields, England, an industrial coastal port town near the North Sea, about eight miles northeast of Newcastle upon Tyne. Fender grew up in this small village, which he calls "a drinking town with a fishing problem." He lived there with his mother on a council estate, a type of British public housing. This is the mise-en-scène for Sam Fender's coming-of-age autobiographical new album, Seventeen Going Under. On the album's cover, a photograph shows Sam sitting on a brick stoop.

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