With DDT, brothers Luther and Cody Dickinson, along with bassist Paul Taylor, created heavy thrash-rock that was a dozen generations removed from blues and early rock. But then a sax, a female vocalist, and a keyboardist were added. The DDT Big Band was born. And when Taylor left to join Big Ass Truck and Chris Chew was selected as a replacement, the DDT Big Band became the North Mississippi Allstars. In that moment, the Dickinsons went from violent thrash to a strange, jammy, alt-rock version of R.L. Burnside. The band's first album, in fact, was heavy on Burnside and Mississippi Fred McDowell covers, infusing each of the songs with a boogie-woogie groove. The 2001 release 51 Phantom goes on to prove that the group doesn't need to rely on covers for success; the all-original album gets just as big a thumbs-up as the other record. North Mississippi Allstars may do some old-timey blues numbers, but how they do them is what really counts.
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