51 Phantom

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Roberta Penn
The North Mississippi Allstars' follow-up to Shake Hands with Shorty, finds the trio of brothers Luther and Cody Dickinson guitars and drums respectively and bassist Cody Chew remain deeply rooted in the sounds of today's Delta even though the debut release took them around the globe. The main difference is that all but two songs in this set were penned by the band. The most affecting of the lot are essentially gospel tunes. Against an Allman Brothers vibe the NMA plea for forgiveness on "Lord Have Mercy." "Circle in the Sky" is a doomsday lament while "Ship" has a Pentecostal redemption refrain. All of these have enough funk in them to keep things moving, but the dark ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Roberta Penn
The North Mississippi Allstars' follow-up to Shake Hands with Shorty, finds the trio of brothers Luther and Cody Dickinson guitars and drums respectively and bassist Cody Chew remain deeply rooted in the sounds of today's Delta even though the debut release took them around the globe. The main difference is that all but two songs in this set were penned by the band. The most affecting of the lot are essentially gospel tunes. Against an Allman Brothers vibe the NMA plea for forgiveness on "Lord Have Mercy." "Circle in the Sky" is a doomsday lament while "Ship" has a Pentecostal redemption refrain. All of these have enough funk in them to keep things moving, but the dark lyrics speak volumes about the desperate lives so many folks in the rural South lead. Even the folky numbers, "Leavin'" and "Up Over Yonder," are about leaving current lives behind. Ironically the song that most reflects the in-your-face blues of the band's first release is a driving cover of Pops Staple's anthem about the Civil Rights Movement "Freedom Highway." 51 Phantom is a stunning sophomore outing because the North Mississippi Allstars not only hang on to their roots, they fearlessly dig in deeper and come up proudly covered in the mud of some of America's darkest secrets.
All Music Guide - John Bush
The second outing from North Mississippi Allstars Luther and Cody Dickinson consolidates their growing strengths, both instrumental read: fewer drum machines and compositional only two covers here, as opposed to the raft of Fred McDowell/R.L. Burnside titles on 2000's Shake Hands With Shorty. Featuring guests like ancient fife player Othar Turner and Big Ass Truck's John C. Stubblefield, the band certainly smokes like they did on their debut, opening with an excellent driving rocker the title track that ends with Luther cooing just like Howlin' Wolf. The second song, "Snakes in My Bushes," is a dead-ringer for an age-old blues along the lines of "Stones in My Passway," though ironically it's also one of the few tracks with a drum machine. Yes, 51 Phantom does lose in the comparison game to its excellent predecessor: the Dickinson brothers can't quite hold up an LP with their own songs, and a few of the guitar licks end up as recycled Led Zeppelin clichés. Still, North Mississippi Allstars make the blues sound just as energetic, raucous, and earthy as it's sounded in years. Added bonus: closing out with a raging, nearly demonic "Mud" a quasi-cover of the Tin Pan Alley standard "Mississippi Mud", a track verging on grindcore or rap-rock.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/13/2008
  • Label: Warner Bros Uk
  • UPC: 809274119926
  • Catalog Number: 741199

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 51 Phantom (3:19)
  2. 2 Snakes in My Bushes (3:44)
  3. 3 Sugartown (3:49)
  4. 4 Lord Have Mercy (5:27)
  5. 5 Storm (4:20)
  6. 6 Freedom Highway (3:18)
  7. 7 Circle in the Sky (3:34)
  8. 8 Ship (5:29)
  9. 9 Leavin' (3:17)
  10. 10 Up Over Yonder (3:48)
  11. 11 Mud (3:25)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
North Mississippi Allstars Primary Artist
Jesse Davis Background Vocals
James Luther Dickinson Piano, Omnichord, Dolceola
Jackie Johnson Background Vocals
Susan Marshall Background Vocals
Brenda Patterson Background Vocals
East Memphis Slim Piano, Dolceola
Chris Chew Bass, Vocals
Luther Dickinson Guitar, Harp, Vocals, Roland TR-808
Cody Dickinson Guitar, Drums, Tambourine, Vocals, Washboard
John C. Stubblefield Bowed Bass
Ben Nichols Background Vocals
Paul Taylor Percussion
Otha Turner Fife
Technical Credits
Roebuck "Pops" Staples Composer
James Luther Dickinson Producer
Chris Ludwinsky Mastering
East Memphis Slim Contributor
Kevin Houston Engineer
R.L. Boyce Composer
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