Polaris

Polaris

by North Mississippi Allstars
     
 

These third-generation southern rockers have come quite a ways since breaking onto the scene with a backwoods brew of primitive hill-country blues and careening guitar heroics. On Polaris, their third long-player, the Allstars have shed a good bit of the juke joint greasiness, replacing it with rock tones that, while noticeably more sophisticated, ain't exactly…  See more details below

Overview

These third-generation southern rockers have come quite a ways since breaking onto the scene with a backwoods brew of primitive hill-country blues and careening guitar heroics. On Polaris, their third long-player, the Allstars have shed a good bit of the juke joint greasiness, replacing it with rock tones that, while noticeably more sophisticated, ain't exactly upper-crust sleek. They know their way around jam-band territory -- as borne out by the slide-laced Allmans-styled epic "The One Thing" -- but since Polaris manages to jimmy a dozen tunes into just over 45 minutes, the quartet are clearly not prone to extravagant stretch-outs. The disc skitters all over the place, from no-frills boogie stomps like "Never in All My Days" to jazzy forays like "Meet Me in the City," but the mortar provided by the dual (and sometimes dueling) guitars of Luther Dickinson and Duwayne Burnside ensures that the center always holds. Perhaps the most encouraging side trip that the Allstars take is one that lands 'em -- during "Kids These Daze"-- smack-dab in the middle of a garage that was likely once occupied by the Replacements. That's not altogether surprising, since the album was produced by Dickinson family patriarch Jim, who twirled the dials on the 'Mats finest work, but rock history is littered with plenty of evidence that heredity alone doesn't guarantee fine listenin'. The right balance of balls and brains does, however, and that's an equilibrium the Allstars have worked out just fine.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Sean Westergaard
North Mississippi Allstars return with Polaris, their most ambitious album yet. They added Duwayne Burnside on guitar and vocals, and brought an even more eclectic group of songs to the table. Starting with the soulful rocker "Eyes," they slide right into a fabulous version of Junior Kimbrough's "Meet Me in the City." "Conan" starts with nice fingerpicked acoustic guitars before moving into and out of a country boogie before the guitar solo. Luther Dickinson's meaty slide is featured on all over the place, often recalling Duane Allman. Pegged as roots rockers and loosely identified with the jam-band scene, North Mississippi Allstars might surprise some people with tunes like "Otay" and "Time for the Sun to Rise," which are extremely well-produced pure pop tunes. The Dickinson brothers have done a great job with production all the way around: crisp and clean without sounding glossy, and a rich, warm tone throughout. The band seems equally at ease doing greasy country blues or bright shiny pop, making it all seem effortless (or like on "Be So Glad" where 95-year-old Othar Turner's fife mixes with drum machines and Cody Burnside's rapping, bridging three generations and at least two styles of music). Things end with a hidden track called "Goin Home," an up-tempo instrumental that recalls the best elements of the Allman Brothers Band. With Polaris, North Mississippi Allstars have turned in their best set yet, showing that they're at the vanguard of a new Southern rock.
Rolling Stone - Charles M. Young
There are some solid wows here as they careen into psychedelia and jazz, determined that no one be allowed to zone out in a long groove.

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Product Details

Release Date:
09/09/2003
Label:
Ato Records
UPC:
0791022151329
catalogNumber:
21513
Rank:
117738

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

North Mississippi Allstars   Primary Artist
Shawn Lane   Guitar,Guest Appearance
James Luther Dickinson   Piano,Mellotron,Omnichord,Fuzz-wah,Guest Appearance
Susan Marshall   Vocals,Guest Appearance
Rebecca Evans Russell   Vocals,Guest Appearance
Jim Spake   Baritone Saxophone,Guest Appearance
Noel Gallagher   Vocals,Guest Appearance
Steve Selvidge   Guitar,Vocals,Guest Appearance
Duwayne Burnside   Guitar,Vocals,Group Member
Chris Chew   Bass,Vocals,Group Member
Luther Dickinson   Guitar,Vocals,Toy Drums,Group Member
Cody Dickinson   Organ,Guitar,Piano,Drums,Vocals,Roland TR-808,Powerbook,Group Member
John C. Stubblefield   Double Bass
Cody Burnside   Rap,Guest Appearance
Jimmy Crostwait   Vocals,Guest Appearance
Virginia Cupples   French Horn,Guest Appearance
Carwyn Ellis   Hammond Organ,Wurlitzer,Guest Appearance
Heather Trussell   Violin,Guest Appearance
Tower of Sour   Trumpet,Saxophone,Guest Appearance
Diden Somel   Viola,Guest Appearance
B. Gokham Somel   Cello,Guest Appearance
Michael Scott   Bassoon
Patrick Plunk   Clarinet,Guest Appearance
Robyn Oakes   Oboe,Guest Appearance
Jonathan Kirkscey   Cello,Guest Appearance
Otha Turner   Fife,Vocals,Guest Appearance

Technical Credits

Earl King   Composer
Scott Carter   Drum Technician
Junior Kimbrough   Composer
James Luther Dickinson   Composer
Ed Lewis   Composer
Jimmy Hollingsworth   Guitar Techician
Jimbo Mathus   Composer
North Mississippi Allstars   Composer
Cody Dickinson   Horn Arrangements,String Arrangements
Dickinson Brothers   Producer
Tom Keckler   Guitar Techician
Brandon Raines   Guitar Techician
Jon Bailey   Engineer

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