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Man Who Lives for Love
     

The Man Who Lives for Love

by Spencer Dickinson
 
This disc -- which pairs the Blues Explosion's Jon Spencer and the Dickinson brothers of North Mississippi All-Stars fame -- brings to mind one question: What took 'em so long? Both parties have long scavenged the darker, more shadowy parts of the Delta hill

Overview

This disc -- which pairs the Blues Explosion's Jon Spencer and the Dickinson brothers of North Mississippi All-Stars fame -- brings to mind one question: What took 'em so long? Both parties have long scavenged the darker, more shadowy parts of the Delta hill country for inspiration, and both can boast that their resumes contain work with icons like R. L. Burnside. While those influences can be heard in the grooves of The Man Who Lives for Love, most of the disc is given over to even more gnarled sounds -- moonshine-fueled psychedelia and adrenalized swamp-rock that's sure to overwhelm the brainpan. Songs like the feral "I'm Not Ready" hark back to Spencer's days in noise-mongering pioneers Pussy Galore, while streamlined stomps like "Why!?" have their roots deeply planted in garage-rock tradition -- the sort of thing normally only heard on scratched-up singles lifted from dusty Salvation Army bins. The Dickinson boys, who've stretched out successfully on recent All-Stars outings, keep things short and sharp here, unspooling riffs that manage to hard-wire the spirit of the Mississippi juke joint to the back alleys of the Lower East Side, particularly on the towering "Primitive." Spencer accurately describes the disc's overall feel as "the groovy hate vibe" -- and that's a vibe that's guaranteed to get the blood to a boil faster than you can count one-two-three-four.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Mark Deming
While the North Mississippi Allstars are usually lumped in with the post-Grateful Dead jam band community alongside the likes of Widespread Panic, they've always had a darker and bluesier undercurrent than their contemporaries, and between having crazed genius Jim Dickinson as a father, playing with the punk band DDT as teenagers, and backing up the likes on Othar Turner and R.L. Burnside in their spare time, NMAS leaders Luther Dickinson and Cody Dickinson have a welcome streak of quality craziness lurking in their music that rises to the surface when called upon. Jon Spencer of Blues Explosion fame clearly shares some of the Dickinson brothers' obsessions along the nexus of blues and punk, and in 2001 Spencer teamed up with Luther and Cody for some sessions at their Zebra Ranch recording facilities. The results were released by a small Japanese label in 2001, but The Man Who Lives for Love marks the first time this material has appeared in North America, and seven additional tracks have been included for Yep Roc's stateside release. Much of The Man Who Lives for Love follows the sonic template of Spencer's work with the Blues Explosion, though with a slightly more polished delivery and better chops; while JSBX usually aims for maximum impact, the Dickinson brothers offer a more subtle report, though they know how to do good and greasy very well, and "That's a Drag" and "I'm Not Ready" cut a massive groove while serving up a healthy portion of lean and dirty guitar bashing. The songs here favor the blues side of the formula more than much of JSBX's work, and Spencer's vocals are a shade less cartoony than many would expect, though his trademark frontman rant is still on prominent display here. However, the decision to expand The Man Who Lives for Love to 19 songs (and 74 minutes) may not have been prudent; the original dozen tunes make for a solid and compelling listening experience, but the ten-minute take of "I'm So Alone" that brings this version to a halt feels more like an anchor than anything else. Program out most of those bonus cuts and The Man Who Lives for Love is a wailing blues punk opus that mixes rough and smooth in just the right proportions.

Product Details

Release Date:
08/22/2006
Label:
Yep Roc Records
UPC:
0634457207820
catalogNumber:
2078

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Spencer Dickinson   Primary Artist
James Luther Dickinson   Organ,Piano
Bill Emmons   Vocals
Jon Spencer   Organ,Synthesizer,Bass,Guitar,Percussion,Piano,Trombone,Vocals,Stylophone
Jerry Teel   Harmonica
Kinney Kimbrough   Vocals
Kevin Houston   Saxophone
Luther Dickinson   Bass,Guitar,Mandolin,Vocals
Cody Dickinson   Bass,Guitar,Drums,Washboard

Technical Credits

James Luther Dickinson   Producer,Liner Notes
Jon Spencer   Producer
Mike "Machine Gun" Edison   Liner Notes
Kevin Houston   Engineer
Luther Dickinson   Composer
Cody Dickinson   Composer
Cliff Mott   Illustrations

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