SOUTH MEMPHIS STRING BAND'S DEBUT ALBUM HOME SWEET HOME OUT JANUARY 19
When South Memphis String Band - Luther Dickinson, Alvin Youngblood Hart and Jimbo Mathus - got together to make music, it certainly wasn't out of commercial consideration. This troika of roots-imbued musical pros coalesced through a shared vision and consuming passion for the music of their forebears, most notably the Mississippi Sheiks, Memphis Jug Band, Gus Cannon's Jug Stompers, and other practitioners of pre-blues era roots sounds.
| South Memphis String Band|
Home Sweet Home, the group's first album, out on Memphis International January 19, showcases their passion for the old timey tradition that is underscored by their name. South Memphis, of course, is that rough and tumble area of the Bluff City extending from downtown to the Mississippi border, and beyond. It's where Stax Records as well as literally hundreds of churches thrived. The sacred and profane, holy rolling and dice rolling, were cheek by jowl in old South Memphis and its modern day namesake reflects that ecumenicism quite brilliantly. For Luther, Alvin, and Jimbo, South Memphis is more of a musical state of mind than a specific geographical location.
They've been called a "regional roots music supergroup," but the alliance of Dickinson (North Mississippi AllStars, The Black Crowes), Hart, and Mathus (Squirrel Nut Zippers) is more like three good friends just putting it down in a very traditional way. Mathus explained, "Luther, Youngblood Hart and myself have been musical co-conspirators for over a decade. It is only fitting that we should come together with acoustic instruments and perform Mississippi music."
Michael Hoinski, writing in the Austin American-Statesman witnessed what's so special about SMSB at a recent performance noting, "The American experience is the main unifier of this slap happy yet sureshot trio... Each player is principally a bluesman but also well-schooled in country, folk and gospel. When asked about the subject matter of SMSB's repertoire, Alvin responds without hesitation, "Natural disasters, bushwackers, train songs..."
Whether you hold a degree in ethnomusicologist or are just a person who is moved by authentic acoustic American music, Home Sweet Home speaks your language, in beautifully measured tones. As Jimbo notes, "We decided the South Memphis String Band will never be in a hurry."
Home Sweet Home Track List
1. Jesse James
2. Deep Blue Sea
3. Old Hen
4. Worry 'bout Your Own Backyard
5. Things Is ‘bout Coming My Way
6. Let Your Light Shine On Me
7. The Carrier Line
8. Bloody Bill
9. Eighteen Hammers
10. Bootlegger's Blues
11. Dixie Darling
12. Home Sweet Home