North Mississippi Allstars Detail New Album ‘Set Sail’ & Share Single

Vocalist Lamar Williams, Jr. and bassist Jesse Williams join the Dickinson brothers on the forthcoming LP.

By Scott Bernstein Nov 4, 2021 7:46 am PDT

North Mississippi Allstars return with Set Sail, a new studio album due out through New West Records on January 28, 2021. The group previewed the 10-song set with the release of lead single and opening track “Set Sail Part 1.”

Co-founders Luther Dickinson and Cody Dickinson produced the follow-up to 2019’s Up And Rolling. The NMAS lineup featured on Set Sail also includes bassist Jesse Williams and vocalist Lamar Williams, Jr. Additionally, Stax Records legend William Bell stars on the album’s “Never Want To Be Kissed,” a track co-written and co-produced by Bell.

Luther Dickinson shared the following about the band’s latest incarnation:

The chemistry we have with this lineup is powerful. We are all second-generation musicians and share a telepathic, relaxed ease about creating and performing. I believe music is a form of communion with our loved ones and conjuring this vibe with members of musical families can be inspirational. Lamar and I are like-minded. I’ve never had the pleasure of working with a singing partner like Lamar. He has a true-blue quality in his musicality that will pull you in and break your heart. At the same time, Jesse grew up playing music with his brothers and his father—as did we. He plays like a sibling. I’m drawn to musical families, regardless of style. Playing with second- or third-generation players allows us an easy unspoken musical dialog. It’s not a big thing; it’s just what we do. We never had to figure out what it means and takes to be a musician. We all inherently know. Each generation has to reinvent itself and shed the skin of the elders. On Set Sail, we feel as if we’ve once again ‘broken the code,’ and know what we want and how to get it.

“‘The water may rise but we shall set sail.’ Though the flood imagery is used to illustrate perseverance when times are hard, ‘Set Sail’ is truly about my respect for the first generation American Freedom Rockers who are still with us, whose lives and music stands for open minded and open hearted freedom,” Luther explained regarding “Set Sail Part 1,” which Relix premiered.

“Cody and I have been fortunate to play music with Mavis Staples, Phil Lesh, William Bell, and Blind Boys of Alabama and we strive to live up to their example. We have to prove to the elders that their fight will carry on and pass through the future generations,” added Luther. “It’s important that the younger generation knows that you have to fight for love and that battle is never ending. Progress can feel like one step forward and two steps back but we have to press on.”

Watch the “Set Sail Part 1” lyric video below:

Set Sail Tracklist

  1. Set Sail part I (Featuring Lamar Williams Jr.)
  2. Bumpin’
  3. See the Moon (Featuring Lamar Williams Jr. and Sharisse Norman)
  4. Outside (Featuring Lamar Williams Jr.)
  5. Didn’t We Have a Time
  6. Never Want To Be Kissed (Featuring William Bell)
  7. Set Sail part II (Featuring Lamar Williams Jr.)
  8. Juicy Juice
  9. Rabbit Foot (Featuring Lamar Williams Jr.)
  10. Authentic (Featuring Lamar Williams Jr.)
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