CD Reviews for 03/15/11 – North Mississippi All-Stars, Redbird

Compact Capsules
by Dan Ferguson

North Mississippi All-Stars
Keys to the Kingdom
Songs of the South Records

Here’s thinking big daddy is smiling up above after getting a whiff of Keys to the Kingdom from the North Mississippi All-Stars. Big daddy is the late Memphis music legend Jim Dickinson whose sons Cody and Luther comprise two-thirds of the NMAs. From the tribute “Ain’t No Grave” to album closer “Jellyrollin’ All Over Town,” the elder Dickinson’s “World Boogie is Coming” spirit figures prominently in the rustic groove sounds of Mississippi country blues and rock & roll that lace this album. Visit

Live at Café Carpe
Signature Sounds Records SIG2033

Redbird is a collaborative side project featuring acclaimed contemporary folkies Kris Delmhorst, Jeffrey Foucault and Peter Mulvey. The roots of Redbird took shape in the spare time while the trio was touring England in 2003. Summer of 2005 saw them gather around a single mic in a living room. The resulting, covers-heavy self-titled album stretched the boundaries of American music. Half a dozen years later comes round two called Live at The Café Carpe. It captures the trio during their annual 4-night stand at the Wisconsin venue once again wonderfully spreading their wings in song from Ellington to Haggard and Neil Young to Mississippi John Hurt. Visit

(Dan Ferguson is a free-lance music writer and host of The Boudin Barndance, broadcast Thursday nights from 6 – 9 pm on WRIU-FM 90.3. He lives in Peace Dale and can be reached at [email protected].)