Luther and Cody Dickinson were born with instruments in their hands and their dad, legendary music producer Jim Dickinson (Big Star, The Replacements, etc.), probably would have been disappointed had his sons grown up to be doctors or lawyers. Fortunately, the two continued on the family’s musical legacy by forming the North Mississippi Allstars, along with bassist Chris Chew, back in 1996.
With Robert Plant’s relatively recent dedication to revisiting old blues, folk and country songs, it makes total sense that he’s invited the Dickinson brothers (under the name North Mississippi Allstars Duo) out on the road this spring and summer. NMS’s career has been built around a Southern Rock, bluesy, jam band sound that Plant can relate to.
NMS released Keys to the Kingdom earlier this year and the band does a good job of balancing their blues heritage with a Southern rock edge. Not sure what material Luther and Cody are going to pull from for their opening set on Monday night, but undoubtedly there will be some head shaking, hips swaying in the aisles of the Palace Theater.
You can pretty much judge this book by it’s cover – there’s not a big surprise with what you should expect to hear by a band named Lez Zeppelin. The all-female (duh!) four-piece has made a career of playing Led Zeppelin tunes, not note-for-note the way Messrs. Plant, Page, Jones and Bonham played ‘em, but, by bringing the passion and feeling to each song.
On Friday night, the ladies of Lez Zeppelin are going to bring that passion and feeling to Columbus as they’ll help Rock on the Rangers get pumped up for the big weekend-long hard rock festival at Crew Stadium. For my money, the pre-party to celebrate Rock on the Range’s 5th anniversary is better – and more diverse – than the festival proper.
For the briefest of brief moments back in 2007, I held out hope that Led Zeppelin’s one-off reunion show in London may be the spark to ignite a full-scale reunion tour. But Robert Plant’s surprisingly successful partnership with Alison Krauss has most likely killed any chance of a Zeppelin reunion.
With that in mind, the next best thing out there is ZOSO, the premiere Led Zeppelin tribute band that has been honoring the godfathers of heavy metal since 1995.
Seeing a band that looks like the original in it’s prime for $12 in a smaller venue is probably a better experience than seeing the real band in 2010 and paying $100 for a seat in the upper deck at the back of a stadium.
I talked to Matt Jernigan, who plays the role of Robert Plant, earlier this week. If there’s one quote to take away from the whole interview, it’s this one: “You know what the beauty of this gig is? We don’t ever do a bad song.”