“There are cool cats and there are cool Memphis cats but no one, not
Elvis, not Jerry Lee, not even the Wolf came close to epitomizing Memphis
and cool like Jim Dickinson did. He was the Top Cat Daddy, an
inspiration, a mentor and my friend.

If you knew his music and understood his role as one of the links between
black and white culture and between blues and rock and roll, you know what
I'm talking about. If he is unfamiliar to you, now's as good time as any
to get to know him, even though he's checked out of the motel.”

--Joe Nick Patoski

For more about Jim go to

Saturday, December 4, 2010

For fans of Johnny Depp

 The link above is really cool.  Cut and paste the link and it will take you to a page for Keith Richards’ LIFE audio book.  Click on the SAMPLE link below Keith's pic and you'll hear Johnny Depp, using his Pirates of the Caribbean voice (he based his interpretation of the role on Keith), reading about Jim Dickinson's part in one of Keith's adventures.  Amazing!  Who'da thunk that would ever happen? Certainly not Jim.  It’s not Biblical, but I hope he somehow knows about it up in Heaven while he's playing those celestial tunes.  World boogie is coming!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Onward and Upward- Grammy nominated!

     Great news!  Three days after his father's passing, Luther and
Sons of Mudboy recorded an album of Jim's favorite hymns to
memorialize Jim and his legacy. Yesterday, the album called
Onward and Upward was nominated for a Grammy in the category
"Best Traditional Folk Album."  It's got some serious competition,
but win or lose,  as Luther said, "It's enough to know the members
of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Science (NARAS)
nominated it."
     Thanks, guys.
      Go to and click on the picture of
Onward and Upward to read David Fricke's review in Rolling Stone
   Here's a song Luther wrote for his dad at the Zebra Ranch studio on
the morning of the session called "Let It Roll."

  01 Let it Roll by Jim Dickinson's Legacy 

Monday, November 22, 2010

"One More Silver Dollar...." The legacy continues tonight.

     In the fall of 1970 at Criteria Studio,  Jim wrote this in his memoir, The Search for Blind Lemon,  

    "The Allman Brothers were in Studio “A” working on their second Atlantic/Capricorn album.  It was really good.  (They recorded live instrumental tracks and overdubbed leads and vocals).  One of their drummers, Butch Trucks, had done his first session at Ardent on  National.  I remembered him.  I don’t think he remembered me.  Duane was super friendly, as usual, and this was the first time I met little brother, Greg, whose voice still held traces of the great John Hurley, who had trained them in Nashville.... 

     Tonight, November 22, 2010, forty years after the above story was written, Jim's greatest legacy, sons Luther and Cody Dickinson, are part of a concert in New York at the Roseland Ballroom honoring Allen Woody, as described by Kevin Johnson in no treble:

    "After bassist Allen Woody‘s untimely passing in 2000, a tribute concert called “One for Woody” was held to honor him, featuring the Allman Brothers Band, Phil Lesh & , ,Friends and more. Now, ten years after the original concert, a second show aptly titled “Another One for Woody” will take place to honor the fallen four-stringer and raise money for music education in schools. The concert will have Woody’s two main bands, the Allman Brothers and Gov’t Mule, headlining with The North Mississippi Allstars Duo in support. The event promises to be a night to remember, as it will also include “many special guests who were touched by Allen’s friendship, music and memory.”

    "When the Allstars first started we toured a lot with Gov't Mule," said Luther Dickinson.  "We loved it when Woody would sit in and play with us."

    Don't miss Cody's account of this gig on his blog, my mind is rambling,  It will touch your heart.

   The beat goes on....

Monday, November 15, 2010


Pour some on the floor and smoke 'em if you got 'em.
Don't let them get you.
Happy Birthday, Pops.- LAD

zxecwz hr6tfrgb- LRD

Children's Music

"I've always viewed rock and roll as children's music."
-Jim Dickinson

Cody Dickinson (3) Luther Dickinson (6)
Christmas, 1979, Arrow Crest Farm

09 Can t Beat the Kid (Part 2) by Jim Dickinson's Legacy

"You Can't Beat The Kid" Jim Dickinson, keyboards, vocals, Luther, guitar;
Cody, drums; featuring Alvin Youngblood Hart, guitar

Monday, November 1, 2010

One More for the Road

It was July 13, 1978, that afternoon in New Orleans when Jim and Keith
laughed about the fiasco in Fordyce, Arkansas (see blog below). Soon it
was time for Keith to get ready to play the New Orleans Superdome
before the largest indoor crowd ever gathered together in the United States.
Keith told us we could ride to the gig in the limousines with the band,
but it would be cooler if we could get there ourselves. He made sure
we had the highest level access passes. No problem getting there, but
inside the backstage area of the Superdome there were seven levels of
security to pass through .We made it through six of them, but the biggest,
most hostile security guard I ever saw stopped us at the seventh level.
Jim scrawled his signature skull on a scrap of paper, signed it, and handed
it to a lackey inside the chain link fence, "Give this to Keith."

Our friend, the girl who got things done, came bustling out and told
the security guard to let us in. He shook his head. She put her hands on
her hips and said, "Keith is the man. Are you going to tell the man he
can't have what he wants?"

That did it. We were backstage with the band, their ladies, and Buzz
Aldrin, the astronaut who walked on the moon. Suddenly, the musicians
were leaving for yet another secret hide-out, a small contractor's house in
the center of the fenced off area. I scurried behind them, wanting to stay
close but knowing I couldn't invade the inner sanctum. Jim sat down inside
the trailer. Keith and Jim began to play. I was alone, terrified the mean
security guard would snatch me up and throw me out. But I told myself, as
long as I can see Jim's hat, I'll be safe.  And I was.

Jim never told me what the Rolling Stones said to him that night.  Some
things are sacred.  As Jim wrote in his memoirs, The Search for Blind
Lemon, "Only the players share the truth."

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Life with Keith Richards

Three years after Keith's ill-fated, cop-ridden stop at the 4 Dice Cafe in
Fordyce, Arkansas, July, 1975, Jim Dickinson apologized for advising Keith
to take the trip. Keith laughed, "No, man. That was the most fun I ever

Read all about it in Chapter One of Keith's new autobiography, Life.

Monday, October 25, 2010

"They hadacall it something!"

"I think people make records out of a primal urge--it's a fear of death. Every western religion is about the search for immortality and I think that people who make records understand that."

-Jim Dickinson

"Somewhere Down the Road" from Jungle Jim and the Voodoo Tiger

"Jungle Jim and The Voodoo Tiger is the third studio album in 34 years from pianist/vocalist/bandleader/producer/session player/raconteur/cultural iconoclast Jim Dickinson. Actually, the album, like the two that preceded it, is credited to Jim's artist alter ego, James Luther Dickinson.

Over the course of the past 40 years, Dickinson has worked in the studio with such artists as Ry Cooder, the Rolling Stones, Aretha Franklin, Arlo Guthrie, Sam & Dave, Big Star, Tony Joe White, Bettye Lavette, the Replacements, Duane Allman, Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, and many more. Jungle Jim & The Voodoo Tiger was produced by Dickinson and Memphis International's David Less, the two having earlier collaborated in producing Alvin Youngblood Hart's Grammy nominated Down In The Alley and Harmonica Frank Floyd's The Missing Link for the label. Before all this, Jim was a member of The Jesters, whose "Cadillac Man" was the last record released on Sun Records while Sam Phillips was still running the show.

Jungle Jim and The Voodoo Tiger is a set of songs that Dickinson has collected over the years in, as he puts it, 'the jukebox of my mind,' plus some new songs by writers he greatly admires. Backing is by sons Cody (drums) and Luther (guitar) of North Mississippi Allstars fame, along with Alvin Youngblood Hart (guitar). Bass duties are shared by Paul Taylor (electric bass) who was part of the band DDT with Dickinson boys and Amy LaVere (stand-up bass) whose own album This World Is Not My Home has been making waves of late.

Recorded in less than two weeks at the Dickinson family's Zebra Ranch studio in rural Independence, Mississippi, the album songs range from rollicking barrelhouse ("Hadacol Boogie," "Rooster Blues") to stinging social commentary ("Red Neck, Blue Collar," penned by legendary folkie Bob Frank) to contemplative and atmospheric ("Violin Burns"). Song highlights include "Somewhere Down the Road," written by Chuck Prophet from Green on Red and a honky tonkin' rendition of the Memphis classic "White Silver Sands" with the sly soul of "Love Bone" and "Can't Beat The Kid."

Says Jim Dickinson, who is often James Luther Dickinson's harshest critic: 'I'm real happy with it; it's a damn good record for eleven days!'"

from Dish Magazine

10 Somewhere Down the Road by Jim Dickinson's Legacy

Monday, October 18, 2010

Friday, October 15, 2010

Zebra Ranch- "Rock & Roll Is Self Taught...."


    “Rock and roll is self taught, “Jim Dickinson told
Relix Magazine.  “I really believe it’s something you grow
out of yourself and your environment.”

    “Southern rock/blues purveyors Hill Country Revue
released their second album, Zebra Ranch, on October 12th
via Razor & Tie.  The album is everything and more a band
could hope for when recording their sophomore album;
progressing artistically, creating a defining sound, and
coming together with a unity that cannot be manufactured.
    “While never departing from the blend of Southern rock
and blues that Hill Country Revue is known for, the band
does expand upon their musical range on this record.  As
opposed to the more bluesy sound on their debut album
Make A Move, Zebra Ranch is more rock.  “Make A
Move was an artistic transition, and this album is a
personal one,” bandleader Cody Dickinson said.
“Zebra Ranch is our‘we have arrived’ kind of party....
This album is a yell of rock and roll rebellion,” said
Cody.  “It’s also a loud cry for purpose, meaning and
truth – straight from the soul.”
   The album is a tribute to Cody’s father, legendary
producer and musician Jim Dickinson, who passed one
year ago.  The album title comes from the name of Jim’s
home recording studio, where both Hill Country Revue
albums were created.  “Being an artist himself, he was
always producing, even in absentia,” Cody spoke of Jim.
“He continues today,and this record is in his memory.”
 -92 ZEW.NET

   Luther and I are proud of Cody and his hot new album.
Way to go, Baby Son.


Thursday, October 14, 2010

JLD recording Dinosaurs Run in Circles.

photo by Tom Lonardo

  08 A Chicken Ain't Nothing But A Bird by Jim Dickinson's Legacy

Monday, October 11, 2010

“I’M JUST DEAD, I’M NOT GONE.” Jim’s self-penned requiem

James Luther Dickinson was a family man. When I told him that my wife, Angela, was pregnant with our only daughter, Emma, he said, “That's what it's all about. There's your legacy.” Of all his musical accomplishments, which are numerous, Jim understood that his real legacy lives in his sons, Cody and Luther.”

-David Less,
 Memphis International Records

Luther, Chris Chew, and Cody are three time Grammy nominated North Mississippi Allstars. Jim produced their albums, 51 Phantom, Electric Blue Watermelon, and Hernando. He confided to Joan Self Selvidge in an interview for True Story Pictures, “I’ll be producing them (NMA) when I’m dead, whether they know it or not.” Jim’s legacy continues with the Allstars earning recent local and international acclaim:

North Mississippi Allstars: BEST LOCAL BAND
Memphis Flyer 9/23/10-9/29/10-

"Hailing from, well, north Mississippi, these Allstars maintain roots in the Bluff City despite their world wide fame. Whether it’s a stint at the Beale Street Music Festival or a cameo appearance at a local college, they’re ready to give- and receive some welcome hometown flavor. "

-Robert Plant (founder of Led Zeppelin), discussing touring with the Allstars.

"Would I want the pressure of being a big cheese on a stadium tour? I see what happens to U2 and who'd want that?" Plant says. "Give me a great theatre and the North Mississippi Allstars kicking things off and I'm gone."

Chris Chew, (Jim's spiritual son) Jim, Cody, and Luther Dickinson. Photo taken by our friend, Ebet Roberts.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Memphis Music and Heritage Festival, Joe Nick Patoski, and Ruthie Foster honor Jim:

A year after Jim’s death, his legacy continues:

     September 4th and 5th, 2010 , the Memphis Music and Heritage Festival in
downtown Memphis was dedicated to Jim Dickinson.  This festival  was
closest to Jim’s heart.  It was where sons,  Luther and Cody,  made their
professional debut with him in 1988 when they were barely teenagers. 
The Zebra Ranch and the Dickinson family want to thank festival director, 
Judy Peiser,  for honoring Jim by presenting to Cody and Jim's widow, 
Mary Lindsay, a framed copy of the snazzy poster painted by artist, Bob Gray.  
Thanks, Bob.  You got Jim’s likeness just right,including his much beloved tube
recording equipment, mojo candles, and even our dear dog, Lightnin’.
     After Jim died August 15, 2009, Luther and Cody’s dream was to keep their
father’s legacy alive by continuing to record at the Zebra Ranch, where
Jim’s sonic genius and musical ambiance remain intact. As Bob Mehr wrote 
in the Commercial Appeal,  on September 3, 2010, “Over the past year,
(Zebra Ranch)  has been a hive of activity.  Aside from the new Hill Country 
Revue and North Mississippi Allstars albums, the studio has hosted sessions 
for British bluesman Ian Seigal, Canadian roots artist  Ross Neilsen, and 
Replacements/Guns and Roses member Tommy Stinson.”
     Other artists include Country Boy Rolling Stone, featuring Johnny Cash’s
only drummer, W.S. “Fluke Holland,”  Andy Cohen, Reba Russell, Shannon
McNally, NMA offshoot-Duo LuCo, and Booker T. Jones.
     The future looks bright for the Zebra Ranch, as Jim’s legacy continues
to be celebrated.  Ruthie Foster recently  described one of Jim’s last
sessions on her Memphis-based album, “The Truth According to Ruthie Foster,
“We weren’t sure he was going to make it, but in he walked one day and
when he thought he had some ideas of what he could add, he hobbled over
to the B3 organ and then the piano.  It was just beautiful.  And he had
such great stories, amazing stories.  And I know he was an amazing
producer, too, so I admired the way he stepped in as a session player and
was very giving and accommodating to us.”