“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, March 30, 2013

Sons of Mudboy - Reviving the Spirit

Mudboy wallows in tradition, inspiration of old blues, early rock and roll

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Photo courtesy of Big Hassle Luther Dickinson

More than 40 years after they first took the stage of a Midtown Memphis Jewish community center — faces painted, bodies wrapped in ridiculous costumes — to belt out their own raucous brand of Memphis blues, Mud Boy & the Neutrons (“that great band nobody can find”) still looms large over the Memphis music scene. And for the sons of the group’s members, now influential professional musicians in their own right, the band’s influence is even greater.

“In a general sense, they embodied an embracing of mayhem and good songs and good music,” says guitarist Steve Selvidge, son of the group’s honey-voiced vocalist Sid Selvidge, acknowledging that his perspective is skewed due to his closeness to the players. “I saw it as looking up (to them). So to me it looked like the most fun thing ever.”


Beginning Wednesday, Selvidge, Luther and Cody Dickinson, sons of late Mud Boy keyboardist and vocalist Jim Dickinson, and adopted Mud Boy progeny Paul Taylor will begin to revive the spirit of the cult favorite group. Playing as the Sons of Mudboy, the quartet will begin an open-ended weekly gig at Minglewood Hall’s 1884 Lounge, a routine designed, like their inspiration, to allow the members to indulge their love of prewar blues and early rock ‘n’ roll.

“This is something we’ve all long wanted to do for a long time,” says Taylor, a second-generation Memphis musician through his father Pat Taylor. “I feel like we’re all old enough to play the music well.”


When Selvidge, Dickinson, guitarist Lee Baker, and percussionist Jimmy Crosthwait first formed Mud Boy & the Neutrons in 1972 (the name was provided by Dickinson’s friend Ry Cooder), it was their attempt to emulate the bluesmen they had grown up loving. In his book “It Came From Memphis,” author Robert Gordon called them “the missing link between the Rolling Stones and Furry Lewis,” the Memphis bluesman who was a particular hero to all four.

As with most missing links, there were more reports of Mud Boy & the Neutrons than actual sightings. After its initial debut, the group played only sporadically over the next 25 years, recording only one hard-to-find record and a live album.

Their output was so slight that when Dickinson recorded with Bob Dylan in the late ’90s, he was shocked to learn the legendary singer-songwriter had heard of them,
“Ah, yeah, sure,” Dickinson quoted Dylan as saying in a 1997 Commercial Appeal article, “that great band nobody can find.”

Baker died in 1996 and Dickinson in 2009. Original Mud Boys Selvidge and Crosthwait joined the Sons of Mudboy members on stage for a Dickinson tribute in 2011, but the group has not been heard of since, and Selvidge is currently recuperating from cancer.

No one is quite sure exactly when the Sons of Mudboy began. The Dickinsons and Selvidge go back to childhood. Taylor joined the mix as a teenager, playing with Steve at first at the old Babylon Café and then with the Dickinsons in their first big project D.D.T. About that time, the name Sons of Mudboy started being used whenever the younger players would back up the original group at their occasional shows.

In 2005, Selvidge and the Dickinsons recorded some unreleased sessions with Jim Dickinson under the name. In 2009, the Grammy nominated all-star tribute to the elder Dickinson, Onward and Upward, was credited to Luther Dickinson & the Sons of Mudboy.

But with the instigation of a weekly gig, the group feels more official than ever. All four still maintain busy music careers. Selvidge plays in the Brooklyn alternative rock band the Hold Steady, who are working on a new album, and he’s slated to record with best-selling Swedish blues artist Louise Hoffsten in Memphis this summer. Taylor is working on an album with his band the Merry Mobile and gigs regularly with Hope Clayburn, the Mighty Soul Brass Band, and as a solo. And Luther Dickinson, no longer a part of the reunited Black Crowes, is ever busy with his brother Cody in the blues jam band the North Mississippi Allstars.

So by necessity, Taylor says, the weekly Sons of Mudboy gigs will be a fluid affair, with members coming and going as schedules allow, guests sitting in, the set ever in flux as the musicians look to balance the traditions of the old bluesmen, the original Mud Boys and their own influences.

“There’s stuff we’re really into that Mudboy never played but it kind of works stylistically,” says Selvidge, looking forward to working in songs by Texas R&B great Doug Sahm and early Mid-South bluesman Joe Callicott, alongside originals from the entire Mud Boy family. “There’s going to be no set rules.”

SXSW 2013 Panel Discussion - I'm Just Dead, I'm Not Gone: Life & Times of Jim Dickinson

Austin Convention Center, Friday, March 15
Memphis' Jim Dickinson, whether you realize it or not, had been at the heart of rock & roll from its inception until his death at 67 in 2009. Musician on historic records – his piano's on the Rolling Stones' "Wild Horses" – and producer for countless more (Big Star'sThird, the Replacements' Pleased to Meet Me), not to mention rascal and raconteur, this panel's title – his self-composed epitaph – emphasized the truth Dickinson always told, sometimes to his detriment. To know Dickinson and to work with him was to love him, and this chorus of cohorts and loved ones testified by its roster alone: his widow Mary, sons Luther and Cody of North Mississippi Allstars, Big Star's Jody Stephens, Mojo Nixon, studio cohort Jim Lancaster, and panel moderator Joe Nick Patoski, who managed True Believers when Dickinson produced them. As a group, they brought the man's generous, warped, hilarious spirit to life with an hour of anecdotal evidence of his importance. Jim Dickinson's great rock & roll codes: "If it don't shock the parents, it ain't rock & roll!" And, "My job is to protect the artist from the label!" Don't forget, "Never carry more than you can swallow!" Words to live by, all.
Courtesy of The Austin Chronicle
Reviewed By Tim Stegall, Fri., March 15, 2013

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Jim's Greatest Legacy

 Jim's greatest legacy are undoubtedly his
sons, Luther and Cody.  Carrying the music
of our neighborhood they learned from Jim,
Otha Turner, Junior Kimbrough, and R.L.
Burnside and family to the world with 
their band, 3 time Grammy nominated
North Mississippi Allstars, the "boys"
will be busy next week in Austin, TX at
the SXSW Music Festival.  Here is their 
>March 13
The Parish – 12:30am

>March 14
St. David’s Episcopal Church – 11:30p (Luther only)
Tompkins Square Label Show

>March 15
Austin Convention Center (Room 12AB) – 12:30p
Panel: Life and Times of Jim Dickinson

San Jose Hotel – 7:00pm
South by San Jose

>March 16
The Continental Club – 12:30p (Luther only)
Mojo’s Mayham!

Auditorium Shores – 8:00p
Levon Helm Benefit (Luther/Cody guest sit ins)

Monday, March 4, 2013

Jim Dickinson's Legacy- Updated

Newspapers come and go.  Facebook is fleeting.
Hopefully this blog will be a more permanent
record of Jim's Legacy.  To sum up 2012, Jim had
three new records released and was posthumously
inducted with the inaugural group of stars into the
Memphis Music Hall of Fame, sponsored by the
Rock 'n' Soul Museum and the Smithsonian.
Move over, Elvis, Jerry Lee, and Howlin' Wolf!

Jim's live performance was recorded at the New
Daisy on Beale Street in 2006, backed by North
Mississippi Allstars with Jimmy Davis on rhythm
guitar and vocals.  Released by Memphis Interna-
tional Records in 2012, "I'm Just Dead, I'm not
Gone" reached #1 on Sirius Radio.
im-not-gone-mw0002371647 to hear music

The great  label Arf Arf  Records put out Jim's
Knowbody Else cd called "Soldiers of Pure
Peace."  This was produced and engineered by
Jim at Ardent Records in 1967.  It is the previously
unreleased masterpiece by the band that later
became Black Oak Arkansas. Words cannot
describe the psychedelic fury uncaged in this
music but your ears will understand.

"With a decades-long career as an iconoclastic
musical polymath, Jim Dickinson needs little
introduction. However, his rarely-discussed
apprenticeship as a producer-engineer at Ardent
Studios in the late 1960s made Dickinson
responsible for many of the wildest and wackiest
sessions ever held in Memphis. Some excerpts
slipped out at the time on obscure singles on Stax
and elsewhere, such as the absurd version of
‘For Your Love’ by Honey Jug. “Whenever
anybody came into Ardent, it was obvious who
was going to do the crazy stuff, ”Dickinson
recounted to me several years ago. The bands
he produced there include the pyjama-wearing
Kinks-ish Wallabys of Jackson, Mississippi and
psychedelic hillbillies Knowbody Else, later to
become famous as Black Oak Arkansas."

About the new Ace Record, "Feeling High-The
Psychedelic Sounds of Memphis"
compiled byAlec Paleo
- See more at:

Coming up for Jim in 2013 is a panel at SXSW
called "I'm Just Dead, I'm Not Gone- The Life
And Times of Jim Dickinson" on March 15, in
Austin, Texas.  Hope you can come.

There's lots more GREAT news- too fresh to
discuss.  Coming soon....