North Mississippi Allstars’ jam recipe: just add Anders

Tahoe Onstage

Luther Dickinson, left, and Lightnin’ Malcolm in the Crown Room in February 2013. The band has added Anders Osborne and will return to Crystal Bay on April 4.
Tim Parsons / Tahoe Onstage

Keep it between the ditches, boys, because there are no brakes.

The North Mississippi Allstars are on the road with Anders Osborne bound for Lake Tahoe.

Anders Osborne at the 2013 High Sierra Music Festival. Tim Parsons / Tahoe Onstage

Anders Osborne at the 2013 High Sierra Music Festival.
Tim Parsons / Tahoe Onstage

In what arguably was the Crystal Bay Casino’s 2013 show of the year last winter, the North Mississippi Allstars traded instruments throughout the night and with its visceral “new world boogie” brought out tin can and cigar box stringed guitars, a washboard with wah-wah pedals and a bass drum taped to a megaphone, the Hill Country version of a second line parade which marched through the Crown Room.

“I don’t want to give away too much of the plot but I would say (this show) is even more powerful,” said multi-instrumentalist Lightnin’ Malcolm. “It’s about a three-hour ramble with no breaks.”

With the addition of Osborne, the North Mississippi Allstars – Luther and Cody Dickinson and Lightin’ Malcolm – the band is calling itself N.M.O., which has an album, “Freedom & Dreams.”

The idea of the combination perhaps germinated from a recent tour with Dickinson, Osborne, JJ Grey and Marc Broussard, who each took turns in the spotlight while sharing the stage with the name Southern Soul Assembly.

Tahoe Onstage photo

Luther Dickinson and Lightnin’ Malcolm in Tahoe onstage. The magic returns April 4.
Tim Parsons / Tahoe Onstage

“Freedom & Dreams” is a collaborative effort and the influence of Osborne and Dickinson’s Terrapin Crossroads sessions in recent years it obvious. It often presents a vibe like a Grateful Dead jam.

The live show with no opening band will come in various formats, said Malcolm, who had not played with Osborne until this national tour.

“Music is a magical thing where the unexplainable happens on a nightly basis,” Malcolm said. “It just happens. We don’t even really think about it. I didn’t even know the songs when the tour started, I just jumped up there and they said ‘Hey,’ you’re playing with Anders, too.’ But I’m good at that kind of thing. I grew up in church playing. I can just about feel where the music’s going to go. We just get up there and go crazy and try to keep it between the ditches.”

Malcolm spoke on his phone during the interview with Tahoe Onstage. He was standing outside the Fillmore.

“We’re playing in San Francisco tonight and I know it’s going to be good,” he said. “We’re bringing the electric church, and we’re going to fire it up and then bring it on up to Tahoe.”

  • North Mississippi Allstars & Anders Osborne present NMO
    When: 9 p.m. Saturday, April 4
    Where: Crystal Bay Casino
    Tickets: $25 in advance, $30 on the day of the show
    Red Room after-party: the Congress

    High Sierra

    Luther Dickson is an acclaimed guitarist and former member of the Black Crowes.
    Tim Parsons / Tahoe Onstage

    Luther Dickinson Photos by Tim Parsons / Tahoe Onstage

    Luther Dickinson
    Photos by Tim Parsons / Tahoe Onstage

About Tim Parsons

Tim Parsons is the editor of Tahoe Onstage who first moved to Lake Tahoe in 1992. Before starting Tahoe Onstage in 2013, he worked for 29 years at newspapers, including the Tahoe Daily Tribune, Eureka Times-Standard and Contra Costa Times. He was the recipient of the 2011 Keeping the Blues Alive award for Journalism.

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