Group at Work: Hill Country Revue
When his older brother and bandmate Luther joined The Black Crowes in 2007, North Mississippi Allstars drummer Cody Dickinson found himself with some unexpected free time. Instead of waiting to tour when Luther was off the road with the Crowes, Cody picked up a guitar and formed his own project.
“I feel like a kid in a candy story,” he says of reacquainting himself with the instrument he once had abandoned in order to play drums to play with brother.
After polling fans online, Dickinson settled on the band name Hill Country Revue, a nod to a family jam session that the Allstars first hosted at Bonnaroo in 2004. “The nature of the band is like a revue in the old marquee sense of the word,” Cody continues. “Blues music is a language we all speak and we go from there.”
The group is a loose alliance of permanent contributors and rotating players. “If someone can’t make a gig, we ask them to recommend another player,” says Cody, who is quick to note the importance of group mainstays like singer Daniel Robert Coburn and guitarist Kirk Smithhart.
Hill Country Revue also receives steady contributions from Gary Burnside, the youngest son of blues master R.L. Burnside. “Some people don’t like touring, but Gary helps us in the studio and with songwriting. He’s key member of the band—he is able to write modern, authentic Hill Country blues songs which is a miracle in this day and age.”
Though his interests range from hip-hop to pop, with Hill Country Revue’s late 2010 sophomore album, Zebra Ranch, Cody opted to make a pure Southern rock album. “As the band starts to take on its own identity, it has turned into more of a blues-based rock and roll band,” Cody says.
Zebra Ranch’s title doubles as a tribute to family patriarch Jim Dickinson. “We named the record Zebra Ranch in memory of my dad and after his studio,” Cody says of his father, who recently passed away. “I miss him so much, but he lives on through music production in absentia.”
In honor of Umphrey’s McGee’s return to Summer Camp this weekend, we present the group’s Brendan Bayliss and Jake Cinninger performing this version of “The Pequod” from UM’s Anchor Drops.
Dame shares a song from her new EP Preventions of Heartbreak.
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The Milk Carton Kids share the first song from their new album, The Ash & Clay.
Here is the new video from Serbian guitar ace Ana Popovic. “Object Of Obsession” appears on her latest album Can You Stand The Heat.
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