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Video Premiere: North Mississippi Allstars “Need To Be Free”

March 14, 2018

The North Mississippi Allstars’ new EP, Blue Dances Music adds loops and programming to live recordings of tracks from their latest record, Prayer for Peace. Cody Dickinson explains that Blue Dances Music provides “an opportunity to explore this musical landscape with full realization.” The tracks include “Prayer For Peace,” “Miss Maybelle,” “Run Red Rooster” and the Royal Remix of “Need To Be Free” featuring Sharde Thomas, Rev Sekou, Al Kapone, Frayser Boy and DJ Spanish Fly.

In conjunction with the EP release and the group’s upcoming tour, today we premiere the band’s official live performance video for ““Need To Be Free.”

Luther Dickinson explains, “Every time I’m back home in Memphis and north Mississippi it’s always a magical time because I always record as much music as possible in that sacred space. So the weekend we played the Overton Park [Levitt] Shell we booked Royal Studios for the night before. That’s when Cody and I began the music for the Royal remix of ‘Need To Be Free.’ I re-sang the song and rewrote the words in the vocal booth. ‘Need To Be Free’ was such a new song when we recorded it for Prayer for Peace, I felt like I wanted to revisit the words and pay more attention to the song, give it new life. So I re-sang the song and then we invited Al Capone and Frayser Boy to come write verses and rap on the song. So that was the end of the night. The next day we went and played the Overland Park shell with Sharde [Thomas] and our whole Memphis crew, which we filmed.

"That night after we played the show went back to Royal and Spanish Fly met us there. Spanish Fly is the original old-school rap DJ in Memphis. He’s the first DJ to play real rap in Memphis, Tennessee, way back in the day. He’s a hero of all of ours. So we gave Spanish Fly — we broke open a sealed copy of the Prayer for Peace album, we handed it to Spanish Fly, he laid that vinyl on his turntable and went to work. It was a dream come true to hear our song ‘Need To Be Free’ scratched onto the remix that we had just cut! For a person of my generation to hear my rock & roll guitar cut into that psychedelic old-school Memphis flavor was a whole new level and a look into the future. The whole intention of the ‘Need To Be Free’ remix is to lead by example and work together with our friends and cohorts from home.”

The band’s April and May tour dates appear below the video.

North Mississippi Allstars tour dates:

Thurs., April 5 ST. LOUIS, MO Delmar Hall
Fri., April 6 KANSAS CITY, MO Knuckleheads
Sun., April 8 BLOOMINGTON, IL Castle Theatre
Thurs., April 12 SAVANNAH, GA Savannah Music Festival
Fri., April 13 BIRMINGHAM, AL Avondale Brewing Company
Thurs., April 19 MACON, GA Hargray Capitol Theatre
Fri., April 20 LIVE OAK, FL Wanee Festival
Sat., April 21 CHARLESTON, SC Music Farm
Fri., April 27 ASBURY PARK, NJ House of Independents
Sat., April 28 WILKESBORO, NC Merlefest
Fri., May 4 MEMPHIS, TN Beale Street Music Festival
Sat., May 5 NEW ORLEANS, LA Tipitina’s
Sun., May 6 DALLAS, TX Dallas International Guitar Festical
Fri., May 11 CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA Jefferson Theatre
Sat., May 12 CARRBORO, NC Cat’s Cradle