Hill Country Revue at Stillwater

Hill Country Revue is a modern Southern rock and blues band for the new generation.

Formed by Cody Dickinson (guitar, drums, piano and washboard) from The North Mississippi Allstars in 2008, the group features Chris Chew (bass, vocals), Kirk Smithhart (guitar, vocals), Ed "Hot" Cleveland (drums) and Dixie Dan Coburn (vocals and harp).

Hill Country Revue's debut album, "Make a Move," was released in May by Razor and Tie Records.

"This ("Make a Move") is really back to the roots of blues," says Dickinson in a press release. "It's funky. Really nasty — that's the best way to describe it. Gritty, messy, stripped-down."

Hill Country Revue will headline a national tour this fall, with a stop on Wednesday, Sept. 16, at Stillwater in Ashland.

As part of the North Mississippi Allstars, Dickinson has three Grammy-nominated albums under his belt. He has shared the stage with artists as diverse as Kid Rock, the Dave Matthews Band and Mavis Staples, and he has toured around the globe steadily since 1996, earning a legion of fans.

Most of the material on "Make A Move" was written by Dickinson's protégé, Garry Burnside. Burnside is a walking encyclopedia of Mississippi hill country blues. He grew up playing with Junior Kimbrough every Sunday night in Junior's world-famous juke joint (where he met Dickinson).

Smithhart was awarded The Albert King award for Best Guitarist by the Blues Foundation when he was 19. Coburn, born and raised in Flint, Mich., cut his teeth playing rock and hardcore. He formed Dixie Hustler in 2001 — whose debut record was produced by Aaron Julison of Kid Rock and Dickinson.

Cleveland grew up surrounded by the gospel music of Memphis, Tenn., and has recorded and toured with a number of lauded musicians, including Olanda Draper, Shalamar and Howard Hewitt.

From the drawing of the topless biker girl that adorns the cover of "Make a Move" to the abundance of its sinewy grooves, Hill Country Revue's album seems intent on affirming a birthright to the blues. That's not surprising given the fact that Hill Country Revue guitarist Dickinson and his brother, guest guitarist Luther Dickinson, are the offspring of Jim Dickinson — who was an American record producer, pianist and singer who fronted, among others, the Memphis-based band Mudboy & The Neutrons — and that accompanying guitarists Garry and Duwayne Burnside were sired by Robert Lee Burnside, a North Mississippi hill country blues singer, songwriter and guitarist.

Dickinson and his brothers and bassist Chew are moonlighting from their day jobs with the North Mississippi Allstars, a blues and rock jam band from Hernando, Miss., founded in 1996. The Allstars' first release, "Shake Hands With Shorty," was nominated for a Grammy for Best Contemporary Blues Album. Since then, "51 Phantom" and "Electric Blue Watermelon" have received nominations in the same category. The Allstars also won a W.C. Handy Award for Best New Artist Debut in 2001.

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