Superb Music By A Master
Luther Dickinson appeared at Brighton Music Hall recently with his band called The Cooperators; I was eyeing it, but after a friend who saw one of their other shows told me I must see it, I realized it would be worth doing a two-show night to see it. Wow, what an incredible show! I did not know what to expect, other than great music, but this show exceeded any expectations I may have had.
They are touring in support of their recent release, Blues & Ballads (A Folksingers Songbook) Volumes I & II, which I had not heard prior to the show. It is a fabulous album which I suggest you buy even if you have the chance to see a show on this tour.
The venue is normally all standing, but this show was seated (as were many if not all the shows on this tour). The evening began with Luther sitting on stage alone with a number of guitars surrounding him. Playing an acoustic guitar, he performed about five numbers from the album that were particularly well suited to being performed solo.
He is one of the best guitarists and storytellers around. Hailing from rural Mississippi, he tells stories about his family and life as he experienced it. After those opening songs and stories, Sharde Thomas joined Luther on stage.
During the remainder of the set, she played drums, fife, and sang both harmony and lead. What talent! She does not have a flamboyant style of playing drums and lets her ability shine. She and Luther clearly have much chemistry, because the banter flowed easily. He told a story about her granddaddy (as I recall – it could have been her daddy) in a drawl that seemed to get stronger as the evening progressed. One of my favorite songs was a duet called ‘Hurry Up Sunrise’.
After several more songs, Amy LaVere on upright bass and Will Sexton on guitar (whose opening set I unfortunately missed) joined the party on stage. Amy sang background on many of the songs, while Will did not sing as much. At times, a wonderful drummer whose name I did not hear (maybe Brandon or Brendan) played drums while Sharde played fife. One of my favorite songs with the full band was ‘Bang Bang Lulu’.
When the full band was on stage, they cracked jokes and truly made me feel as if I were at a rehearsal in someone’s living room. I do not mean that the music sounded as if they were rehearsing, merely that there were times I felt they appeared not to realize an audience was listening to them. They were so deeply involved in the music.
Luther switched among acoustic and electric guitars, as well as homemade two-string coffee can diddley bo. I have seen him play the coffee can diddley bo before and continue to be amazed at how much good sound he coaxes from it.
This was a blues show, the kind of blues that comes from deep within the Mississippi Delta and from deep within Luther’s soul. The audience was respectful and listened intently.
Luther is quickly becoming one of my favorite musicians. This was my third time seeing him, and each time made me fall in love a little bit more. Each time was a different configuration, and each one of them is worth experiencing. The Southern Soul Assembly show (Luther, JJ Grey, Anders Osborne, and Marc Broussard) was one of my top ten of 2014, and I believe this show will be in my top ten of 2016.
Thanks to Luther Dickinson for the ticket; all opinions are my own.
Posted on April 3, 2016, in concert photos, concert reviews, music, Uncategorized and tagged Amy LaVere, blues, boston, Brighton Music Hall, concert photos, concert review, Luther Dickinson, Luther Dickinson and the Cooperators, music, Sharde Thomas, Will Sexton. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.