North Mississippi Allstars: Luther Dickinson (vocals, guitar); Cody Dickinson (guitar, tambourine, washboard, background vocals); Chris Chew (bass, background vocals).
Additional personnel includes: Othar Turner (fife); East Memphis Slim (piano, keyboards); John C. Stubblefield (bass); Paul Taylor (percussion).
Recorded at Zebra Ranch Complex, Tate County, Mississippi in 2001.
51 Phantom was nominated for the 2003 Grammy Awards for Best Contemporary Blues Album.
On their second album, the North Mississippi Allstars begin to refine their craft. As on their debut, the trio spends most of their time pounding out anvil-heavy blues-rock, not of the questionably macho Bad Company style, but something more raw and real that owes equal amounts to R.L. Burnside (with whom guitarist/singer Cody Dickinson has toured), the Allman Brothers, and Black Flag. At the same time, 51 PHANTOM finds the band evolving a bit beyond the blues, offering a couple of more lyrically and harmonically complex tunes that wouldn't have sounded out of place on a vintage Allmans or Little Feat album. At all times, Dickinson's guitar remains a marvel, harnessing storms of electric fury. Never mind the White Stripes, this is how it's really done.
What the critics say...
Rolling Stone (12/13/01, p.150) - 3.5 stars out of 5 - "...They display a new maturity on the best tracks here...which have beautifully tapered, midtempo rock melodies that would sound right at home on college radio..."
Spin (3/02, pp.136-137) - 7 out of 10 - "...a Memphis-marinated album....the Allstars forgo the run-on jams of their debut in favor of crisp, concise statements..."
Entertainment Weekly (12/14/01, p.86) - "...The Allstars borrow some backwoods tropes and take them for a ride on the guitar-boogie highway to hell...effectively bridging the yawning chasm between Dickie Betts and RL Burnside." - Rating: B+
Q (12/01, p.143) - 4 stars out of 5 - "...This record continually throws up surprises..."
Magnet (12-1/02, p.99) - "...A savory and gut-busting musical gumbo..."
CMJ (10/8/01, p.18) - "...A solid lesson in the old-time rock'n'roll recording style..."
Living Blues (1-2/02, p.45) - "...Takes the listener far beyond the traditional blues world..."
NME (Magazine) (11/3/01, p.33) - 8 out of 10 - "...This is the blues put through the punk-rock mangle, with a lop-sided sneer from ear to ear..."
- 51 Phantom
- Snakes In My Bushes
- Lord Have Mercy
- Freedom Highway
- Circle In The Sky
- Up Over Yonder