North Mississippi Allstars Pray for Peace

North Mississippi Allstars' latest album comes at an appropriate time

November’s elections gave people something to be upset about. The racism, ignorance and arrogance have all fueled a fire of creativity for musicians. It seems as though every other song released these days has been inspired by the outcome of the 2016 presidential elections.

However, chauvinism and cultural alienation are not the only concerns here in the U.S. Luther Dickinson, lead singer and co-songwriter of the blues-rock jam band North Mississippi Allstars points his attention toward other issues on "Prayer For Peace," the band’s eighth studio album. Released on June 2, the album has come out at this time just by coincidence.

I spoke with the 44-year-old over the phone ahead of NMA’s show at the Belly Up on June 13.

Naturally, the record would be inspired by the election of our current president. “Well, ya know, we wrote the record pre-election. About a year and a half ago,” Dickinson said. “The shootings in Charleston, the shootings in Mississippi -- it just happened to come out at a very appropriate time.”

Luther shouts over swirling flutes and his brother Cody Dickinson’s drum fills on opening title track, “Prayer for Peace” -- “Chicago, Paris, Charleston, New Orleans, San Bernardino, Boston, Orlando, St. Louis, Missouri, let us pray together, let us pray for peace” -- sending a call for communion after the tragedy of mass shootings over the past few years.

The band isn’t trying to preach or complain on their latest album -- they take a more subtle approach to convey their message. Their objective is to spread peace, pay respect to victims, bring people together and appreciate the good times.

Instrumentally, “Prayer for Peace” finds NMA in their usual wholesome environment of muddy-fuzz blues. Over 20 years into their career, the band stays true to their raw rock and blues that has earned them underground respect and a cult fan-base -- unlike the path of the Black Keys. Nothing overly produced or counterfeited, just raw, energized songs that sound like they came out of a Mississippi swamp.

Musician, people-pleaser, lover, fighter and writer Matthew Craig Burke has been spewing musical words of wisdom since never. He lives off of peanut butter sandwiches, beer and Beck Hansen. Follow his updates on Facebook or contact him directly.

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