While the North Mississippi Allstars are on hiatus, drummer Cody Dickinson and bassist Chris Chew are debuting a new five piece this week under the name Hill Country Revue. "Make A Move," the new group's first album, is out today (May 12) on Razor & Tie. Seven songs on the album feature lyrics by Garry Burnside, the youngest son of blues legend R.L. Burnside.
"I hadn't had the opportunity to stretch out and try other things," Dickinson tells Billboard.com. "I think the most exciting thing is, its such a departure. I'm playing lead guitar now."
Indeed, "Make A Move" is steeped in Southern rock-inspired guitar solos, notably on the band's titular track "Hill Country Revue," "Growing Up In Mississippi" and the R.L. Burnside classic "Georgia Women." Slow and swampy, blues-fused rock also yields itself on songs like "Dirty Shirt" and "Let Me Love You."
For a band that's just a year old, things have taken off rather quickly. Dickinson says that an early demo version of album opener "Alice Mae" got to the hands of DJs at Sirius XM's Jam station, who put it into heavy rotation. The band was contacted by Michael Caplan of Razor & Tie, asking the group to "send music." "It feels good to have started something in its infant stage and watch it grow," Dickinson says.
This isn't the first time Dickinson has teamed up with the youngest Burnside. Dickinson produced Garry's band, The Burnside Exploration. "They came into our barn one day and recorded 20 originals," Dickinson recalls. "And they were all good. Garry had these [Hill Country Revue] songs fully prepared: they're modern blues songs, but they're really drenched in the authentic blues traditions. And that's really hard to come by."
This summer, Hill Country Revue will be on tour, playing a host of club shows, festival appearances and opening slots. Higher profile gigs include an appearance at the Rothbury Festival on July 4, and opening for the Dave Matthews Band on July 31 and August 1 in Noblesville, Indiana.
Here is the track list for "Make A Move":
"Hill Country Revue"
"You Can Make It"
"Let Me Love You"
"Let's Talk About Me and You"
"Growing Up In Mississippi"