Bobby Rush & North Mississippi Allstars

Day 01

Main Stage

2:00 PM

“[Blues is] the root of all music, it’s the mother of all music. If you don’t like the blues, you probably don’t like your mama.” — Bobby Rush

“Muddy and Wolf Revisited” — a tribute to Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf — is how this pairing by Bobby Rush (3-time GRAMMY Award winner) and North Mississippi Allstars (5-time GRAMMY nominee) is being billed — two blues legends brought vividly alive by phenomenal contemporary artists.

Bobby Rush, born Emmett Ellis, Jr., grew up in rural Louisiana picking cotton on his family’s farm, tending to mules and chickens, and living in a home with neither electricity nor indoor plumbing. He built his first guitar on the side of the family’s house out of broom wire, nails, bottles and bricks. The blues, Rush recalls, provided “an escape from the cotton fields. You’d go out on Saturday night to the juke joints, but then on Monday morning you’d go back into the cotton fields to work for your bossman.”

Throughout the 1950s and 60s, Rush established an unparalleled reputation as an entertainer, incorporating what he learned from B.B. King and Muddy Waters (after arriving in Chicago in 1952) with his own inimitable style. Based in Jackson, Mississippi since the 1980s, Rush began “crossing over” to new audiences, featuring in the Martin Scorsese-produced documentary The Road to Memphis, appearing alongside Terrence Howard, Snoop Dogg and Mavis Staples in the documentary Take Me to the River, and performing on the Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon along with Dan Aykroyd.

Born in Tennessee, brothers Luther and Cody Dickinson — sons of legendary Memphis producer Jim Dickinson — form the core of The North Mississippi Allstars, a group started in 1996. The family moved early on to northern Mississippi, where the boys soaked up the country-blues sound from artists like Mississippi Fred McDowell and R.L. Burnside, inspiring them to blend the music of their Hill Country region with Delta blues, bluegrass, hip-hop, funk, ragtime, and rockabilly.

The Allstars received their latest GRAMMY nomination for Best Contemporary Blues Album for their release Set Sail (2022), and have recorded and toured with Mavis Staples, Charlie Musslewhite, John Hiatt, Robert Plant and Patty Griffin, G Love, Jon Spencer, the Tedeschi Trucks Band, Los Lobos, and the Black Crowes.

“The older I get,” says Cody, “the more I realize how important it is to record this music, so younger kids can hear it. I just want to make sure we pass it on. It’s a huge honor to be a part of this tradition.”

Jul 01
Jul 04