While separated by a massive body of water and varying stylistically, North Mississippi Allstars and Stereophonics, at critical junctures in their still-evolving careers, made past musical benchmarks sound like the next big thing.
North Mississippi co-founders, brothers Luther and Cody Dickinson, have been blessed with stellar musical genetics; their father is the late, great Jim Dickinson, who tickled the ivories for the likes of the Rolling Stones and helmed the boards for the varied likes of Big Star, the Replacements and Mudhoney, yet the Dickinson siblings forte has, and remains, lo-fi, homegrown blues rock reminiscent of their namesake state.
Their debut, Y2K’s “Shake Hands With Shorty,” was an out-of-the-box classic when it was released and remains one of blues/rock’s finest debuts more than a dozen years later. Individually or collectively, the Dickinsons lend their talents regularly to the likes of the Black Crowes and John Hiatt, they are arguably at their best working side-by-side as the all-stars they surely are. For proof, check out “World Boogie Is Coming,” their most recent set released earlier this month.
Hailing from Wales, Stereophonics take their cue from more recent and notable sources. Where the North Mississippians draw from their bluesy surroundings circa mid 20th Century, lead (and unrelated) Stereophonics Kelly and Richard Jones seemingly found their muse on their homefront as well, honing in on and finding success with a Stones/Faces/Zeppelin fusion.
While Stereophonics released their debut, “World Gets Around,” in 1997, it wasn’t until 2001’s “Just Enough Education To Perform” when the band found their groove. Their artistic peak continued with 2003’s “You Gotta Go There to Come Back” and concluded with “Language. Sex. Violence. Other?” two years later.
After a four-year gap between new sets, Stereophonics released their eighth original set, “Graffiti on the Train,” in March. It peaked in the number three spot on the U.K. albums chart and was certified gold.
Both the Allstars and Stereophonics have also earned reputations at top-notch live acts as well. With both Chicago shows falling on Sept. 28, live rock music fans may be faced with a quandary, albeit a winning one at that.
North Mississippi Allstars, 9 p.m. Sept. 28, House of Blues, 329 N. Dearborn, Chicago. $25 in advance, $28 day of show (17 and older). FYI: (312) 923-2000, HOB.COM
Stereophonics, 8 p.m. Sept. 28, Vic Theatre, 3145 N. Sheffield Ave., Chicago. $39 (18 and older). FYI: (773) 472-0449, JAMUSA.COM
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For more information, contact the venues or ticket sales agencies listed below. Unless otherwise indicated, all shows are all-ages.
Bon Jovi, Oct. 23, United Center (UNITEDCENTER.COM)
Mazzy Star, Nov. 13, Vic Theatre (JAMUSA.COM)
Jay Z, Jan. 9, United Center (UNITEDCENTER.COM)
Cut Copy, Nov. 14, Riviera Theatre (18 and older, JAMUSA.COM)
Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar, Nov. 7, United Center (UNITEDCENTER.COM)
Gary Clark Jr., Nov. 19, Vic Theatre (JAMUSA.COM)
Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, Dec. 31, Park West (18 and older, JAMUSA.COM)
John Legend, Nov. 10, Chicago Theatre (THECHICAGOTHEATRE.COM)
Kelly Hogan, Nov. 14, Old Town School of Folk (OLDTOWNSCHOOL.ORG)
Cyndi Lauper, Nov. 1, Chicago Theatre (THECHICAGOTHEATRE.COM)
The opinions expressed solely are those of the writer. Tim Shellberg can be reached at T.email@example.com.