by Robert Bell
NORTH MISSISSIPPI ALLSTARS
9 p.m. Revolution. $20.
It's a testament to the strength of the form that the blues continues to fascinate listeners and musicians lo these many, many decades after it emerged from the Delta. It's been through so many iterations, duplications, permutations, mutilations, rebirths and revivals that it's almost meaningless to try to determine what's "authentic" anymore. Sure, your average bar-band blooze-wailers are still annoying, but in the hands of inspired players — even those reverent of tradition — the blues can still sound awesome and electrifying.
You'd be hard-pressed to find any finer practitioners currently going than the North Mississippi Allstars. You're all probably pretty familiar with the band by now; they're from just down the road and they've played in Arkansas a bunch. The Dickinson brothers — Luther and Cody, sons of the legendary Jim Dickinson — are pretty much Southern music royalty. Together with bassist Chris Chew, they lay down a grimy, funk-informed take on the blues that's irresistibly fun while still conveying a lot of soul and substance. Add it all up and you'd have to be a real stick in the mud to find fault with the Allstars.
Opening the 18-and-older show will be The London Souls.