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chick singer. Not by any means. I love her music, especially her songwriting. I have taken to calling her “Outlaw Gothic,” which may or may not be an accurate description. Fact is, Kara is beyond description. Her new album Southern Hospitality (Foxy Music) is filled with her excel- lent songwriting. The title track, which deals with the issue of racism, is simply stated- a powerful song. So is “Relapse.” Other choice cuts include “Whiskey & Cigarettes” and “Carpenter’s Salary.” The band on the record is excellent as well, and includes guitarist Kenny Olson (Kid Rock).... ...The late great James Luther


appears alongside his sons Luther and Cody and The North Mississippi Allstars on the posthumous release I’m Just Dead, I’m Not Gone (Merless). It’s a absolutely great live recording from June 2, 2006, recorded on Beale Street in Memphis. Dickinson, not unlike Col. Bruce Hampton, was one of a kind. So was his music. The album is a living testament to the transcendental genius that was James Luther Dickinson. The guys open with “Money Talks,” one of my favorite tracks here, and deliver a total of nine songs including a fabulous rendition of “Codine” and the excellent “Down in Mississippi.” I love it...Dixie Tabernacle, an all-star band assembled by Nashville producer and musician Larry Goad, have a hot new release out called Nashville Swamp (Storm Dog). The band is fronted by singer Jimmy Hall, and fea- tures Doug Phelps, Shane Therot, Tony Bowles, Bruce Pearson, Jim Kirby, and of course, Goad on drums. The album is fully loaded with thir- teen great tracks that show off the bands many influences, from Southern rock to blues country to jazz. From the rocking opener, “Sixty-Five Days,” to the soul-drenched Jimmy Hall tune,

Wet Willie

“Long Goodbye,” it’s all good. Sometimes, down- right great....Larry Grisham’s Beat Daddys are back with another rockin’ blues release called Root Rubbin’ Ball. ( Grisham never ever fails to deliver, and the new album is no exception, baby. Take my word for it. Better yet, pick up a copy and try it on for size. I’m not saying “turn it up to eleven,” because this music sounds great at any sound level, and if its too loud, you might miss some of the excellent lyrics that weave themselves in a tapestry of sound aroud Grishams smok- ing guitar riffs. Choice cuts: “Monkey Man;” “Root Rubbin’ Ball;” “How Fat is Fat.” ....Oh my God, Wet Willie never sounded better than they do on Miles of Smiles (Hittin the Note), recorded live in Woodstock, Georgia. Jimmy, Jack, and Donna Hall and the whole Wet Willie gang toss down the gauntlet

on some stinging r&b, blues, and Southern rock, playing all of their best loved tunes from the golden age of Southern rock, including “Street Corner Serenade,” “Leona,” “Country Side of Life,” and their biggest chart hit, “Keep On Smilin.’” The energy level never dies down, with Jimmy singing his solo scorcher, “Rendezvous with the Blues,” and once again getting funkier than last weeks fried chicken with Little Milton’s “Grits Ain’t Groceries.” Lord have mercy, some- body shout! Looks like Wet Willie I ready to keep the miles of smiles coming for years to come. We can only hope......Michael Shipp has a nice one out called Crow Loudly (Roosterboy Music) . Actually, it is billed as “Shipp,” kinda like Van Halen. You know, just a last name. I met Michael several years ago when he was playing in a band with his life long friend Billy Bob Thornton, and I have waited a long time for this record. Shipp, the band, consists of Mike on guitar and vocals, Jai Lambert on bass and Kenny Hall on drums. Special guests are peppered throughout the alum,


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