One Track Mind: Luther Dickinson, “Vandalize,” from Rock ‘n Roll Blues (2014)

You might have expected the solo music from Luther Dickinson — he of the blues-bending North Mississippi All-Stars, and also the son of Deep South producing legend Jim Dickinson — would have a rootsy feel. You would be wrong.

Like most kids, the younger Dickinson tweaked his old man with youthful tastes that ran toward the punky sounds of that searing 1980s-era LA punk band Black Flag — and those early influences are found in high relief on his nervy “Vandalize,” the lead song from Luther Dickinson’s forthcoming solo effort Rock ‘n’ Roll Blues — due March 18, 2014 via New West Records.

The song actually turns on a trip he took with Jim Dickinson to see Black Flag during an in-store appearance at Memphis, Tennessee’s Peaches Records. It was only then, it seems, that dear old dad started to make connections back to other, more well known artists who traced along the edges — figures like the Sex Pistols, Ornette Coleman and Captain Beefheart.

In this way, “Vandalize” eventually reveals itself to be something else entirely. You come in thinking he’s talking about getting so excited by the freedom of music that you want to break shit. You leave understanding that it’s a song about growing up, and the perspective that only time can give.

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