Luther Dickinson has always played nice with others, but the North Mississippi Allstars mainstay has never played with so many others as he does on Solstice, the first outing by Luther Dickinson and Sisters of the Strawberry Moon, an all-star collective that includes Amy Helm, Amy LaVere, Sharde Thomas, Birds of Chicago and the Como Mamas.
“I never intended to have my name on it,” Dickinson tells Billboard. “I just wanted to curate and produce it, and New West [Records] agreed to it. But when it came time to realize it, they wanted to put my name on it, and that’s just fine. I just wanted to get the artists together.” The album, out Friday, premieres below a day early.
The idea for Sisters of the Strawberry Moon hatched about three years ago in Chicago, when Dickinson was playing a show with LaVere, Thomas and Birds of Chicago — “a fortuitous meeting” during which the acts “became friends and started scheming and dreaming and make the plan to record everybody at my place in Mississippi,” he says. The eventual session was held over four days during the actual Strawberry Moon of the summer solstice at the Dickinson family’s Zebra Ranch Studio in Independence, Miss., and Dickinson likens it to “a musical potluck dinner — a group of interesting new friends that just brought different things to the table, anything and everything.”
Superlover starts the album with Birds of Chicago taking the lead in magnificant style using electric piano, fiddle and acoustic guitars.