When Jim Dickinson died on August 15, 2009 at the age of 67, his hometown paper, The Memphis Commercial Appeal ran a lengthy, appreciative obituary chronicling his many achievements and credits. The lead read "The North Mississippi Allstars have lost their father, Bob Dylan has lost a brother, rock and roll has lost one of its great cult heroes and Memphis has lost a musical icon with the death of Jim Dickinson".
His work in the studio with the likes of Dylan, the Rolling Stones, Big Star, the Replacements, Ry Cooder and others had consistently put him in the front ranks of recording studio "go to" guys, not only in Memphis but in Muscle Shoals and Miami, as well.
It was on Friday, June 2, 2006 that Dickinson took to the stage of the New Daisy Theater on historic Beale Street for a rare and much anticipated show date. Backed by the aforementioned North Mississippi All Stars, sons Luther on guitar and vocals and Cody on drums and vocals along with de facto/honorary son Chris Chew on bass plus session jack-of-all-tracks Jimmy Davis on guitar and vocals. Front and center on piano and lead vocals was James Luther Dickson who commanded the stage for a rollicking set, the cream of which comprises the tunestack of 'I'm Just Dead, I'm Not Gone'.
I'm Just Dead, I'm Not Gone' is a reflection of Dickinson's lifelong affinity for songs that have style, substance and, are at the same time, truthful. The blues root of his art is present in songs from the Furry Lewis and Sleepy John Estes catalogs along with tracks emblematic of Jim's career-long relationship with folk and soul music, all which he alchemically transformed into sanctified rock 'n' roll in the barrel house tradition.
Dickinson is very much alive on these incendiary tracks reaffirming the prescient contention that gives this remarkable set its title.
"I will not be gone as long as the music lingers." - James Luther Dickinson