The band Sons of Mudboy AKA Three-Legged Dog is the logical outgrowth of the super Memphis group Mudboy and the Neutrons, which I have discussed at length in the past. Sons of Mudboy consists of Steve Selvidge, Luther Dickinson, Cody Dickinson and Paul Taylor, and as such was the perfect group to close out Tuesday night’s celebration of the life and work of Steve’s dad Sid Selvidge. The band played an acoustic set, which was followed by a fairly lengthy documentary about Sid Selvidge in which the late singer-songwriter discussed the impact of Furry Lewis and Black culture on his music, and also where he discussed the origins of the name Mudboy and the Neutrons. Then the band Son of Mudboy came back out and closed out this most important night of Memphis music with a final electric set.
California bluesman Alvin Youngblood Hart has family ties to Carroll County, Mississippi and moved to Memphis a few years ago, which has been a tremendous blessing to our local music community. Having him perform at the Sid Selvidge Tribute at the Levitt Shell Tuesday night was especially appropriate, as Hart and Selvidge were both involved in the efforts to preserve the acoustic Delta blues style. Alvin is of course a versatile performer, as comfortable in his electric rock-oriented ensemble as in an acoustic setting, but on Tuesday night he kept it acoustic, being joined on a couple of tunes by Luther Dickinson on mandolin.
On Tuesday June 25, 2013, a large number of Memphis musicians and fans of Memphis music came together at the Levitt Shell in Overton Park to celebrate the life and legacy of the late Sid Selvidge, a singer/songwriter from Greenville, Mississippi who came to Memphis in the late 1950’s and had a profound impact on the city’s music scene, both as a songwriter and solo artist, and also as a member of the supergroup Mudboy and the Neutrons, along with Jim Dickinson, Jimmy Crosthwaite and Lee Baker. Despite the hot weather, the Levitt Shell was filled with as many fans as I’ve ever seen, and the evening’s festivities were started off by a folk group known as Crawpatch.
I never got to hear Mudboy and the Neutrons in person, the rather bizarre Memphis supergroup consisting of Jim Dickinson, Lee Baker, Jimmy Crosthwait and Sid Selvidge, but I have been fortunate enough to hear their records. The spirit of Mudboy lives on in the form of Son of Mudboy, formerly Three-Legged Puppy, consisting of Luther and Cody Dickinson, Steve Selvidge and Paul Taylor. At their Minglewood Hall performance last night, Son of Mudboy performed traditional songs like “Casey Jones on the Road Again AKA Natural Born Eastman”, “Didn’t We Shake Sugaree”, “The Dark End of the Street” and “Going to Brownsville”, all songs that would be familiar to anyone who has heard the recorded works of Mudboy and the Neutrons. The rousing second set closed with Jim Dickinson’s feel-good call to civic revolution “Power to the People”, with its famous line “Lucille was there, but Beale Street was gone.” The crowd of a hundred or so demanded an encore, and the band obliged with the slow and mournful drug ballad “Codine” and a final joyful reading of “Hey, Bo Diddley.” Son of Mudboy will appear each Wednesday at Minglewood Hall during the month of April, starting at 8 PM.