Electric Blue Watermelon

An Otha's-eye view of Cody Dickinson.


Click here to read the album focus.




Luther Dickinson: The family factor is powerful in my experience. We named our band North Mississippi Allstars hoping that other musical families in the region, such as the Burnsides, Kimbroughs, and Otha Turnerís clan, would join the party. That vision was realized at last yearís Bonnaroo show when we all hit the stage together. R.L. is retired now, and Junior and Otha have passed on, so itís up to the next generation to carry on the tradition. For Electric Blue Watermelon, I tried to write modern folk songs in tribute to these folk heroes who have had such a tremendous influence on my life.

Mississippi Bollweevil
Cody Dickinson:Mississippi Bollweevil is an old song. We do the Charley Patton version.
The Mississippi bollweevil ain't got no natural home, Lordie!
Louisiana lived, in Texas where I was bred and born, Lordie
Bollweevil, bollweevil, say where's your native home? Lordie
Most anywhere they raise cotton and corn, Lordie

Bollweevil left Texas, Lord, he bid me "fare ye well", Lordie
Down the Mississippi, gonna give Louisiana hell, Lordie
Well, I saw the bollweevil a-circle in the air, Lordie
The next time I seed him, Lord, he had his family there, Lordie

The Mississippi bollweevil ain't got no natural home, Lordie!
Most anywhere they raise cotton and corn, Lordie
(spoken: Play)

Mississippi, Mississippi
Mississippi, Mississippi
Mississippi, Mississippi
Mississippi, Mississippi
The Mississippi bollweevil ain't got no natural home, Lordie!
The Mississippi bollweevil ain't got no natural home, Lordie!
The Mississippi bollweevil ain't got no natural home, Lordie, Lord!


No Mo' - w/Al Kapone
Producer Jim Dickinson: I wouldnít call it a concept record, but it is about a time and a place.
(It aint the same no mo
cause it ain't the same no mo
It ain't the same no mo
No it ain't the same)

Back in the day, we were the kids in trouble, home-sliced, school skipping
Me and my brother, breakdanciní duels, dirt clod fightin' fools
Like two dogs scrappiní over the bone, we were fightiní over the telephone
Now we don't take calls...
used to climbs the walls, juiced up on kool-aid, caffiene,
running wild, and pumpiní through our veins
It just ainít the same, it just ainít the same
It ainít like it used to be
It ainít like it used to be around here no moí
If I didnít have my memories
Iíd be so broke down poí
It ainít like it used to be around here no moí

(It aint the same no mo
cause it ain't the same no mo
It ain't the same no mo
No it ain't the same)

Once upon a one, two, three
Music was a mystery
When I was young it fascinated me
I didnít know how to play back in the day
Headphones, had my Silvertone
Tuned to open E
Reel-to-reel rolliní
Hey Bo Diddley flowing
This is all I ever wanted to do
Now here I am, 32, I got it goiní on
Gonna continue, got it good, knock on wood
I canít complain, but thinkiní back on the old days
It just ainít the same, it just ainít the same
It ainít like it used to be
It ainít like it used to be
It ainít like it used to be around here no mo, no mo

(It aint the same no mo
cause it ain't the same no mo
It ain't the same no mo
No it ain't the same)

Big city used to be a forest long gone
Progress went wrong
Shouldíve let it alone, blood bath, buffalo bones
America is bloody, the white man was wrong
America is bloody, the white man was wrong
Indian, African, man, it ainít nothiní but some skin
The Mississippi delta was a jungle before the white man came
It just ainít the same
It ainít like it used to be
It ainít like it used to be
It ainít like it used to be around here no moí

(It aint the same no mo
cause it ain't the same no mo
It ain't the same no mo
No it ain't the same)


Rapper Al Kapone with Chris Chew in Memphis, 2005. Photo by Josh Mintz


Teasin' Brown
If your bed break down baby
We'll make it down on the floor
Make it long and easy right behind your door
please baby, please baby, please baby, please baby
Give me a little more time
Cause I jus' wanna get harry with that teasin brown of mine, teasin brown of mine
I me mine
I just wanna get harry with that teasin brown of mine, teasin brown of mine

Sun goin' down, you know what you promised me
I feel lonesome, you know what you promised me
please baby, please baby, please baby, please baby
Give me a little more time
Cause I jus' wanna get harry with that teasin brown of mine, teasin brown of mine
I me mine
I just wanna get harry with that teasin brown of mine, teasin brown of mine

I got something to tell you just before I go
Lord, my home ain't here, it's further up the road
I feel like rumblin, got no place to go
Baby my home ain't here, it's somewhars up the road
please baby, please baby, please baby, please baby
Give me a little more time
Cause I jus' wanna get harry with that teasin brown of mine, teasin brown of mine
I me mine
I Just wanna get harry with that teasin brown, teasin brown of mine

(C'mon baby, Kenny Brown got his long johns on
Y'all don't know nuthin' 'bout that!)


Moonshine
Luther Dickinson:RL Burnside has retired. Jr. Kimbrough passed away and his club burned down. Mudboy and The Neutrons are recovering from the murder of Lee Baker. The old days are gone. When Otha Turner passed away I began writing these songs. It caused me to rethink who we are and what we should be doing. We travel so much that the old fashion Mississippi Rock and Roll we make night after night is our home away from home. We can't control the music; where it goes or what we write. The music always dictates what direction we go. Loud psychedelic southern folk rock blues.
I hear cracked cymbals and the Queens of Africa
Ashes to ashes and dust to dust
The club burned down to the concrete floor
Old jukebox won't play no more
Cracked cymbals and the Queen to Africa
With the moonlight shining through the trees
Honeysuckle on a southern breeze
I miss the moonshine
And the old times sitting in with the house band
And the bootleggers of the bottomland

Old Gabe used to blow up and down the picnic ground
With Bobby Ray Watson and young Kenny Brown
But people ask what it was like
Out in the country on a Sunday night
Heaps see, but mighty few know how old Gabe used to blow
And the moonlight shining through the trees
Honeysuckle on a southern breeze
I miss the moonshine
And the old times sitting in with the house band
And the bootleggers of the bottomland
I miss the moonshine
And the old times sitting in with the house band
And the bootleggers of the bottom

Let's do it like we did before
In Marshall County down Highway 4
Gangsta walking cross the juke joint floor
Butterfly bug drop a drunk outdoors
And old folks know what is was like
Out in the country on a Sunday night
So pour some on the floor
And do it like we did before
And the moonlight shining through the trees
Honeysuckle on a southern breeze
I miss the moonshine
And the old times sitting in with the house band
And the bootleggers of the bottomland
I miss the moonshine
And the old times sitting in with the house band
And the bootleggers of the bottomland
Mississippi moonshine
I miss the moonshine and the bootleggers of the bottomland

Cody Dickinson:[Kenny Brown's] turned into like a K.C. Jones sorta Stagger Lee character. We're trying to immortalize him, I guess.





Hurry Up Sunrise - w/Lucinda Williams
Hurry up sunrise
Hurry up sunrise
See what tomorrow brings
It may bring sunshine
It may bring sunshine
It may bring rain

Hurry up sunrise
Hurry up sunrise
See what tomorrow brings
It may bring sunshine
It may bring sunshine
It may bring rain

Where were you when the rooster crow for a day
Lord I wasn't home, sure enough on my way
Done got late, got my work to do
Wouldn't have been here if it hadn't of been for you

Hurry up sunrise
Hurry up sunrise
See what tomorrow brings
It may bring sunshine
It may bring sunshine
It may bring rain

Hurry up sunrise
Hurry up sunrise
See what tomorrow brings
It may bring sunshine
It may bring sunshine
It may bring rain

I thought I heard the way you call my name
Called so loud, called so doggone plain
Remember the day you told me from your door
Go away, daddy, you can't use me no more

Hurry up sunrise
Hurry up sunrise
See what tomorrow brings
It may bring sunshine
It may bring sunshine
It may bring rain

Hurry up sunrise
Hurry up sunrise
See what tomorrow brings
It may bring sunshine
It may bring sunshine
It may bring rain

Done got late, got my work to do
Wouldn't have been here if it hadn't of been for you
Look down and dirty that's the way we do

Hurry up sunrise
Hurry up sunrise
See what tomorrow brings
It may bring sunshine
It may bring sunshine
It may bring rain

Hurry up sunrise
Hurry up sunrise
See what tomorrow brings
It may bring sunshine
It may bring sunshine
It may bring rain


Stompin' My Foot - w/Robert Randolph and Al Kapone
Last time I seen you in this place
You turn your back on me and shook it in my face
Give it to me

Remember last time
You let her hair down
Looked up to me and shook it to the ground
Give it to me

No wrong no right
No future no past
I'm Stompin my foot and you shakin your ass

(Girl do what you do
Don't shake that, don't shake that
Don't break that)

Out all night and lost your shoes
Gotta a real bad attitude
Ya got nuthin' to lose
Give it to me

You know it ain't right
You know you're wrong
Run around here all night, no panties on
Give it to me

No wrong no right
No future no past
I'm Stompin my foot, you shakin that ass

(Girl do what you do
Don't shake that, don't shake that
Don't break that)

No wrong no right
No future no past
I'm Stompin my foot, you shakin your ass

Take your time
Don't make it last
I'm stompin my foot, you shakin your ass

(Take it home
Put some meat on the bone
Lemme get my freak on, next day you're gone)


Bang Bang Lulu
Yeah I heard the doorbell rang
I got a friend in prison with the ball and chain
When you hear that whistle blow
You know somebody got to go
Bang bang Lulu, don't bang away so strong
What you gonna do for bangin' when Lulu's dead and gone

Hambone and possum meat's sweet and fine
Just gimme that watermelon smilin' on da vine
Sanctified monkey sittin' on the moon
Tryin' to make a mornin into afternoon
Bang bang Lulu, don't bang away so strong
What you gonna do for bangin' when Lulu's dead and gone
B-B-B-B-Bang bang Lulu, don't bang away so strong
What you gonna do for bangin' when Lulu's dead and gone

Wake up in the evening to like Kenny Brown
Take a little drink of whiskey and lay back down
I like to fuss and fight, walk the streets all night
Drink from a bottle and bawl in the moonlight
Bang bang Lulu, don't bang away so strong
What you gonna do for bangin' when Lulu's dead and gone

If you wanna know does your woman wanna flirt
She got on clear vinyl hotpants and see-through shirt
You can ease, squeeze as much as you please
I might be white but I ain't unease
Bang bang Lulu, don't bang away so strong
What you gonna do for bangin' when Lulu's dead and gone
B-B-B-B-Bang bang Lulu, don't bang away so strong
What you gonna do for bangin' when Lulu's dead and gone

Yeah I heard that doorbell rang
I got a friend in prison with the ball and chain
I shut my eyes to hold my breath
Sun so hot I'd've like to froze to death
Bang bang Lulu, don't bang away so strong
What you gonna do for bangin' when Lulu's dead and gone
B-B-B-B-Bang bang Lulu, don't bang away so strong
What you gonna do for bangin' when Lulu's dead and gone



Deep Blue Sea
Deep blue sea baby deep blue sea
Deep blue sea baby deep blue sea
Deep blue sea baby deep blue sea
It was willie what got drowned in the deep blue sea

Dig his grave with a silver spade
Dig his grave with a silver spade
Dig his grave with a silver spade
It was willie what got drowned in the deep blue sea

Deep blue sea baby deep blue sea
Deep blue sea baby deep blue sea
Deep blue sea baby deep blue sea
It was willie what got drowned in the deep blue sea

Lower him down with a golden chain
Lower him down with a golden chain
Lower him down with a golden chain
It was willie what got drowned in the deep blue sea

Deep blue sea baby deep blue sea
Deep blue sea baby deep blue sea
Deep blue sea baby deep blue sea
It was willie what got drowned in the deep blue sea



Mean Ol' Wind Died Down
Hear the wind blowin way on top of the hill
I hear the wind blowin way on top of the hill
Down in the valley, everything is still
I hear the wind blowin way on top of the hill

Climb to the top of the tallest tree
Mean ol' wind died down, mean ol' wind died down
Climb to the top of the tallest tree
Mean ol' wind died down, mean ol' wind died down

I wanna feel the way it sounds
Mean ol' wind died down, mean ol' wind died down
Mean ol' wind died down

Set me free gravity bound
Set me free gravity bound
Try to fly as high, I'm shackled to the ground
Set me free gravity bound
Mean ol' wind died down, mean ol' wind died down
Mean ol' wind died down, mean ol' wind died down
Mean ol' wind died down, mean ol' wind died down
Mean ol' wind died down, mean ol' wind died down

Don't bury me in this cursed ground
Don't bury me in this cursed ground
When I die let me fly
I'm nothing but a sound
Don't bury me in this cursed ground
Mean ol' wind died down, mean ol' wind died down
Mean ol' wind died down, mean ol' wind died down
Mean ol' wind died down, mean ol' wind died down
Mean ol' wind died down, mean ol' wind died down

Mean ol' wind died down, mean ol' wind died down
Mean ol' wind died down, mean ol' wind died down
Mean ol' wind died down, mean ol' wind died down
Mean ol' wind died down, mean ol' wind died down


Horseshoe - w/The Dirty Dozen Brass Band
Luther Dickinson:"Horseshoe" is about Lee Baker, Otha and Bernice Turner, Otha's daughter, who died the same day Otha did. I worked on it for a long time. Something about the word 'horseshoe' and the connotations of good luck.
Over the river on Horseshoe Lake
Where they cause my poor heart to break
Cut the pigeon wing around my neck
Over the river on Horseshoe Lake

The night is so lonesome the day is so long
Since poor old Lee Bailey caught the train and gone
Left us here to sing this song
The night is so lonesome the day is so long

Lay side by side in Gravel Springs
Did you hear the church bells ring
We were singin and dancin and crying in the rain
Lay side by side in Gravel Springs

The night is so lonesome the day is so long
Berniece and Otha Turner caught the train and gone
Left us here to sing the song
The night is so lonesome the day is so long

You can hear the sound comin' down the highway
All night long they used to play
Down at Junior Kimbrough's every Sunday
You can hear the sound comin' down the highway

Times done been won't be no more


Bounce Ball
Luther Dickinson:Electric Blue Watermelon is a continuation of the World Boogie. We are a product of the World Boogie. Electric Blue Watermelon is a realization of a shared vision older than us. It was satisfying collaborating with our father on this. He has always pointed us in the path of the World Boogie and encouraged us to make the right decision.
Instrumental


Dragonslayer - w/John Mayer
Sooner or later but no time soon
Sleepin in a trailer dreaming in my room on a lunar equator
Floating all afternoon
Up over a crater singing a softer tune

Let me tell you about this girl totally out of this world
She liked it on the verge
I laid her down on the curb

Sooner or later but no time soon
I sleep in a crater next to a mountain on the moon
I am a dragonslayer in a hot air balloon
Floating all afternoon singing a softer tune

Sooner or later but no time soon
Sleep in a trailer singing a softer tune
Dragonslayer, dragonslayer

Luther Dickinson: This album is about who we are and where we come from.


Luther Dickinson in Memphis, 2005. Photo by Josh Mintz