Luther Dickinson at The Brighton Music Hall

By: Alex LaRosa

Saturday night, Luther Dickinson and the Cooperators came to the Brighton Music Hall and proceeded to deliver a show that definitely had something new to offer. This concert occasionally felt more like an informal jam – Dickinson split his time on stage telling stories, performing solo, or with his backing band, and even bringing on a homemade instrument.

Opening for Dickinson was a three-piece group comprised of Amy LaVere, Will Sexton, and Sharde Thomas. LaVere, on the upright bass and vocals, was decked out in a cowboy hat, as the band sauntered through a set list of slow-smoking bluesy tunes. Later on, the band would return to the stage, as Dickinson called them back to accompany him.

An informal attitude was strong on Saturday night, as Dickinson kicked off his setlist seated with a lone acoustic guitar. Directly afterward, he spun a lengthy story about smoking with his band in Washington, D.C., while in view of the White House. It was the first of many stories he would tell, and he joked, “I could talk all night.”

Throughout the show, he kept his accompaniment varied, playing acoustic and electric guitars, with and without a drummer, and even brought out an instrument he had built himself, the “coffee-diddley-bow.” Built out of a coffee can, a wooden fretboard, and two strings, Dickinson rocked out with his creation. He even used it to play the famous riffs from Jimi Hendrix’s “Foxy Lady” and Deep Purple’s “Smoke on the Water,” which drew laughs and applause from the audience.

Near the end of the 17-song set, chaos and order came together, as he gathered a five-piece band on stage and traded melody licks with one band member’s flute. His solos got longer, and he even joked that one song was “the longest five minutes you’ve ever heard.” During the last few songs, he was able to get the audience to start singing along, and it was clear that everyone was having a good time. As Dickinson said, “When we come to Boston, we always have a [expletive] ball.”

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