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Bonnaroo Beat

Published: 2002/05/23
by Dean Budnick

Im Really Excited To Be Able To See A Panic Show: Luther Dickinson on Bonnaroo

In our latest artist interview, Luther Dickinson (North Mississippi Allstars, The Word) hails American audiences and is less enthusiastic about chiggers.
What was your first reaction upon hearing about Bonnaroo?
Man to be totally honest I felt so honored to be included. Ive felt admiration and gratitude for the Superfly guys in New Orleans who have been good to us ever since back in the day. Ive really appreciated what theyve done.
What are your thoughts now that were less than a month out from the event?
Whats going to be real interesting is the reaction of the people in the mainstream who dont really know whats going on. They dont understand theres a whole community of bands that arent on MTV or radio who make a great, healthy living with this incredible audience. To bring everyone together and then to sell out without any advertising whatsoever, I would imagine that the corporate Satan will come crawling up to the door.
This is a whole genre that weve been participating in and has been supporting us all. Thats how we came up as a young band. Back in 98 when we started on the road we opened up for MMW, Gov’t Mule, Galactic, Leftover. Each band is totally different and comes from a different root of music but its almost the same audience everywhere you go. When wed go on tour in Europe I would say, Man, you have to give it up for the audiences in American because theyre smart enough and love music enough to find it for themselves and support it. These are exciting times we live in.
The cool thing is that even behind the scenes people are coming together. People from certain camps, the bands organizations are coming in to help. Bonnaroo is going to be the shit and the fact that its in Tennessee really excites me.
What do think Tennessee in particular has to offer Bonnaroo?
At that time of the year? (laughs) Ticks, chiggers, mosquito bites the size of dimes (laughs). You need to come prepared- get your Chigger-Rid, all that stuff. When you see those little red bumps on your leg youre in trouble. Bugs so small you cant see them and they bore into your skin. (laughs).
No, its a great location. Tennessee is a beautiful, beautiful state.
One thing that excites a number of people is the opportunity to see guest performances. How do you approach those opportunities? Do they interest you in a similar way?
Sure, because its just like hanging out with your friends. We were just at Jazz Fest. We played the late night show at Tipitinas on the last Saturday, 2-6AM. So we pulled into town, and right after I checked in I went to see Robert Randolph. I played half of his set and then I walked across the street and sat in with Galactic. After that I went to Tips and rocked out and they all came and sat in with us. Were just so blessed, theres so many great guys and cool music going on.
Were off Saturday so were going to drive in and check it out. Im really excited to be able to see a Panic show because you know how the schedules work. I cant go see shows. Thats whats so cool about festivals. A working music cant go to see his favorite bands but you might get lucky at a festival. And of course at this festival its going to be non-stop.

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