Some of the artists who will perform at the Ellnora Guitar Festival, which in early September will open the Krannert Center season, are Luther Dickinson, Bill Frisell, Calexico, My Brightest Diamond, Richard Thompson, Daniel Lanois’ Black Dub, Marc Ribot, Sharon Isbin, Taj Mahal, the Carolina Chocolate Drops and former Champaign County resident Adrian Belew.
Dickinson, one of Rolling Stone’s "new guitar gods," will serve as artist-in-residence during the biennial festival, to take place Sept. 8, 9 and 10. It was formerly called the Wall to Wall Guitar Festival; it started in 2005.
A roots musician, Dickinson is the son of the late Memphis/Mississippi musician and record producer Jim Dickinson. The younger Dickinson emerged on the national scene in the mid-90s when Grammy Award nominations started coming for the North Mississippi Allstars, a collaboration between Luther, his brother Cody, and Chris Chew.
In 2007 Luther Dickinson was invited to join The Black Crowes; he made his recording debut with the band on its 2008 album, "Warpaint," while continuing to work with the Allstars and other artists including John Hiatt, Lucinda Williams, Mavis Staples and Jon Spencer.
At Ellnora, Dickinson will read from his late father’s soon-to-be-published memoirs, musically collaborate with Grammy Award winner Alvin Youngblood Hart and pedal steel guitarist Robert Randolph, and participate in other as-yet-to-be-announced programs.
David Spelman, the festival’s artistic adviser, noted that Luther Dickinson performed once before at the festival.
"His electrifying 2007 performance with the North Mississippi Allstars included a surprise appearance by Jake Cinninger of Umphrey’s McGee and is one of those moments people are still talking about," Spelman said. "As we began thinking about an artist-in-residence position, Luther was a natural choice. We’re over the moon that he accepted our invitation."
Frisell, who was at the 2009 Ellnora with his Disfarmer Project, will present at the 2011 version the "The Great Flood," a film by Bill Morrison, with music composed and performed by Frisell with Ron Miles, Tony Scherr and Kenny Wollesen.
Krannert Center will post at its website starting June 17 the complete list of Ellnora artist and information about the rest of its 2011-12 season. Tickets will go on sale starting at 10 a.m. July 9. Before June 17, though, Krannert will release four more news releases about Ellnora.