Southern Soul Assembly at the Aladdin Theater on Nov. 13, 2014

On a freezing Portland evening, most of town hunkered down for a cold night. Yet, a warm front from the south had settled in near the corner of SE Powell Boulevard and Milwaukie Avenue at the historic Aladdin Theater. One hour before showtime, the near-capacity venue was buzzing with anticipation of a great night of storytelling and music from JJ Grey, Marc Broussard, Anders Osborne and Luther Dickinson (of North Mississippi Allstars)—all performing on their Southern Soul Assembly tour. The artist-in-the-round format seemed to fit the foursome well, blending a perfect gumbo of their different styles as each took turns with a story and a song, many of which brought standing ovations from the audience. In the end, Grey, Broussard, Osborne and Dickinson put together a soulful, down-home musical journey that was pure joy to experience.

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