Friday, September 7, 2007

Friday Roundup

Gospel music attraction The Isaacs will perform Sept. 8 at the 13th annual New Hebron Pulpwood Festival

From gospel to opera: Gary Mitchell finds his voice

South City Records will celebrate the official release of their first album Saturday at their CD release concert at the University of Southern Mississippi

Marty Stuart to headline Cash festival

2007 Gulf Coast Blues and Heritage Festival

From the Sun Herald:

The 16th Annual Mississippi Gulf Coast Blues and Heritage Festival, a daylong concert featuring at least seven purveyors of one of Mississippi's finest homegrown exports, takes place Saturday at the Jackson County Fairgrounds in Pascagoula.

The Blues Fest (gate opens at 11 a.m.) kicks off at 12:10 p.m. with an opening prayer, followed by a presentation by the Mississippi Gulf Coast Blues Commission, which hosts the fest each year, of the winners of the Musical Instrument Talent Contest....From 1 to 1:45 p.m., the Fest's first professional offering, Keith "Chicken Daddy" Hunter and the Hot Wings, takes the stage. From 2 to 2:45 p.m., meanwhile, the Apollo Blues Band performs, followed by the Crescent City Blues Band from 3 to 3:45 p.m.

Members of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Blues Commission will be introduced on stage from 3:45 to 4 p.m., followed by an hour-long performance by Ecko Records recording artist Ms. Jody. From 4:15 to 5:15 p.m., Theodis Ealey, a k a The Bluesman Lover, whose 2004 hit single, "Stand Up In It," landed on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip Hop Track chart, performs. Another Ecko Records recording artist, O.B. Buchana, performs from 6:45 to 7:45 p.m., while blues veteran Bobby Rush closes the fest from 8 to 9 p.m.

The fest goes forward rain or shine, under the fairground's covered pavilion, and admission is $23 in advance and $26 at the gate.

What: 16th Annual Mississippi Gulf Coast Blues and Heritage Festival.

When: 11 a.m.-until.

Where: Jackson County Fairgrounds, under the covered pavilion.

Cost: $23 in advance and $26 at the gate.

Info: (228) 497-5493.

(Full Story Here)

(Who's who at the 2007 Gulf Coast Blues and Heritage Festival)

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Marty Stuart headlines Starkville's Cash fest

From the Daily Journal: Mississippi native Marty Stuart will walk the line to Starkville to headline the Johnny Cash Flower Pickin' Festival in November. Stuart, a Philadelphia native, will headline the event meant to honor Cash, the country music legend whom Stuart called boss and father-in-law. Festival officials announced the musical guests for the event Wednesday....The festival is set for Nov. 2-4, in downtown Starkville. Stuart was a member of Cash's band and was married to one of Cash's daughters....Country band Kingbilly also will perform, as will Jordan Carter and the Larry Wallace Band....On May 11, 1965, Cash was arrested in Starkville for public drunkenness. He wrote the song "Starkville City Jail" about his experience. (Full Story Here)

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Blue Mountain

From the Memphis Commercial Appeal:

A re-formed Blue Mountain finds its musical chemistry of the 1990s is as potent as ever

Ottawa is a long way from Oxford, but for Mississippi roots rock band Blue Mountain, that's where it all ended in the fall of 2001.

Playing as part of a Canadian festival bill, Blue Mountain's final show provided a rather ignominious end to one of the most beloved Southern bands of the '90s. The group, led by the husband-and-wife duo of Cary Hudson and Laurie Stirratt, had enjoyed a fruitful 10-year run filled with plenty of highs and successes. But it had not come without a cost -- including the loss of their longtime drummer, a split with their record label, and, most devastatingly, the dissolution of Hudson's and Stirratt's marriage.

As they walked off stage that night, with the acrimony of a divorce and the dispiriting memory of the band's finish still fresh, it seemed unlikely they would ever play together again.

But this summer, after six years apart, Hudson and Stirratt had a musical rapprochement and Blue Mountain has reunited -- re-formed, to be more precise. Buoyed by the positive response to what were to have been a couple of one-off shows, the group has decided to pick up where it left off, and is set to record a new album. The band makes its return to Memphis with a concert at the Hi-Tone Wednesday night.

Blue Mountain's story dates back some 20 years to an Oxford college cover band called the Hi-Tops, which featured Hudson and future Wilco founder John Stirratt. Stirratt's twin sister, Laurie, eventually joined and the group began playing its own songs as the Hilltops, releasing a pair of punk-flavored albums.

Following a brief spell trying to make it in Los Angeles...(read the full story here)

Wednesday Update

Mississippi native Hubert Sumlin, the blues great who worked with Howlin' Wolf and Muddy Waters, will be joining a star studded musical tour this summer performing Hendrix classics that includes: Jimmi Hendrix Experience alumni Mitch Mitchell (drums) and Billy Cox (bass), Chris Layton and Tommy Shannon from Double Trouble (Stevie Ray Vaughan's band), Memphis guitarist Eric Gales, Band of Gypsys drummer Buddy Guy, and contemporary guitar greats Jonny Lang and Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Robbie Krieger of the Doors and Mick Taylor of the Rolling Stones. (Full story here)

The Daniel Pearl Foundation congratulates teenage fiddle sensations Mike Barnett of Nashville and Ruby Jane Smith of Mississippi as winners of the 2007 Daniel Pearl Memorial Violins. Selected at the Mark O'Connor Strings Conference in San Diego, California they will have full use of these prestigious instruments for a year; including appearances at special concerts during the sixth annual Daniel Pearl World Music Days to be held October 1-15, 2007...Twelve-year-old Ruby Jane Smith is both the youngest winner of the Daniel Pearl Memorial violin and the youngest ever invited fiddler at the Grand Ole Opry. A fast-rising star in the landscape of country, bluegrass and Americana music, Ruby Jane exhibited an early connection to music. After only six fiddle lessons at age eight, she won first place in the first competition she entered - beginning a run of acclaim that has included appearances on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and a feature piece on CBS News "Eye on America." She was the 2005 Mississippi State Fiddle Champion and was featured in a 2006 documentary about the legendary fiddler Jim Brock, with whom she has studied. (Full story here)

Leon Newton of Jackson, Mississippi was a top finalist in the 2007 songwriting competition in the country category with his song titled "Love Story". (Full story here)

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Music Business at USM and other updates

New USM program gets students in the music business: A new program [at the University of Southern Mississippi is] devoted to teaching students how to succeed in the world behind the scenes of the entertainment industry...a student of the Entertainment Industry Program [learns] mixing, mastering and tracking of music generated by local artists as well as management, promotion, marketing, distribution and tour support of those same musicians through the program's own record label, South City Records, a first for the university.

Under the direction of entertainment industry professor Darko Velichkovski, who's an independent producer, Juilliard graduate and former member of the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra, the music industry department was reborn five years ago with a mission of reviving a program, which at that time turned out only 12-15 students a year.

Since then, the program has incorporated a wide range of projects beyond the music industry including film, television and radio, as well as splitting the degree into two areas of emphasis - production and management.

Velichkovski said he wrote a curriculum based on what the college wanted to compete with similar academic programs at other universities so plans could be made to expand with more faculty and equipment as it evolved.

Now, the program has nearly 100 students.
[Full Story Here]

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McComb native Bo Diddley released from hospital after suffering a heart attack

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New Harmonies - WLOX: There are so many forms of music with deep American roots. Jazz, the Blues, Gospel and Country were all developed and perfected in the United States. Mississippi is among a number of states that have made major contributions to the American music scene. The Smithsonian Institute got together with Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College to bring a unique exhibit to the Jefferson Davis campus. It's called New Harmonies: Celebrating American Roots Music. The exhibit is in the school's Fine Arts building through September 28th. (Full Story with Video Here)

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USM hosts honors forum on Mississippi blues culture

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Book Review: "High Cotton: Four Seasons in the Mississippi Delta"

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Mississippi Gulf Coast Blues & Heritage Festival Cool blues comes to Pascagoula

16th annual Mississippi Gulf Coast Blues & Heritage Festival - Noon to 9 p.m. Saturday, Sept 8 - Pavilion at Jackson County Fairgrounds, Pascagoula

Performers include Bobby Rush, E.B. Buchana, Theodis Ealey, Ms. Jody, the Apollo Blues Band, the Crescent City Blues Band, Keith "Chickin Daddy" Hunter and the Hot Wings....Prior to Saturday's heritage festival, the blues commission is holding a student "Musical Instrument Contest" from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on Thursday at the Jackson County Civic Action Center in Moss Point. (Full Story Here)