Friday, April 24
The members of Sweet Crude all hail from South Louisiana, a region which still holds onto its unique culture and way of life stronger than anywhere else in the United States. That said, many of those elements are fading with time as American culture gradually becomes more homogenized. This trend can be seen most directly in the gradual fade of the Louisiana French language. The members of Sweet Crude grew up with grandparents and great grandparents that spoke the region’s native dialect as their first language, yet with each successive generation, that language gets lost to time. Instead of singing the language in its usual music genres, zydeco and cajun, Sweet Crude draws on their own influences coming mainly from New Orleans music, pop, and indie rock to produce a sound that is accessible to today’s generation. In essence, they are taking the language out the museum, weaving it in with English, and giving it fresh legs and relevancy for years to come.
Thacker Mountain Radio
Thacker Mountain Radio is a live radio show featuring weekly author readings and a wide array of musical performances from the Square in Oxford, Mississippi. The free show is taped and broadcast every Thursday at 6:00 p.m. during the fall and spring and rebroadcast every Saturday night on Mississippi Public Radio.
Thacker hosts an eclectic mix of local and national writers and musicians, performing before a live and loyal audience in Off Square books, an annex of Square Books, one of the great independent bookstores in the nation.
The New Respects are a high-energy throwback rock and soul quartet comprising siblings Alexandria, Alexis, and Darius Fitzgerald, and their cousin Jasmine Mullen.
Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors
Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors is an American band from Memphis and East Nashville in Tennessee, United States. The band was formed in 2006 by Drew Holcomb (lead vocals, guitar, harmonica). The other band members are Nathan Dugger (guitar, keys) and Rich Brinsfield (bass). His wife, Ellis Holcomb, who had been a member of the band since 2005, eventually stopped touring with the band to take care of their first child EmmyLou in 2012 and then later began pursuing a solo artist career.
Saturday, April 25
Oxford’s own Chadwicks – Billy, Barney, and Julie- have been making music and writing songs for over forty years. In the late 70’s and 80’s, in collaboration with songwriter and cousin Vernon Chadwick, they recorded over 30 original songs at famed Malaco Studio in Jackson, ranging from beautiful ballads to edgy political commentary. With the addition of percussionist Ricky Burkhead, “The Chadwick Band” combine rich harmonies and their joy of playing to bring these songs to life.
The Sensational Barnes Brothers
Chris and Courtney Barnes, Memphians and full-time musicians, have a sound that embodies every Memphis style. Their debut LP Nobody’s Fault But My Own is the first release of the new Bible and Tire Recording Co. label, produced by Bruce Watson of Bible and Tire Recording Co./Big Legal Mess Records at Delta-Sonic Studios in Memphis. It was chosen from the oftforgotten 1970s catalog of the Designer Records label, but it could well have been written by the Barnes family themselves. For there, in a nutshell, are all the bonds that hold them close.
Music has been a family affair for the Barnes. The brothers’ parents Duke and Deborah Barnes became a sought-after duo around Memphis before letting the boys join in. By the 1990s, their diverse musical talents steadily encouraged and coached by the parents, were assembled into a performing group in their own right, known as Joy.
For a time, Courtney played with a rock band chiefly influenced by Disturbed and Dream Theater. And now, as the Sensational Barnes Brothers, they are bringing it all back home to music they grew up with. Says Courtney, “This new record is more edgy. Our parents taught us how to harmonize, to be more controlled. So this record opens us up. It’s more raw.”
Exceptionally versatile singer-songwriter Maggie Rose released her highly anticipated album, Change The Whole Thing, September 21, 2018. The album was named by Rolling Stone as one of the “Best Albums of 2018”. Stamped with her affinity for finely crafted melodies and intricate storytelling, the project encompasses a blend of American music melding Rock, Soul, Rhythm and Blues, Country and Gospel. Recorded entirely live at the famed Starstruck Studios in Nashville, TN and released to overwhelming critical-acclaim, Rose marked major milestones with first-time performances on NBC’s “Today Show,” Southwest’s Live at 35, a debut at AmericanaFest with a show-stopping performance as part of WMOT/NPR’s Wired In series, AOL Build, Paste Sessions and more.
For the past 20 years, Chris Knight has only made music his own way. He’s released eight acclaimed albums, played thousands of electrifying live shows and built generations of fervent fans from Texas honky-tonks to Manhattan rock clubs. He’s been hailed as “the last of a dying breed…a taciturn loner with an acoustic guitar and a college degree” (The New York Times) and “a storyteller in the best traditions of Mellencamp and Springsteen” (USA Today). Bottom line, he’s hard-earned his reputation as one of America’s most uncompromising and respected singer/songwriters. And now with Almost Daylight, Knight delivers the most powerful –and unexpected –music of his career.
The War and Treaty
Michael and Tanya Trotter took distinctly different paths to becoming The War and Treaty. Growing up in a tight-knit community just outside of Washington, D.C., Tanya had a voice that was already hinting at the force it’d become: honeyed and bold, guttural but angelic. She’d discovered writing, too, and every blank space was an opportunity. “My mom would come into my room late at night and catch me reading books and writing, with a flashlight,” Tanya says, laughing.
The War and Treaty deliver live shows and records that make the hairs on the back of necks stand up. Their music and stories bring tears and goosebumps, but ultimately, more is at work. In the midst of Michael and Tanya’s open, beaming faces and united voices, facades met away. Walls are torn down. “I want people to feel like we care,” Michael says. “When you think about artists, you don’t think about that.” He pauses and grins broadly. “But that’s the way I want the world to feel about The War and Treaty.
Toots & The Maytals
Toots is one of the true architects of reggae –so much so that “Do the Reggay,” a 1968 single by Toots and his group, the Maytals, is credited with giving the genre its name. Classic songs written and recorded by Toots and the Maytals have been covered by the likes of the Clash and the Specials, and the group was featured in reggae’s greatest breakthrough event –“The Harder They Come,” the 1972 film that became an international sensation.The all-star guests on TRUE LOVE range from legends like Keith Richards, Eric Clapton, and Bonnie Raitt to younger stars including No Doubt, the Roots, and Phish’s Trey Anastasio. The caliber of these collaborators reveals the impact that Toots has had on several generations of rockers and rappers, while appearances from reggae icons Bunny Wailer and Marcia Griffiths show the respect granted to the man who might be the music’s greatest living vocalist. At the heart of it all is that voice – drenched in soul, rooted in gospel, and still breathtakingly powerful after almost four decades in the spotlight.
St. Paul and The Broken Bones
St. Paul & The Broken Bones formed in 2012 in Birmingham, Alabama. They released their debut album Half the City in 2014 and its follow up, 2016’s Sea of Noise, to much acclaim. Those strong efforts helped place them on the national scene, and the band worked hard to prove they were no mere retro-soul band—from touring the world relentlessly, including being selected to open for The Rolling Stones and headlining two nights at the Ryman Auditorium, to TV appearances including The Late Show with David Letterman, Jimmy Kimmel Live, Conan, Austin City Limits two appearances on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, one being the very first episode. Paul Janeway’s fearless showmanship, thoughtful lyrics, and dedication to his performance soon became the band’s calling card, and paired with the inventive and skillful direction of co-band leader Jesse Phillips as well as a full eight-man roster comprised of some of the best young instrumentalists in the South, they soon became a must-see event. (In addition to Janeway on lead vocals and Phillips on bass and guitar, the lineup is rounded out by Browan Lollar (guitars), Andrew Lee (drums), Al Gamble (keyboards), Allen Branstetter (trumpet), Chad Fisher (trombone) and Amari Ansari (saxophone), who replaced Jason Mingledorff following the album’s recording) Over time, Janeway has learned the art of balancing expectations and how to reconcile his past with his future, just as his band have learned how to overcome their perception by pushing against its ceiling. In embracing those things he cannot change, he has forged ahead as an artist and as a man. And with his band’s album, Young Sick Camellia, Janeway has created a space for St. Paul & The Broken Bones to rival any forward-thinking band making music today, based on a concept all-too familiar to him: family, and how we love them despite our differences.
Rainbow Kitten Surprise
All five members of Rainbow Kitten Surprise hail from the mountains of Boone, North Carolina. With chilling harmonies, dynamic instrumentation and introspective lyrics, their genre-defying sound takes influence from artists like Modest Mouse and Kings of Leon as much as Frank Ocean and Schoolboy Q. Independently, they have over 75 million streams across digital platforms and notched over 45 sold out shows on their first U.S. headline tour. Their engaging distinct live performances have led to stand out sets at festivals such as Bonnaroo, Firefly, Shaky Knees, Hangout, Sasquatch and Austin City Limits, among others. The band worked with GRAMMY award-winning producer Jay Joyce (Cage the Elephant, Sleeper Agent) on their Elektra debut, How to: Friend, Love, Freefall, available everywhere April 6.