Local Festivals

Published on September 21st, 2021 | by TLV News


10th Annual Oxford Blues Festival Continues Friday, September 24

Friday’s lineup features CadillacFunk, Effie Burt, and Lightnin Malcolm

The 10th Annual Oxford Blues Festival continues Friday, September 24, beginning at Harrison’s at 3 pm. Friday night’s headliner is GRAMMY-winner Bobby Rush, who plays at 10 pm following Lightnin’ MalcolmPatrick Sweany and many others.

In addition to the music, starting at 11:30 am Friday, there will be a Historical Walking Blues Food Tour, which will take participants to several restaurants to sample of foods that are mentioned in Blues songs.

“There’s songs about everything—shrimp and grits, catfish, collard greens, pork chops, and we’re going to have a little fun with it,” festival organizer Darryl Parker said. “[The food tour] is designed mostly for people who are coming in from out of town to get familiar with Oxford. Oxford is a foodie town with good people, good restaurants, good music, good food and drink. We’ve got City Grocery, McEwen’s, Moe’s, The Blind Pig, Southern Magnolia, and Oxford Creamery.” The food tour requires a separate ticket, available on the website for $99, which includes all the food and drink samples.

Matt Gaylord and the D13 will kick off Friday’s music at 3 pm. Like the namesake D13 engine, Matt Gaylord and the D13 are a musical powerhouse churning out plenty of thick Hill Country style grooves as well as re-vamped, riff-driven retro rock and soul. The trio consists of Cam Kimbrough (grandson of the late Junior Kimbrough) on drums, Trenton Ayers (Cedric Burnside Project, WolfEagle) on guitar, and Matt Gaylord (student of local Eric Deaton and former Ole Miss attendee) on guitar/vocals.

Following Matt Gaylord is CadillacFunk, who for over ten years has been providing north Mississippi with original funky blues with a New Orleans twist on their sound. There is something fun and enjoyable about this group for all ages. The group is made up of Andrew Yurkow (songwriter) on vocals and guitar; Daniel Hodges on saxophone; Jeff Callaway and Adam Davenport on trombone; Daniel Roebuck on trumpet: Matt Cutlip on drums: James Daigle on bass guitar; Taylor Meador on guitar; and long time friend and co-writer Bill Perry, Jr. on keys and vocals.

At 5:15 pm Johnny Dowd, an American alternative country musician from Ithaca, New York, takes the main stage. Typical of his style are experimental, noisy breaks in his songs and strong gothic elements in the lyrics as well as in the music. There is also a strong undercurrent of black humor and the absurd in his work.

Mike Edmondson has been Johnny Dowd‘s dedicated sideman since the 80’s in Neon Baptist, and in multiple Johnny Dowd Band iterations since. He’s featured on a number of John’s albums, playing everything from keyboards to drums to guitar, as well as singing. Plus he tells great jokes.

“The Great” Effie Burt is sure to draw a crowd at 6:15 pm. Effie, the sixth of 12 children, grew from a muted childhood into vocal womanhood within the borders of Lafayette County. Burt moved to Iowa to finish her education and would go on to earn a degree in police science. She worked at John Deere for 27 years, while also fighting civil rights violations in court time and time again. She eventually returned to Oxford to take care of her mother.

Now in her 60s and a renowned blues and jazz singer who has performed for notable officials and politicians, including President Barack Obama, Burt recounts her experience as an activist during some of Mississippi’s desegregation efforts and discusses her hopes for the future.

Patrick Sweany, in the 7:15 pm slot, lives for the Grooves. Whether it’s the ones he records on his albums, the ones he lays down with his band on the stage, or the ones that define his days writing songs and living life in his East Nashville neighborhood, the Grooves are what have propelled Sweany through 20+ years of performing and recording across 8 studio albums and dozens of countries around the world. Being in the Groove is Sweany’s recipe for success.

Together with his touring band, Sweany recently reworked about a dozen older songs, and even tracked a cover and a never-released tune. He began working with local producer Dexter Green at 3 Sirens Studio. Dex began meticulously shaping and mixing them, and the album Get That Feeling was born.

Cutting edge Mississippi Bluesman Lightnin Malcolm, a charismatic and energetic guitarslinger with a deep soulful voice, has taken his irresistible dance grooves from Juke Joint teen years to World Stages with mainstream artists such as Robert Plant, Jimmy Buffett, Robert Cray, The Black Keys, Widespread Panic, Big Head Todd, North Mississippi Allstars, Lucero and Gary Clark Jr. He will follow Patrick Sweany at 9 pm.

Malcolm learned directly from Blues Masters touring with R.L. Burnside, T Model Ford, Big Jack Johnson, Robert Belfour etc… Developing a uniquely funky and hypnotic Bass/Rhythm/Lead simultaneous “full band” Guitar sound, as One Man Band with foot drums or Power Duo with drummer (notably Cedric Burnside). In 2009 Malcolm won Blues Music Award Emerging Artist, fusing raw electrifying Blues power and fresh melodic songwriting with elements of Funk, Soul, Rock, Reggae, Hip Hop, African World Beat, Gospel and Country to create an Authentic melodic signature sound. He’s released a string of critically acclaimed albums for Mississippi Indie label ShakeDown Records while playing 1,000s of Live Shows Worldwide.

Lightnin Malcolm’s 2021 studio release Turnt Up On Loud featuring 11 brand new good time original songs is his most focused and adventurous album yet.

Finally, blues legend and two-time GRAMMY-winner Bobby Rush will take the stage as the Friday night headliner. Click here to read his story.

Tickets are on sale now at www.oxfordbluesfest.com, and you can also walk up and buy tickets the day of the events. There is an early bird option if you buy online, so it will be cheaper than if you walk up and buy tickets. General Admission is $35 per day, or you can get a two-day pass for $55.

The VIP experience runs $180 per day, or two-days for $300. VIP perks make the higher ticket price well worth it with special padded seating close to the stage, shade tents, catered food, free beverages, a special cash bar, a private entry, and high-end bathrooms. You can find more details about VIP perks on the website.

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About the Author

The Local Voice is a bimonthly entertainment guide and newspaper based in Oxford, Mississippi, covering and distributed in North Central Mississippi, including Oxford, Ole Miss, Taylor, Abbeville, Water Valley, Lafayette County, Yalobusha County, and parts of Panola County, Marshall County, and Tupelo . The Local Voice is distributed free to over 255 locations in North Mississippi and also available as a full color PDF download worldwide on the internet.

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