Published on April 22nd, 2015 | by Nature Humphries0
Double Decker Festival 2015 Friday & Saturday April 24-25
The 20th Annual Double Decker Festival will feature a variety of regional and local music from the Graduate Hotel Stage. Showcasing talents of area musicians, the stage will be located on North Lamar Boulevard. From locals like Kenny Brown, Daniel Karlish, and Greater Pyrenees to larger known bands such as JJ Grey & Mofro and headliner Trampled by Turtles, this year’s lineup has raised the bar. Check out each bands’ bio below for music pleasure and decide which one’s for you.
By Candace Parker-Dickerson
On Friday, April 24 Water Liars will be performing on the Graduate Hotel Stage to officially start Double Decker weekend. And what a way to start it. With a sound as thick and stirring as the air on a warm Mississippi evening, the music Water Liars creates is the perfect soundtrack to a spring night on the Square.
Consisting of bassist GR Robinson and founding members Justin Kinkel-Schuster (vocals/ guitar) and Andrew Bryant (drums/vocals), the band has three critically acclaimed albums under their belt: Phantom Limb (2012), Wyoming (2013), and Water Liars (2014). Not to mention, they’ve been recognized by publications like The New York Times and Spin as well as networks like MTV.
The Mississippi-based band has a catalog full of simple, yet unforgettable, melodies and lyrics so full of pain, heartbreak, and passion so beautifully displayed that they are sure to captivate any audience. This raw emotion is perfectly exhibited on tracks “Fine Art” from the album, Wyoming, as Kinkel-Schuster sings, “ And I haven’t slept in thirty days, I twist and bend like a dying snake / He takes it out of me / And I don’t need you to tell me how far I have to go,
There’s no such thing as distance, it’s only miles left on the road.”
If you want a performance to seep into the innermost parts of your being and stir your soul, don’t miss this one.
Saturday, 10:15 am
For more information on Greater Pyrenees, read Candace Parker-Dickerson’s interview here.
Saturday, 11:30 am
Daniel Karlish is a home-grown badass. Check out TLV’s Q&A with Daniel here!
Saturday, 1 pm
Kenny Brown is often referred to as R.L. Burnside’s “adopted son,” but he’s been a staple of the Mississippi Hill Country Blues scene for decades.
Saturday, 2:30 pm
Though her father, Terrance Simien, may be the more widely-recognized name (particularly after his 2014 Grammy Win for “Dockside Sessions,” on which she was a vocalist), Marcella Simien has been gaining traction with her Creole-infused take on the classic R&B sounds of Memphis. Originally from Lafayette, Louisiana, Marcella & Her Lovers sport a distinctly soulful sound that is at once tastefully mature and refreshingly unhinged.
Since moving to Memphis in the fall of 2009, Marcella has been gigging regularly throughout the area. Her soulful croon and her band’s self-described “swamp soul” sound have been a natural fit in the Memphis scene, and this stop-off at Double Decker interrupts her regular string of shows in Memphis, Mississippi, and Louisiana for 2015.
Saturday, 4 pm
Elliot Root, an alternative rock act from Nashville, displays an affection for well-written songs coupled with the polished, professional sound typical of many Music City bands. What sets them apart, however, is their approach in bringing these compositions to life; their guitar-based sound is far from predictable, as the band’s textured soundscapes lend each song its own flavor. Soaring vocals, booming drums, and a tasteful use of effects contribute to a complex sound that belies their four-piece lineup.
Their latest record, simply titled EP II, is available online alongside their debut, ER EP. A third EP, Thoughts From Yesterday, will drop on May 18.
Saturday, 5:30 pm
A Birmingham, Alabama-based sextet, St. Paul & The Broken Bones bring promises of a great soul band. Front man, Paul Janeway brings a gospel background that has transformed into a groove of grit, elemental rhythm and profound depth of feeling. In fact, Janeway was groomed to be a minster, and the only secular music he was allowed to listen to growing up was a 70s group called the Stylistics and Sam Cooke. Later on, St. Paul would begin to listen to Otis Redding, James Carr, and O.V. Wright. That music made his ears tingle and the rest is history. The Band was recently featured on Late Show with David Letterman and is scheduled to play the Jimmie Rodgers Festival in Meridian on May 2nd.
Saturday, 7 pm
J.J. Grey hails from Jacksonville, Florida, and flaunts a style that can most succinctly be described as “Southern.” His voice is packed with the grit and power typical of blues, R&B, and soul. His band, Mofro, displays similar influences, but more importantly, balances them into a tight, coherent sound. Their reputation for musicianship attracted guest appearances from the likes of Derek Trucks and Toots Hibbert on their 2010 album, Georgia Warhorse.
Saturday, 8:30 pm
Trampled by Turtles is a five-piece folk rock band originally from Duluth, Minnesota.
Though they rose to national prominence alongside other folk-minded acts (The Avett Brothers, Mumford & Sons, etc.), they can hardly be accused of capitalizing on a trend.
Formed in 2003, the band made their name touring festivals throughout the midwest before 2012’s Stars and Satellites sold 100,000 copies and led to an appearance on “Letterman.”
A variety of influences is reflected in their acoustic sound: frantic bluegrass fiddling, laid-back Americana picking, and ever-present sweeping vocal harmonies.
A reverence for alternative rock can also be found in their songwriting, and rather obviously in covers such as their popular version of The Pixies’ “Where is my Mind?”.
They are hardly new to festivals, with performances at Coachella, Lollapalooza, and Bonnaroo under their belts. What’s more, they founded and headlined their own festival, Festival Palomino, last year in their native Minnesota.