Music & Shows Oxford, Mississippi musicians George McConnell and Newt Rayburn.

Published on March 25th, 2014 | by TLV News

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George McConnell and The Cooters to be featured on March 27 PBS Television Show

Oxford Sounds Producer Marie Antoon films George McConnell playing live in Black Wings Studio near Water Valley, Mississippi. Photograph by Newt Rayburn.

Oxford Sounds Producer Marie Antoon films George McConnell playing live in Black Wings Studio near Water Valley, Mississippi. Photograph by Newt Rayburn.

Jackson, Miss. (RPM) – Two of Mississippi’s longest running and most respected Rock bands will be featured on Mississippi Public Broadcasting’s new television show Oxford Sounds on Thursday, March 27, 2014 at 9 pm on PBS TV.

The show features renowned  Mississippi musicians George McConnell and The Cooters, playing hit songs live in the studio with interviews, anecdotes, and behind the scenes footage.

George McConnell is a Vicksburg native who relocated to Oxford and formed the popular band Beanland in the mid-1980s, with Keyboardist John “Jo-Jo” Herman. Both McConnell and Herman later became members of the internationally beloved jam-band, Widespread Panic.

Drummer Kenny Graeber of The Nonclants rocks out hard while Oxford Sounds Producer Marie Antoon films the action. Photograph by Newt Rayburn.

Drummer Kenny Graeber of The Nonclants rocks out hard while Oxford Sounds Producer Marie Antoon films the action. Photograph by Newt Rayburn.

McConnell abruptly left Widespread Panic in 2006 and eventually formed The Nonchalants, with bassist Tommy Turan of Laurel, drummer Kenny Graeber of Yazoo City, and Oxford guitarist Max Williams. The Nonchalants released two albums and several singles to national acclaim, and toured the country.

“‘Oxford Sounds’ is the best of both worlds,” said George. “You’ll get to see great musicians in the studio, recording live, having a good time, without distractions, and making music that will last a lifetime.”

OxfordSounds-NewtRayburn-650

The Cooters bass guitarist Newt Rayburn plays live for the cameras set up to record the Mississippi Public Broadcasting TV show, “Oxford Sounds”. Photograph by Blair McElroy.

Joining George McConnell in this Oxford Sounds episode is one of Mississippi’s longest running bands, The Cooters. Now approaching their 20thanniversary, the Oxford-based group has released dozens of albums and singles, and they’ve toured the country many times over.

Grammy nominated record label T-Bones Records of Hattiesburg discovered The Cooters and released the band’s second album The Moon Will Rise Again to international critical acclaim.

The Cooters released several more records on Profane Existence.

Over the years, The Cooters had award winning media, trademark lawsuits, incarceration, and plenty of controversy with music and art.

Through adversity, The Cooters transitioned from a local Punk band into a RocknRoll institution, becoming one of our state’s most talked about groups.

The Cooters features Oxford, Mississippi natives: Newt Rayburn on bass guitar and vocals, Gentry Webb on guitar, and Mikey Namorato on drums.

Oxford Sounds is the project of Marie Antoon, former Executive Director of Mississippi Public Broadcasting.

"Oxford Sounds" Producer Marie Antoon films a scene with The Cooters at Black Wings Studio near Water Valley, Mississippi. Photograph by Blair McElroy.

“Oxford Sounds” Producer Marie Antoon films a scene with The Cooters at Black Wings Studio near Water Valley, Mississippi. Photograph by Blair McElroy.

Partnering with the Ole Miss’ Journalism School, Antoon produced the show with help from students and local filmographers.

Music in this episode was recorded by Producer Winn McElroy of Clarksdale, and filmed at Black Wings Studio near Water Valley, Mississippi. Thacker Mountain Radio host Jim Dees is the narrator of the program.

Oxford Sounds featuring The Cooters with George McConnell & The Nonchalants will debut at 9 pm on Thursday, March 27, 2014. The show repeats at 10 pm on Sunday, March 30, 2014.

A scene from inside the control room: music Producer Winn McElroy looks on as "Oxford Sounds" Producer Marie Antoon films bassist Tommy Turan and Guitarist Max Williams of the band George McConnell & The Nonchalants. Photograph by Newt Rayburn.

A scene from inside the control room: music Producer Winn McElroy looks on as “Oxford Sounds” Producer Marie Antoon films bassist Tommy Turan and Guitarist Max Williams of the band George McConnell & The Nonchalants. Photograph by Newt Rayburn.

Filmmaker Joe Doolittle videos The Cooters guitarist Gentry Webb playing live on the "Oxford Sounds" MPB television program. Photograph by Newt Rayburn.

Filmmaker Joe Doolittle videos The Cooters guitarist Gentry Webb playing live on the “Oxford Sounds” MPB television program. Photograph by Newt Rayburn.

"Oxford Sounds" Producer Marie Antoon films a scene with The Cooters and music Producer Winn McElroy at Black Wings Studio near Water Valley, Mississippi. Photograph by Newt Rayburn.

“Oxford Sounds” Producer Marie Antoon films a scene with The Cooters and music Producer Winn McElroy at Black Wings Studio near Water Valley, Mississippi. Photograph by Newt Rayburn.

"Oxford Sounds" Producer Marie Antoon and crew film a scene with The Cooters at Black Wings Studio near Water Valley, Mississippi. Photograph by Blair McElroy.

“Oxford Sounds” Producer Marie Antoon and crew film a scene with The Cooters at Black Wings Studio near Water Valley, Mississippi. Photograph by Blair McElroy.

The Cooters drummer Mikey Namorato playing in Black Wings Studio near Water Valley, Mississippi for the MPB television show, "Oxford Sounds". Photograph by Newt Rayburn.

The Cooters drummer Mikey Namorato playing in Black Wings Studio near Water Valley, Mississippi for the MPB television show, “Oxford Sounds”. Photograph by Newt Rayburn.

Gentry Webb, Newt Rayburn, and Mikey Namorato of the Oxford, Mississippi rocknroll band, The Cooters. The band will be featured on the March 27, 2014 episode of "Oxford Sounds" on Mississippi Public Broadcasting TV. Photograph by Winn McElroy.

Gentry Webb, Newt Rayburn, and Mikey Namorato of the Oxford, Mississippi rocknroll band, The Cooters. The band will be featured on the March 27, 2014 episode of “Oxford Sounds” on Mississippi Public Broadcasting TV. Photograph by Winn McElroy.

Gentry Webb, Newt Rayburn, and Mikey Namorato of the Oxford, Mississippi rocknroll band, The Cooters. The band will be featured on the March 27, 2014 episode of "Oxford Sounds" on Mississippi Public Broadcasting TV. Photograph by Winn McElroy.

Gentry Webb, Newt Rayburn, and Mikey Namorato of the Oxford, Mississippi rocknroll band, The Cooters. The band will be featured on the March 27, 2014 episode of “Oxford Sounds” on Mississippi Public Broadcasting TV. Photograph by Winn McElroy.

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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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