Published on September 16th, 2014 | by Nature Humphries0
Local Music Legends Come Together for Hill Country Records Showcase
Party at Proud Larry’s on Thursday, September 18th
Oxford, Miss (TLV) – On Thursday, September 18th, Proud Larry’s will host the Hill Country Records Showcase, which will kick off with a Happy Hour listening party followed by a “Writers in the Round” show. The Eric Deaton Trio will be the icing on the cake with a concert to close out the night.
The showcase will start around 6 pm. Producer Ted Gainey said, “I have a playlist in iTunes that is a sampler—it has a couple of tracks from each artist that’s on the showcase and we’ll just run that through the PA so that people can mingle and get their drinks and eat and listen to some Hill Country Records product.” Many of the artists’ CDs will be available for sale at Proud Larry’s, so make sure to bring some cash to pick up a copy of your favorite.
A similar event took place in Jackson, Mississippi, at Duling Hall on September 6th that was a success and well-attended. The purpose of the event is to celebrate the Hill Country Records label and promote some of the new and upcoming releases.
“They’re just all friends of ours and we’re producing, manufacturing, or distributing their records in one way or another, and we just decided to have a party,” said Gainey. Many of the artists on the bill have worked together on various projects and have a special rapport that will shine through in the Writers in the Round portion of the night. “They’ll play probably for about three hours,” Gainey said, “just taking turns, playing songs, and jamming with each other and what not, telling stories, laughing, and having a good time.”
Justin Showah (bass player extraordinaire) started Hill Country Records in 2008 with the idea of working with Mississippi musicians to distribute their music to the world. He worked with artists such as LC Ulmer, Robert Earl Reed, Afrissippi, and more, steadily building the reputation of Hill Country Records. In 2011 Showah opened The Crawdad Hole in Water Valley, Mississippi, and in May of this year brought in friend and collaborator Ted Gainey to help out with the record label. Gainey has assumed something of a management position and has evolved the label’s website to be a sort of online store, selling records with artists taking the lion’s share of the proceeds. You can purchase CDs and albums directly from the Hill Country Records web site, http://www.HillCountryRecords.com knowing that you are helping to support the artists.
Thursday night should be a fun event, with no shortage of Oxford and Mississippi players. Mark your calendars to come out and hear some of your favorites, meet a new face or two, and pick up some of the excellent music that our great state of Mississippi is famous for.
George McConnell’s 2013 release, Cheers Sports Fans!, grabbed a lot of local fans’ attention. Recorded with his band, The Nonchalants, the album “is the sound of a talented man in a good place in life,” writes Brian Robins for Relix. George will be re-releasing Cheers Sports Fans! on vinyl, a project that is nearing completion. George is a Vicksburg native who moved to Oxford in the 1980s, where he formed the legendary band Beanland. George was later a member of Widespread Panic, too.
Tate Moore has been an Oxford staple for a long time, both as a musician (Kudzu Kings, The Cosmic Door) and owner of Square Pizza. With a successful Kickstarter campaign to fund his newest release, Avalon, the singer-songwriter will continue his reign of the Oxford music scene.
Jim Ellis’ debut album, Friend Behind Your Back, was released early 2014. In The Local Voice #195, Carl Massengale wrote that Jim “had gained notoriety during the early 2000s as a member of Duff [Dorrough] & The Revelators… Jim’s gruff yet mellow vocal timbre had lent a thick Delta tone to the group’s lively harmonies.” Ellis’ contributions to Dorrough’s final recording was the inspiration for Ted Gainey to produce Ellis’ record.
Cary Hudson (The Hilltops, Blue Mountain) is one of Mississippi’s most prolific artists. He has a huge body of work, including contributing to fellow musicians Bobby Rush, RL Burnside, and Shannon McNally (to name a few) and is maintaining a fulfilling solo career.
Carl Massengale, “honorary Revelator and onetime drummer for Cleveland band The Esquires (with Charlie Jacobs and Jim Ellis), delivered harmony vocals” for Jim Ellis’ album, Friend Behind Your Back.
Tyler Keith is known around these parts by his many various incarnations: The Preacher’s Kids, The Apostles, Kid Twist, The Neckbones; but the bottom line is that he is a true Oxford Rock Star. He’s contributed to so much here and beyond, that we couldn’t even imagine an Oxford music scene without him in it, front and center.
Ron Etheridge is a singer/songwriter born and raised in the heart of the Delta in Greenville, Mississippi. “Roots inspired folk music, or Americana,” is how Etheridge describes his music. He has a new record called A Mad Man’s Masterpiece that will be available at the show.
Holley Peel came to Oxford from The Delta last year, and has quickly established herself in the Oxford scene. With an EP recorded at Tweed Studios, her debut album is in the works with an expected October release date. Holding My Breath is the tentative title of her Ted Gainey-produced first effort.
This article was originally printed in The Local Voice #212 (published September 11, 2014). To download a PDF of this issue, click HERE.