Published on March 6th, 2015 | by TLV News0
Local Music Notes (TLV #223 – February 19, 2015)
Have you ever heard a Heavy Metal band with only two members? Probably not, and even if you have, I’m certain they didn’t rock nearly as hard or sound anywhere close as good as Oxford, Mississippi’s Drum & Bass favorites, The Heard. Featuring Drummer and Vocalist Jace Hughes and Bassist Brian Hatch, The Heard have been making waves locally for the last year. They have a newly released EP available at shows, and the video for their song “Inside Your Head,” was recently voted Oxford’s “Favorite Music Video.” Recorded live at Proud Larrys’ on The Square last August, “Inside Your Head” is a rocknroll trip worthy of The Heard, Proud Larrys’ and Director Newt Rayburn. The video will be featured at the 12th Annual Oxford Film Festival at 4 pm on February 28, 2015 at Malco Cinema Theater.
Oxford, Mississippi Hip Hop band Fadetoblaq has a new member, Chealsea Williams-Simpson, a.k.a. Lovely Tygress. And by calling them a “band,” we mean they are a band in the truest sense, and not just a rap group. Featuring Vocalist and Lyricist Demetrios Brown, this Oxford ensemble kicks ass! Drummer Zechariah Tillotson, Guitarist Kent Poss, Saxophonist Charles Washington, and Keyboardist Bill Perry Jr. have been a staple of Oxford’s music scene for a few years now. Shows are March 5th at Ajax Diner and March 21st at The Blind Pig.
Speaking of keyboardist Bill Perry Jr., The Bill Perry Project appeared on “Local Memphis Live” (ABC Memphis) on February 9th, and again on “Live at 9” (CBS Memphis) on February 18th. Bill’s jazz trio also features bass badass Keith “Doc Prana” Fondren and drummer Joe Eagle. Easily find the links at www.facebook.com/billperryproject and catch Perry live (almost) every Tuesday night during Happy Hour at Lamar Lounge.
Water Valley, Mississippi indie rock band Water Liars have been chosen once again for The Valley of the Vapors Independent Music Festival in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Read that sentence again. I know it’s a little confusing, but it’s accurate and I’ll wait… If you like to travel to not-so-far-away places for good music, get your early-bird pass for this March 20-24 music festival at www.valleyofthevapors.com. Also, Water Liars have some awesome new shirts—email waterliars firstname.lastname@example.org to order. Last but not least: see them perform a ‘fresh session’ of “Let It Breathe” and “Swannanoa” plus a new song, “Call The Tune,” over at www.ourvinyl.tv/play/water-liars .
He might be relatively unknown to most of us around these parts, but guitarist Kenny Mac hails from Tupelo and the Mississippi Delta area, but now he calls Oxford home. Kenny Mac’s Mother’s cousin is Conway Twitty and both artists can trace their musical roots back to Kenny Mac’s Grandmother, Annie Pruitt, who taught the boys how to play guitar. After many years as a studio musician, Kenny Mac is finally going the solo route. He has signed a record distribution agreement with California-based 1 Voice Records, a division of EuroStates Music..
An album of previously unreleased songs by the late Roebuck “Pops” Staples was released on February 17. Titled Don’t Lose This, the record features ten songs originally recorded in 1999 by the Winona, Mississippi-born gospel staple before his passing the next year. It includes new vocals by Pops’ daughter Mavis Staples and a bassline by Jeff Tweedy (Tweedy previously produced two of Mavis’ albums and the former Staple Singer recruited him to help get the record out); Tweedy’s 18-year-old son Spencer drums on the record, too. This record is the March selection for The End Of All Music’s “Record of the Month Club.”
Oxford Punk Band The Unwed Teenage Mothers were featured on the ABC Family TV show The Fosters on Monday, February 16. The band had the super tough task of playing themselves rocking out at a warehouse “Pharm Party,” and they certainly did a knock out, bang up job. There were some great close-ups on bassist Johnny Valiant and his killer mustache, and lots and lots of hair from guitarist Colin Sneed and Landon Boyte. Unfortunately for Oxford’s music scene, it looks like the band is preparing to move to North Carolina, to join front man Colin Sneed who moved out there last year. Johnny Valiant says he’s shooting to move around June, with Landon drummer Shane Prewitt to head up there later in the year.
Local Songwriter and Guitarist Tyler Keith has released his own version of National Public Radio’s Tiny Desk Concert. NPR’s hit internet show has featured such performers as Trey Anastasio, Lucinda Williams, and Cat Stevens. The Ole Miss rocker, who’s infamous in the Mid-South for his bands The Neckbones, The Preacher’s Kids, and The Apostles, has put his own unique spin on the concept, calling it the “Tiny Abandoned Desk Concert.” The 18-minute long film was shot in the backwoods of Lafayette County, Mississippi by photographer Mike Stanton at an abandoned shack with plenty of junk around it. Keith flips an old wooden desk over at the beginning of the film and proceeds to play on top of it, performing five of his hit tunes, including “Kid Twist,” “Do It For Johnny,” and “Don’t Look On My Darkside.” Dogs barking and cars passing nearby are the icing on the cake for this Mississippi rocknroll gem of a film.
This article was originally printed in The Local Voice #223 (published February 19, 2015.)
To download a PDF of this issue, click here.