Published on June 7th, 2023 | by Nature Humphries0
Oxford’s Favorite New Band Proud Hound Wants You to Embrace the Heat with Them
Proud Hound, self-described as Hill Country Blues-Rock, is a four-piece based out of Como, Mississippi. In this year’s Local Favorites Awards, published by The Local Voice, Proud Hound won Favorite New Band, Favorite Guitarist (1st place to Connor Alexander, 3rd place to Kody Harrell), Favorite Bassist (Kane Harrell), and Favorite Drummer (Justin Webb).
What is your favorite thing about the North Mississippi Hill Country Blues Picnic? What makes it stand out compared to other music festivals?
We love the Picnic and come out every year because it just has such a down-home feel. It’s simply a time to get out in the woods, enjoy some music, eat some good food, and just hang with friends and family, much like the community picnics that folks in the area used to throw back in the day. Also, I gotta say, with it being held on the last weekend of June, the heat is oddly enough something that we kind of embrace.
Describe your style. What can picnic attendees expect from your set this year?
We try to bring a little bit of each of our influences to the mix, but the common denominator between the four of us is our love and respect for Hill Country Blues, so our overall sound is firmly rooted in that music and our live shows tend to draw heavily from that songbook; but after we toss in some rock and psychedelia, we wind up with what you might simply call Hill Country Blues-Rock.
How many picnics have you attended or performed? Would you share a favorite memory or two from picnics past?
Between the four of us, we’ve attended most of the Picnics over the years and have been fortunate enough to have our members take the stage at nearly half of them, performing with acts like Garry Burnside Band, North Mississippi Allstars, RL Boyce, Eric Deaton Trio, Burnside Exploration, and Woodstomp, just to name a few.
One of the most memorable years was back in 2021 when the Picnic sold out and Kody got to play second guitar in Luther Dickinson & Friends (with Cedric Burnside & Sharde Thomas) to close out the music on Saturday night. That was a special show made all the more memorable by the fireworks blasting off over the grounds just as the set was coming to its end.
With that said, though, this is our first Picnic performing together as Proud Hound and we just couldn’t be more excited to introduce ourselves to the Picnic family!
If you’ve ever attended a Hill Country Guitar Workshop, please tell us all about the experience and how it has influenced your musicianship.
A couple of us have attended the Guitar Workshops over the years and can say, without a doubt, it has been a key influence in our development as musicians and members of the Hill Country community.
I’d say the most important thing we’ve learned from the workshop is that the Hill Country Blues is all about groove. A ripping guitar solo is cool, but working up a steady boogie is by far the most important thing. But beyond that, I’d say that not only is the workshop a forum for getting first-hand instruction on the Hill Country repertoire, but it also opens up opportunities to develop real relationships with the artists based on a mutual love and respect for the music. We quickly learned that this music is like a language within the community and sharing that common dialect creates strong bonds, which eventually, in our case, has blossomed into opportunities to get to actually work with some of these artists and begin to kick up a little dust along our own path.
Who are your current favorite musicians? Who would you like to jam with this year?
We’ve got great love for so many artists out there. Even if we try to narrow the focus to locals only, it’s impossible to name them all, but in an attempt to throw at least a few names out there, we gotta shout out Luther Dickinson, Cedric Burnside, RL Boyce, Kenny Brown, Cam Kimbrough, Sharde Thomas, and Eric Deaton. As far as jamming goes, we’ll have to see what happens. We all love to play together, so we’ll see what might get cookin’ once we’re out on the Picnic grounds.
Do you have any upcoming projects or shows? How can fans learn more about you?
At this point, the Picnic is Proud Hound’s big gig of the summer, but we’ll be playing out regularly at other venues across North Mississippi beyond that. We always encourage folks to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube if they want to keep up with our whereabouts or check out our music.
Aside from the band, Kane & Kody have been working on a project they’re calling The Harrell Brothers. It’s a scaled-down guitar & bass duo that is a little more intimate and slightly more traditional than the usual rockin’ Proud Hound gigs. They’ll be taking that act across the Gulf South region over the summer and into the fall.
What are some of your current favorite jams?
The first one that jumps to mind is a new record by Mississippi Gabe Carter called “Buffalo Road.” It’s on the Easy Eye Sound label out of Nashville and features our good friends Eric Deaton on bass and Kinney Kimbrough on drums.