Local Music

Published on June 8th, 2023 | by Nature Humphries


Talkin’ Blues with Jamie and Rosamond Posey of Rocket 88

Rocket 88 will play at the North Mississippi Hill Country Picnic Saturday, June 24 at 10 am

JR (Jamie & Rosie) will play at “Hill Country PIcnic Preview” show at Proud Larry’s Friday, June 16 with Kenny Brown and Garry Burnside

Tell me about your new duo project, J.R. The first show will be at Proud Larrys on June 16.
Jamie Posey:
We’re planning on it being loud and raw! We’re calling it J.R., for Jamie and Rosie. I’m playing an electric guitar wide open. She’s playing drums. So it’s just going to be us so … our mind meld is more on display. Our telekinesis, I guess you could say. No, not telekinesis, telepathy. We’re not moving shit around.
Rosamond Posey: I guess we kinda are, though …

You have to move it with your mind.
We’ll play some songs from our catalog from Rocket 88 that are really just unrecorded originals. And then we’re going to play some Hill Country for sure because, you know, there needs to be more Hill Country played. You know, we’ve got Garry [Burnside], but really most [Hill Country] players are touring outward, you know, not in town. We’re billing it as a Hill Country Picnic preview. So, we’re going to have Garry and then Kenny [Brown], after that, solo. Both of them solo. And then we’ll close it.

Well, what made y’all decide to do the duo thing?
Well, we had Jimbo’s drums in the house …
R: During Covid.
J: So we both learned to play drums because they were there … I learned to play piano also during Covid. Sometimes it’s just she and I, and that’s what we would do. Switch up too. It’s pretty loose and fluid. And you know, we’re gonna do some covers that we’ve never done. Like I want to do “Riders on the Storm.” I want it to sound hard and edgy, and then like you’re walking into a Quentin Tarantino movie.

That sounds cool. Well, I hope you do more gigs as J.R. because that sounds killer and I hate to miss it.
Yeah, we’re going to. And plus, here’s I want to encourage Rosie to do—and she’s on the fence—I want her every show to do something funky with her hair. Like one that’s some big poofy pigtails …
R: No!
J: Maybe the next one has some cornrows or whatever. Like every show I want her to do something crazy with her hair, make that part of the deal, because I think that’d be bad ass.

Yeah, that is a great idea.
Now just find me a hairstylist, that’ll be step one.
J: Well we all know what she can do with that hair. She can twist it and do all kinds of stuff with it. She’s a master braider.
[Everyone laughs]

What’s your favorite thing about the Picnic? Why does it stand out compared to other festivals?
I like kicking it off on Friday. We’re always the first band, Rocket 88. We’re going to be first or second this year, too, but I like starting the festival.
J: I like the family part of it. It’s a big family reunion. It really is. All those people I was telling you about earlier that are playing out [on tour]. Well, they come back for [the Picnic], so it’s like a family reunion. [Lots of] hugs and laughs and stories, smiles. Oh man, sitting in front of that big fan, watching the next band get ready, and going out front and looking at looking at it there. Of course, you got the crafts and everything on the top of the hill.

Who are some of your favorite Hill Country artists? Who would you love to sit in with or collaborate with at the Picnic?
R.L. Burnside. You know Junior Kimbrough, of course. T-Model Ford. I’ve played with Garry [Burnside] a few times. Me and Garry went to Garry’s bar [in Ripley] with Patrick Mcclary and Nathan [Robbins] and played. Garry played drums, and man, it’s one of the best shows I’ve played, we just absolutely crushed it. I love playing with Garry. On Thacker Mountain Radio, me, Garry and Kenny [Brown] all played together.

What else is Rocket 88 up to? I know y’all play every other Sunday at Rafters for brunch.
We do, and that’s kind of like our unplugged version—me, Rosamond, Nathan, and Eric Carlton. And we do a lot of gospel, like moving gospel, hopping, whatever you want to say. It’s not the boring [kind of] gospel. We do it like Duff would sing it. You know, we did some Duff covers. It’s a lively acoustic set.

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About the Author

Nature Humphries is Editor-in-Chief of The Local Voice. Nature is originally from Vicksburg, Mississippi, but moved to Oxford in 2004 after spending time in the United States Navy. She has also worked in the restaurant industry for many years as a server and a bartender. Nature graduated from Ole Miss in 2007 with a degree in English and Modern Languages.

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