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Published on February 9th, 2012 | by Newt Rayburn


The Congress – Live at Oxford Music Festival

The Congress Live at Proud Larry’s

Friday, February 10 ~ 10:30 p.m.

Music Style/Genre:Rock and roll.
Band Members: Jonathan Meadows (vocals, guitar); Scott Lane (guitar); Mark Levy (drums); Dwight Thompson, or Todd Herrington, or Jonathan Meadows, or Scott Lane (bass)
How long have you been together? Two years – ish.
Favorite musicians/bands? Big fan of what was going on between 1968 and 1972. Stones, The Band, Floyd, Dead, Beatles, Shuggie Otis, Al Green, Marvin Gaye, Curtis Mayfield, Otis Redding, anything from Stax / Motown / Chess / Atlantic, Paul Simon, Zappa, you name it. Recent bands that we love are Dr. Dog, Wilco, My Morning Jacket, Drive-by Truckers, anyone who is writing great songs and playing their instruments well.
Did you go to school for music or are y’all self-taught? We’re all on different ends of the spectrum on that. School, self-taught, and both.
Inspiration: Rock and roll.
Where do you practice? We don’t really do that often; we try to stay busy enough playing gigs and let that be our practice. When there’s a new song or arrangement we’ll learn it during a sound check or wherever’s convenient.
Have you ever been hassled for practicing? Negative.
Favorite place in Oxford you’ve played? Proud Larry’s, of course.
Favorite place in the U.S. you’ve played? That’s tough. Oxford has always been wonderful. Richmond, Virginia, and Denver are always great. I love Northern California and San Francisco, and The High Sierra Music Festival was definitely one of the best. Belly Up Aspen is always incredible too. There are a lot of them.
Any festivals lined up for the summer? Haven’t announced any summer dates yet.
Most famous person you’ve jammed with: I don’t know. We’ve jammed with a bunch of super talented and great folks, not sure really how to qualify “famous” in the rock and roll circuit right now. We’ve never played with Justin Bieber. Last time we were in San Fran, Trevor Garrod (of Tea Leaf Green) came and played a big chunk of our show on keys with us – that was fun.
Any hobbies all of you enjoy as a group? Music. Food. Skiing. General good times with good folks.
Where did it all begin? Jonathan’s old band in Richmond, broke up five or six years ago around the time we lived a couple houses down from each other. He was bartending at one of the local music venues and got us in to host a weekly open mic there. We did it for about a year together before I moved out to Colorado (it still goes on to this day) and during that time we started writing and recording together. I asked him a year after moving out here to come live on my couch and try to get something going here. He did.
When performing live, what’s the most important way to liven up a dud crowd? Keep playing rock and roll music.
Where will The Congress be in five years? I’d have to ask Miss Cleo.
Any new bands we shouldn’t miss? All the good ones. Be proactive and go see bands you’ve never heard of!
Got a website?

The Dirty Names Take Over Two Stick Monday, 2/13/2012
Carter Beckworth : Saturday, Jan. 28th at Proud Larry’s in Oxford, Mississippi

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About the Author

Newt Rayburn founded THE LOCAL VOICE in 2006. Previously, Newt was Editor of PROFANE EXISTENCE in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Art Director for Ole Miss' LIVING BLUES magazine. Newt won a National Magazine Award in 1999 for his SOUTHERN MUSIC ISSUE with THE OXFORD AMERICAN. A seventh-generation Lafayette County, Mississippian, Newt is perhaps best known as the leader of the Mississippi RocknRoll band THE COOTERS, but he also has the Country & Southern Rock group, HAWGWASH. Newt is a Photographer, Writer, and Civil War Enthusiast.

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