Published on January 8th, 2015 | by TLV News

The Whiskey Barrels – Voted Oxford’s Favorite Band in “The Townies” 2015


In December when the Local Favorites results came out, many were surprised to learn that one band in particular dominated the music categories. Last year, The Whiskey Barrels secured the “Favorite New Band” award, and this year managed to not only snag the coveted “Favorite Local Band” award, but four out of five of the members won their respective categories.

IMG_3916The Whiskey Barrels are, pictured here left to right: Collin Bowen, “Oxford’s Favorite Guitar Player”; Kevin Hindman, “Oxford’s Favorite Bass Player” (and “Oxford’s Favorite Beard”); Richard Zepeda, “Oxford’s Favorite Drummer” (two years in a row!); and Jody Bevill, “Oxford’s Favorite Vocalist.” Not pictured with the band is Kyle Jones, who placed second in the “Favorite Pianist/Keyboardist” category, which was once again awarded to Bill Perry, Jr.

A Whiskey Barrels show is a loud, rowdy good time, full of crowd-pleasing songs (often covers) played with a unique twist. Plus, they love to take requests! When they played at Proud Larrys’ last October to a packed house, fans were treated to a rockin’ medley of hits from the 90s. Check out the band on Facebook, and watch a video at of the band jamming their version of “Shine,” by Collective Soul. Catch them at Larry’s again Thursday, January 8th.

Where are you from, and how long have you been in Oxford?

Collin: I’m originally from Tupelo. I came here in 2002 to attend college at Ole Miss and never left!
Jody: I’m from Lexington, Miss., but I’ve been in Oxford since 2005.
Kevin: I am originally from a shitty town called Port Gibson, Miss., but I have been living in Oxford since 2006.
Kyle: I’m originally from Mobile, Ala., and I actually live in Jackson, but have been playing in Oxford since 2010, my first year of law school.
Richard: Originally from Los Angeles, and moved to Oxford in 1997.

web-KevinHindmanWhat instruments do you play? What’s your favorite?

CB: Guitar, Drums, Mandolin, Trombone; guitar is my favorite.
JB: I bang on the guitar sometimes, but in the band, I just sing. I’d have to say I most enjoy playing and am probably best at the cowbell.
KH: I play guitar, mandolin, kazoo, and bass. Bass is probably my favorite but I like guitar a lot, too.
KJ: I play piano, guitar, trumpet, and mandolin proficiently. I dabble in a number of others but rarely perform on anything other than those four.
RZ: I play drums, know enough guitar to play rhythm, and have been messing around with percussion cajons.

How did you learn to play?

CB: My father taught me how to play when I was ten. He strung one of his Schecter electric guitars left handed for me, taught me an “A” chord, and I was off to the races. He would teach me any song I wanted to learn, and I would sit in my room for hours until I had it down. Eventually I started learning songs on my own. I’ve always learned by ear, no tabs for me.
JB: My dad plays guitar, much better than I do. He decided when I was around 13 that I should play too. I decided when I was about 18 that he was right.
KH: My good friend, Lonesome Mel McFatter, taught me and my brother how to tune and play a guitar when we were about 13. He has been playing for years and my first gig was opening up for him when I was about 16 (we sucked so bad). If you make it to one of our shows and see a super rad cat tearing up the harmonicas, that will be Mel.
KJ: I was classically trained on piano from age seven to 17, everything else I picked up on my own.
RZ: My dad is a musician so I pretty much just sat down behind a kit and went from there. Listened to a lot of different drummers and just tried to pick up on what they were playing.

web-KyleJonesEarly music experience:

CB: Both my mother and father played music and had excellent singing voices. I started listening to classic rock around them at a very young age. My mother would sing harmony in the car and teach me. Then we would sing things together and harmonize. I started playing guitar when I was ten. One of my fondest memories is playing “Landslide” and my mother singing it.
JB: My favorite memories related to music are without a doubt hanging out with my dad and listening to records. Almost nightly. Creedence, The Eagles, etc… That’s also without a doubt the first place I ever sang.
RZ: Been around it all my life

web-JodyBevillYour music Style/Genre:

CB: I enjoy playing all types of music. My guitar style has really evolved over the years, and continues to do so. I’m a big fan of improvisation when it comes to guitar solos. I like to make things my own. I started out soloing to blues music. Then eventually got into metal, a little classical, and now I’m kind of on a bluegrass kick. Of course I have my own style that has developed over the years, and it sort of incorporates a little bit of everything; however I’d say my “go-to” would be sort of a neoclassical shred style of soloing. This is mainly just because I love doing it. I can slow it down and play a little blues believe it or not.
KH: My main musical passion is progressive metal. I have played bass in all different styles and prog metal is the only one that really challenges me. I love to write in odd time signatures and do weird stuff on the bass. I have never been the type of bassist to just sit in the back and rock the quarter notes and I love to improv. I like to mix all of the styles I have learned together and see what comes out.
KJ: I’d like to think I can carry myself in multiple genres, but country and classic rock are where I’m most at home.
RZ: Rock is my favorite genre to play but I try to play a little bit of every style.

IMG_3896What bands have you been in? What projects are still ongoing?

CB: I have been in several bands since I was 13. I also played trombone in the band in grade school. I grew up playing with my dad’s bands mostly in the Tupelo / Pontotoc area. When I was 15 I started playing guitar for a band called Reaching Jane out of Tupelo. We played all over the place. After that I started playing with my dad again in a band called Shovelhead. Then I was in Fat Man Irby, Seven Priest Society (a metal cover band), and now the Whiskey Barrels. I also currently play in a band out of Tupelo called Stereofuzz. We are a three-piece band in which I cover guitar and vocals. We have played a couple gigs here in Oxford, so you might see us around a bit as well.
IMG_3997JB: Collin, Kyle, and I have been playing together for quite a while now. At first as an acoustic trio and eventually in a band we called Big J and the Cottonmouths. The Whiskey Barrels is the only band I sing in now.
KH: The Whiskey Barrels! We get pretty rowdy and loud so look out for us! I have played with Silas Reed, Hi-Grade, Delta Death Trip, Faulkner Alley, a few other Oxford bands that I can’t recall, and Lonesome Mel and all the variations of his bands. I got a chance to play bass for him at the Flora-Bama for the “Frank Brown International Songwriters Festival” in 2012. I also played in a few metal and hard rock bands in Jackson in the past; Flagship and We Look Like Giants were my favorites. The band I had prior to moving to Oxford did really well and we were getting looked at by some record labels before internal issues with our lousy drummer killed us. We were called Moral Panic back then and we have an album somewhere.
IMG_4003KJ: I’ve been in numerous bands growing up, but as far as Oxford goes: Bancher, Attractive Nuisance, Adrian Dickey, and Keith Sanders. Collin, Jody, and I have been in several incarnations of the current band as well.
RZ: I have played with Attractive Nuisance, Adrian Dickey (briefly), The Gutter Daisies, and currently with The Whiskey Barrels.

What was the first concert you witnessed?

CB: Trisha Yearwood in Tupelo. I went with my mom when I was very young.
JB: I’d say there’s a pretty good chance it was Lucero.
KH: Lonesome Mel was the first act I remember as a kid, but the first real concert was Bonnie Raitt when I was about 16.
KJ: Lynyrd Skynyrd, but obviously with the post-crash 90s line up.
RZ: First actual concert was my dad when he played with a Latin band.

web-ColinBowenWhat are some of your favorite bands?

CB: Dream Theater, Nevermore, Extreme… I enjoy watching American Aquarium, Lucero, and any of the bands that my friends play in.
JB: Waylon Jennings, Otis Redding, Jason Isbell, Lucero, Keith Whitley. Love Townes Van Zandt. Also, I listen to a lot of classic Memphis rap. 3-6 Mafia, Project Pat, Frayser Boy, Tommy Wright III, etc…
KH: Gojira, Oh Sleeper, Mastodon, BTBAM, Underoath, Fall of Troy, Lamb of God, Rush, The Mars Volta.
KJ: Skynyrd, and most southern rock groups from The Allman Brothers to Marshall Tucker. The Band is definitely up there, too. I can appreciate anything showcasing musicianship so I like anything from Rush, Boston, and Toto, to Hank Williams, Sr., Jr., and Jason Isbell.
RZ: Led Zeppelin (all time favorite), Santana, The Who, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Mötley Crue, Alice Cooper, Guns N’ Roses, AC/DC, White Snake, Queen, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Matchbox 20, Taking Back Sunday, and the list will go on for days if I don’t stop.

One thing you would like to change about Oxford’s music scene:

CB: I believe the Oxford music scene is unique and special; I think it’s great just the way it is. You have a little something for everyone.
JB: I’d get paid more to play.
KH: I wish we would bring in more big name acts that aren’t country or Modest Mouse-ish.
KJ: Oxford has a phenomenal music scene, so I guess I’d want to see more of it: more band-friendly venues!

web-RichardZepedaThe best thing about Oxford’s music scene:

CB: Diversity
JB: I love the variety and also how accessible the music scene is. If you can play an instrument or carry a tune, you can probably play somewhere in Oxford. At the same time, we have huge acts come through every other weekend. It’s a convenient place to live if you like….well if you like to live.
KH: The locals!! The bands get a ton of support from the locals. I love it.
KJ: The sheer talent around town. Hard to find a bad set.

Most famous person you’ve jammed with:

CB: I was in a band that opened up for Jessica Andrews once. That was kind of cool.
JB: Kevin Hindman. He has Oxford’s favorite beard.
KH: I know I have jammed with someone famous before, but I can’t remember at the moment. Too many drinks between then and now I suppose.
KJ: That would have to be Jimmy Hall, from Wet Willie. He also was Hank, Jr.’s band leader for a number of years.
RZ: Josh Kelly

IMG_4012Do you have a “day job”? If so, where?

CB: I work from home as a Server Administrator for an electronic health records company.
JB: I’m a second year law student. So I do a lot of hanging out.
KH: I was bartending at a few places but I quit so I could concentrate on finishing up my degree. I just graduated Ole Miss with an electrical engineering degree!
KJ: I’m an attorney in the Jackson, Miss., area.
RZ: When I’m not playing I work at Tequila’s Mexican Restaurant in Oxford and at La Pera Tapatia in Collierville Tenn.

IMG_3876Where do you like to hang out in Oxford?

CB: Rib Cage. Is that really a question? #HOMEBASE
JB: Rib Cage. Maybe, if I’m feeling real fancy, City Grocery. Rib Cage again. I also love seeing bands and drinking at Ajax.
KH: The Ribcage is my home base, but I also like to hang out at the Library and Frank & Marlee’s (best wings hands down!).
KJ: Rib Cage, Larry’s, and Brary.
RZ: I’m either at home base the Rib Cage or at The Library.


CB: I have no intention of trying to make it big. I enjoy music and I plan on playing and making the most of this as long as I physically am able.
JB: Hopefully, in a couple of years, I’ll be a rich attorney who also sings in a real rowdy band.
KH: I am about to move to Nashville and jump into the music scene there. Maybe you will hear me on the radio soon!
KJ: Make enough money with the day job to allow me to continue playing music with awesome people the rest of my life.  The Local Voice Ligature


This article was originally printed in The Local Voice #220 (published January 8, 2015).
To download a PDF of this issue, click here.

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About the Author

The Local Voice is a bimonthly entertainment guide and newspaper based in Oxford, Mississippi, covering and distributed in North Central Mississippi, including Oxford, Ole Miss, Taylor, Abbeville, Water Valley, Lafayette County, Yalobusha County, and parts of Panola County, Marshall County, and Tupelo . The Local Voice is distributed free to over 255 locations in North Mississippi and also available as a full color PDF download worldwide on the internet.

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