Monday, January 12, 2009

Support Your Local Musicians

These past few years Mississippi has become a hot bed for talent that can't really be explained. The musicians coming out of our great state are unquestionably one of the biggest surprises that I could've imagined. Let me preface this by saying that the talent here is unreal, and that it is certainly a great place to be for up and coming music in the ever growing quagmire that is the music industry today.

Colour Revolt's members first played together while they were high school students at Jackson Academy in Jackson, MS under the name Foxxe, then changing to Fletcher and releasing a full length entitled "Friends Don't Speak". They then moved on to become college students at Ole Miss in Oxford, MS. They take their current name from Edwin Abbott's mathematical novel, Flatland. The group had intended to record their first EP in Mississippi in August of 2005, but Hurricane Katrina interrupted the recording session, and so they recorded it in the house of local label Esperenza Plantation's owner. The self-titled EP came out in December of 2005. They then signed with Fat Possum Records; their full-length debut, produced by Clay Jones, was released on April 1, 2008. In 2008, Boston newspaper The Phoenix named them the Best New Band from Mississippi.

We've already talked about this next artist on the blog before, but he must be mentioned again with his impending success in the next few months. Dent May is a local favorite from Jackson, MS. He attended NYU Film School, and found his home in the music of Serge Gainsbourg and Lee Hazlewood. He returned to Mississippi soon after NYU to join the southern studies program at the University of Mississippi. May was also a member of a Mississippi power pop group called the Rockwells. As a quirky, self-styled pop showman, May fronts a four-man indie pop ensemble called Dent May & His Magnificent Ukulele, in which he sings and plays the eponymous stringed instrument. The group is signed to Paw Tracks.

John Barrett's Bass Drum of Death is a local Oxford guy recently signed by Fat Possum Records. He just released a 7" vinyl record and is a staple in the local Oxford music scene. He is a one man show with only his guitar and kick drum that combines lo-fi, blues riffs and keeping time with the single bass drum. True to Mississippi, his music is the essence of the blues with an added harder edge, and the simplicity of the beats only adds to the appeal . He'll soon be featured on the SXSW lineup in Austin, TX. Not to be missed. Check this kid out.

Sanders Bohlke is a friend to many of us. His soulful songwriting has been familiar to a lot of us for going on 5 years now. This guy's conviction in his lyrics and voice is unmatched. I really don't know a person who puts so much of himself into his music and his vocals as this guy. One of my favortie acts in Oxford and my favorite people in general is sure to make his break soon. Rumors that he will soon sign a deal with a major label have been floating around for months. He's an amazing singer/songwriter and even greater person. His music has been featured on 2 televisons shows, "Army Wives" and "State of Mind". Keep an eye on this guy.

Owen Beverly aka Owen Evans. "I'm a hypocrite, that's the whole deal. I guess sometimes you wake up and decide your gonna follow up your semi successful prog rock EP with a country folk record." - Owen Beverly on July 4th, 2008. Veering from the hard rock of his 2003 debut The Drunk Lover EP, his new album Shooting the Bull is a country folk CD that showcases Owen Beverly's versatile songwriting and arranging talents. Owen Beverly was playing guitar professionally for a Mississippi Blues band while he was still in high school. He came to Charleston, South Carolina, on a music scholarship and got his degree in classical compostion and theory in three years -- all the while writing music and playing in local clubs. The critically acclaimed Shooting the Bull is available online now. Limited copies of the debut EP, Drunk Lover -- whose title song was picked up by HBO's Entourage can be purchased at shows.

Thanks to Wikipedia and the musician's Myspace pages for most of the featured artist's bio info. Some songs were unavailable so check the playlist and youtubes.


Trey said...

Nice post.

Will said...

Y’all May Think We Talk Funny,
But The World Takes Our Music Seriously.

Hunter said...

Adam, how in the hell can you devote 500 words to Jackson's local musicians without mentioning David Banner?

"...the Best New Band from Mississippi." Give me a break. You JA kids need to pull the silver spoons out of your asses and change the radio station.

adc said...

HAHA. The good thing about me and you is that I know you're being sarcastic. Others probably don't know that. Kiss my butt.