Picnic this weekend
Now in its seventh year, the North Mississippi Hill Country Picnic will be held June 29-30. It will be hosted by Betty Davis BBQ, corner of Highway 7 and Highway 310 (12 miles south of Holly Springs and 15 miles north of Oxford) in Waterford.
This year’s festival lineup features Hill Country musicians Kenny Brown, Duwayne Burnside, Jimbo Mathus, Garry Burnside, David Kimbrough, Blue Mountain, Rising Star Fife and Drum Band and many more. The two-day festival takes place in the rolling hills of Marshall County and will run from 4 p.m. on Friday, June 29, until after midnight on Saturday, June 30.
The festival is the brainchild of Potts Camp resident and acclaimed bluesman Kenny Brown, who has witnessed first-hand the worldwide appeal and influence of Hill Country Blues through his long tenure with R.L. Burnside and travels with his own band.
“I got to thinking about how much the music from this area has influenced so many,” Brown said, “and although there are a lot of festivals around, no one was focusing on real Hill Country Blues. Everyone I mentioned it to thought it should be done. So, this will be our seventh year—we’ve got a great lineup, and we hope people will come out to enjoy the music, workshop, food and camping.”
Prior to the festival, a hands-on guitar workshop will be held for interested individuals who want to develop their musical skills and broaden their knowledge of roots music. The workshop, led by instructors Kenny Brown, Eric Deaton, DuWayne Burnside, and Garry Burnside, will be held June 29. Further information is available on the Picnic website.
In the mid-’90s, the world discovered the power and distinctive sounds of North Mississippi blues via the recordings of R.L. Burnside, Junior Kimbrough, and Otha Turner. These elder statesmen have all since passed, but their music lives on through their contemporaries, family members, and fans and is solidified through the non-profit organization, North Mississippi Hill Country Picnic Inc. The goal of the organization is to enhance appreciation and educate the general public about the native art form of North Mississippi Hill Country blues music through performance, preservation, and interpretation. The picnic is run by the non-profit and enjoys great support and sponsorship from North Mississippi communities.
The festival annually features artists with close ties to North Mississippi Hill Country blues. The 2012 festival lineup includes all of the major contemporary artists with direct ties to the three men noted above, such as The Kenny Brown Band, Duwayne Burnside, Burnside Exploration, David Kimbrough, The Rising Star Fife and Drum Band – led by Otha Turner’s granddaughter, Sharde Thomas. Also featured are North Mississippi musicians who have worked closely with Hill Country artists, including T Model Ford, Jimbo Mathus, Robert Belfour, Blue Mountain, Rev. John Wilkins, Eric Deaton, Duff Dorrough, Shannon McNally, Rocket 88, Blue Mother Tupelo, and Tate Moore.
Camping onsite is encouraged for out-of-town visitors and will be allowed Thursday-Saturday nights. Coolers are permitted (no glass: ice chests will be checked for glass), and onsite food vendors will sell local favorites including barbecue and fried catfish. Ice vendors will also be onsite.
Ticket information for the workshop and festival is available on the website, http://www.nmshillcountrypicnic.com. Tax deductible sponsorships and donations are being accepted; e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information, please visit either of these websites, http://www.facebook.com/nmshillcountrypicnic or http://www.nmshillcountrypicnic.com.
Hill Country Picnic Corporate Sponsors (to date for 2012) are National Endowment for the Arts, Mississippi Arts Commission, The R&B Feder Charitable Foundation for the Beaux-Arts, Paragon Casino and Resort, UBS Financial – Adam Steen wealth advisor, Safeco – Sharp Insurance, Sugaree’s Bakery, Holly Springs Tourism, Cetacea Sound, One Day Signs, Mississippi the Musical, Budweiser, Metro Cast, Bill Ramsey, Court Square Inn, Haynie Construction Family, North East Electric, Abbeville Bank, Bill Hammer, Merchants and Farmers Bank, Contract Fabricators, Booker Hardware, The Library Bar & Grill, Freeland & Freeland, Music in the Hall, Fat Possum, Highway 61 Radio Show, Solomon’s Fleas, American Pacific, MedStat EMS, Kohne Kustom Kreative Design, Rooster’s Blues House, Carlisle’s Big Star, Hick’s Convention Services.
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