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Tag: "Squirrel Nut Zippers"

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Your Country’s Right Here: Jimbo Mathus Shines a “Blue Light” on the Delta

It would be impressive enough to note that the original string songs Jimbo Mathus wrote so closely mirror classic tunes of that format, notably those on the just-released Old Times There album by the South Memphis String Band, that one must look at the linear notes to differentiate them. But when much-praised singer-songwriter wrote the string tunes, he was also writing an array of songs in the garage band, blues, and rock formats.

“It’s not that hard for me,” Mathus, a self proclaimed rock music “nut,” said modestly when the quality of the songs he penned was praised. “I write a lot, so it’s not that difficult. It’s just different patterns of speech, different chord structure, rhythms, syntax. I don’t know; I get weird little inspirations.”

Lucky for fans of alt-country, delta blues, and rock that Mathus has chosen to release some of those musical inspirations on a six-song EP Blue Light, set for a July release. The prolific Mississippi-born songwriter who founded the much-acclaimed Squirrel Nut Zippers, uses this record to share his Mississippi born-and-bred insights.

“I’m singing from absolute experience on this recording,” Mathus said in promoting the album. “Raw stories of real events.”

Perhaps it’s not surprising that many of the dates on his upcoming tour are in the deep south, so closely tied are the songs to the delta. Sure, they’re easily labelled as rock, but let’s remember that Elvis Presley, the King of Rock, was the consummate country musician, born in Tupelo, Miss., and raised in Memphis.

Continue reading ‘Your Country’s Right Here: Jimbo Mathus Shines a “Blue Light” on the Delta’

Exclusive Q and A: Luther Dickinson Leads South Memphis String Band on a Musical Tour of the Old South

OurStage Exclusive InterviewsThe South Memphis String Band is one of those musical happy accidents that give roots music fans a taste of real old-time music.

It all started when long-time friends Luther Dickinson (lead guitarist of the Black Crowes and front man/lead guitarist of the North Mississippi Allstars), GRAMMY Award-winning blues/rock musician Alvin Youngblood Hart and critically-acclaimed musician Jimbo Mathus (of the Squirrel Nut Zippers) joined together musically. The trio had played together in various incarnations through the years but it wasn’t until they truly bonded over the music of their joint homeland, informally dubbed the Hill Country of Mississippi, that the South Memphis String Band was born.

“It was electric,” said Dickinson of the trio’s combined music for South Memphis String Band, which combines traditional string numbers with original songs primarily written by Mathus. “It just came together right away. That’s something that doesn’t happen very much.”

Continue reading ‘Exclusive Q and A: Luther Dickinson Leads South Memphis String Band on a Musical Tour of the Old South’

50 States In 50 Weeks… Week 28: North Carolina

OSBlog02_50States_NCFun Facts: State Flower; Dogwood, State Bird; Cardinal, State Song; “The Old North State”

Home of: Earl Scruggs, Ben Folds Five, Daughtry, Ryan Adams, Squirrel Nut Zippers, Nina Simone, Randy Travis, Annuals

The Venues:

The 1,000+ capacity Tremont Music Hall in Charlotte, NC is a popular stopover for national artists in the indie rock, punk, hardcore and metal genres. Their sister venue, the 325 capacity Casbah is a great place to see local and regional up-and-coming talent.

In 2008, Rolling Stone named the Orange Peel Social Aid & Pleasure Club in Asheville, NC one of the five best venues in the USA. The club has hosted acts like Blondie, The Flaming Lips, Bob Dylan, Sonic Youth and The Smashing Pumpkins. Asheville is also home to The Christmas Jam, a annual music festival organized by Warren Haynes of Gov’t Mule with proceeds going to Habitat For Humanity. This year marked the 21st anniversary of the festival and featured Ani Difranco, Counting Crowes, moe. and Gov’t Mule.

The Music:

QFYMKETXRZOL-320x240Amaye – While Amaye has only called North Carolina home since 2005, she’s made a big impression on her adopted state, touring all over NC as the lead singer of an R&B cover band at her school, North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University. Check out Amaye’s radio-ready R&B jam “Make Up 2 Break Up,” which won her the Coke and Radio One “My Formula. My Chance” Channel Grand Prize: A collaboration single with Trey Songz!

PSSZCRGHMVNL-320x240Mark Kano – You may recognize Mark Kano as the former frontman of alt. rock band Athenaeum, who recorded and released 2 albums for Atlantic Records in the late ’90s/early ’00s. These days, Mark’s music is more in the singer-songwriter vein. His song “Telling You I Love You” from his debut solo album Walking On Broadway topped last month’s OurStage Singer-Songwriter (Male) Channel.

KNJCFSQJGHXM-320x240The Lo and Beholds – Hailing from Charlotte, The Lo and Beholds are a 5-piece alternative/indie rock group. With such a mature sound, it’s hard to believe that all of the band members are only in their early 20s. Take a listen to the melodic vocals and dynamic guitars of “North.”

MichaelMichael Thomas – With six Top 10 finishes and three Number 1 channel prizes, 23-year-old Michael Thomas has been making quite a name for himself on the OurStage Country Channels. Dedicated to the old-school country sound, Michael released his first album Bonafide Country Boys last year. Check out the album’s title track in the playlist.

Check out these artists and more great North Carolinan music in the playlist below!

Who’s your favorite OurStage North Carolinian? Where do you like to see live music in North Carolina? Let us know in the comments!


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