The following is a post from Drew Young, Visit Mississippi’s Music Trails Program Manager
As a transplant Mississippian, my knowledge of music from this state was limited to the iconic blues artists and of course “The King”, Elvis Presley. When I first started teaching at the University of Southern Mississippi, I was blown over by the depth, volume, and diversity of music that comes from this state! It wasn’t just the blues… I found myself being immersed in the Mississippi sounds of country, folk, bluegrass, rhythm and blues, alt-country, rock, jazz and every permutation of indie rock possible. I was hooked. That is when I decided to start my web series, The Porch Sessions, to document and tell the story of Mississippi music and its musicians.
When the state of Mississippi offered me a position working with the music community of the state I jumped on the opportunity. How could I not say yes? It has been a wonderful journey, and I anticipate even more. This month we launched the Americana in Mississippi Tour, a free, 16-city concert tour across the state featuring Rambling Steve Gardner and the Jericho Road Show and numerous talented local musicians. Since we weren’t able to feature all of Mississippi’s musical artists, Wilbur Martin of WUSM and I created a four-part radio series showcasing Mississippi’s variety of Americana talent.
The hardest aspect of producing the series was narrowing down the music choices! We could have made four times as many shows and still have music for days. Ultimately, we decided to primarily focus on music from musicians that are currently active alongside iconic artists, and all points in between.
This first installment includes 13 hand-selected songs from the Mississippi Americana catalog, beginning with the quintessential Americana song Blue Canoe by Blue Mountain and segues into the country side of things with Scott Chism. Then it bumps along the road to old time Americana with Ramblin Steve Gardner, hits some north Mississippi Blues with the Deltamatics, dives into some sultry modern blues with Grace Askew, and then closes out with the solo project from Cary Hudson of Blue Mountain.
We sincerely hope that you enjoy this show and please check back for the other three episodes, where we will showcase other must-know Americana artists from Mississippi! To learn more about Americana in Mississippi, see more here: http://visitmississippi.org/americana/