Double Decker 2009 Special Edition · April 23-30, 2009 · Read at Maximum Volume · www.TheLocalVoice.net · Oxford, Mississippi
April 25, 2009: Double Decker Fest
Oxford, Miss, (OCVB)—Robert Randolph & the Family Band
will play at the 14th annual Double Decker Arts Festival, which
will be held on the Courthouse Square on Saturday, April 25,
“We are really excited about this year’s line-up,” says Mary-
Kathryn Milner, festival coordinator, “We work to provide a line-
up that is diverse and has a wide appeal, and I certainly think this
year will be no exception to that.”
Robert Randolph & the Family Band’s concerts are known for
their lively stage performance. The group’s sound is inspired by
successful 1970s funk bands such as Earth, Wind & Fire and Sly
& the Family Stone. The band uses a blend of music genres from
guitar-driven rock to sanctified soul. Randolph and the Family
Band are known to be a fierce live band through their rock and roll
energy and their righteous funk sound.
Frontman Robert Randolph was listed as #97 on Rolling
Stone’s 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time list in September 2003.
The band members are Marcus Randolph, on drums, Danyel
Morgan, bass and vocals, and Jason Crosby, on Hammond organ
and piano. The Family Band has opened for Dave Matthews
Band for shows on their 2002-2007 tours. Robert Randolph &
the Family Band also opened for Eric Clapton and was one of
four featured artists on the Music Builds Tour.
The first Robert Randolph & the Family Band album, Live at
the Wetlands, was recorded live in 2002. Unclassified was their
studio debut album released in August 2003.The last album,
Colorblind, was released October 2006.The song “Ain’t Nothing Charlie Mars will perform on the North Stage at 4:30 pm. His new album, Like a Bird, Like a Plane is
Wrong With That” was used in The Game Plan, Grey’s Anatomy, available in stores and on iTunes. photo by Danny Clinch
Stomp the Yard, Discovery Channel and many commercials for NBC.
The track “Thrill of It” made appearances in Saturday Night
Football and NBA Live 07.
Other musical performers that will be joining Randolph & the
Family Band at the festival include Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe,
Jason Isabell and the 400 Unit, George McConnell, Charlie
Mars, The Dynamintes featuring Charles Walker, Kenny
Brown, and many more.
The Oxford Double Decker Arts Festival brings together visi-
tors and residents for a daylong celebration of music, food, and the
arts. The festival gets its name from the town’s authentic double
decker bus imported from England in 1994. Attendees enjoy a rich
variety of vendors including potters, glass craftsmen, woodwork-
ers, painters, and various other artists, all selected by a jury put
together by the Yokanpatawpha Arts Council. A “Taste of A highly energized funk machine, Karl Denson’s
Oxford” food court will feature a mouth-watering sampling of Tiny Universe perfoms at 6:30 on the North Stage Shannon McNally is on South Stage at 12:30pm.
culinary treats form local restaurateurs.
Get out early and catch Five and Dime on the North Bloodkin returns to Oxford Dickey Do & The Don’ts bring pop country covers
Stage at 10:00 am. on the North Stage at 2:00 pm. to the South Stage at 10:30 am.
Double Decker Weekend
Saturday 04.25.2009 Thursday 04.23.2009
Brass Monkey: ($2 Shot Night)
Double Decker Bouré: (2-for-1 Margaritas and Crawfish Boil)
The Cellar: Happy Hour 8-10
Hat Trick Bar: Ladies’ Night (Half-off Mixed Drinks)
Budweiser: North Stage The Lyric: Wilco (sold out)
10:00 Five and Dime Murff’s: Big E & The Hounddogs (Crawfish Boil)
11:00 Hemptones Proud Larry’s: Rocket 88
12:15 Art Vendor Awards Announced Red House: (Thirsty Thursday 4 pm-close)
1:00 Kenny Brown Rooster’s: Gearshifter
Taylor’s Pub: All Clear Liquor $3.50
3:00 John Paul Keith & The 145s
4:30 Charlie Mars Brass Monkey: ($1.50 Domestic Drafts)
6:30 Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe Hat Trick Bar: (2-for-1 Top-Shelf Mixed Drinks)
The Lyric: Robert Earl Keen
AT&T: South Stage Proud Larry’s: George McConnell & The Nonchalants
10:30 Dickey Do and the Don’ts Red House: The Reviews
Rooster’s: Jay’s Rockin’ Blues Band
11:30 Sleeping Bulls Volta: (Crawfish Boil)
12:30 Shannon McNally
2:00 Charles Walker & The Dynamites Monday 04.27.2009
3:30 Trombone Shorty Brass Monkey: ($1.50 Miller Lite & $1 High Life)
5:00 Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit Blind Pig: ($2 Domestics & $3 Mimosas)
7:00 George McConnell Boure: (Happy Hour All Night Long)
9:00 Robert Randolph & The Family Band Powerhouse: Oxford Songwriters’ Association
Proud Larry’s: William Fitzsimmons
Taylor’s: Cheap Date Night ($1 Pints)
Blind Pig: The Rebel Stage rocknroll
1:00 The Reviews
2:15 Silas Reed
Brass Monkey: (Ladies Night: $2 Pitchers, 2-for-1 Wells)
3:30 Tyler Keith & The Apostles Boure: ($2 Pint Night)
5:00 The Cooters Blind Pig: (2-for-1 Wells)
6:15 Megacooter Hat Trick Bar: (2-for-1 Domestics & Wells)
7:30 Stork & Nick B. Proud Larry’s: Jerry Joseph & The Jackmormons
(2-for-1 Wells, Domestics, Burgers, and more)
8:45 Kill The Ego
Rooster’s: Open Mic Night & Jam Session
10:00 Bass Drum of Death Square Pizza: Family Night: (1 Large + 4 Drinks $18.50)
11:15 The Sleepwalkers Taylor’s: S.I.N. - Service Industry Night
Two Stick: Trivia Night ($5 to play, win cash prizes)
Rooster’s: Blues Stage
1:00 Big Jack Johnson Wednesday 04.29.2009
4:00 Kenny Brown Acoustic Brass Monkey: ($2 Wine Glasses, $1.50 Coors Light)
Boure: (Wine-O Wednesday)
6:00 Jay Lang Band
Blind Pig: ($3 Whiskey Drinks)
9:00 Kenny Brown Band The Cellar: Ladies’ Night (1/2 Price Bottle Service)
Double Decker Night
Hat Trick Bar: Beer Pong Tournament ($3 Bud Light Pitchers w/ Entree)
Proud Larry’s: The New Mastersounds with DJ Logic and Moon Taxi
Rooster’s: Big Fish Blues Band
Brass Monkey: ($3 Shots of Jager & Rumplemintz) Taylor’s Pub: $3 Whiskey Drinks
The Cellar: ($3 Mimosas, Bloody Marys, Screwdrivers)
The Lyric: Ole Miss Baseball vs. Georgia (day) Thursday 04.30.2009
Thompson Ward (day) Brass Monkey: ($2 Shot Night)
Boure: 2-for-1 Margaritas and Crawfish Boil
DJ Mario (night) The Cellar: Happy Hour 8-10
The Lyric: Charles Walker & The Dynamites Hat Trick Bar: Ladies’ Night (Half-off Mixed Drinks)
Proud Larry’s: Blue Mountain Murff’s: Crawfish Boil
Red House: The Kings of the Delta Proud Larry’s: Zoogma
Taylor’s Pub: John Michael Skinner (daytime) Red House: Thirsty Thursday 4pm-close
Rooster’s: Stacy Mitchhart
2 THE LOCAL VOICE DOUBLE DECKER 2009 Rusty Lemon (night) Taylor’s Pub: All Clear Liquor $3.50
Double Decker 2009: Food and Art Vendors
& The Family Band
live at the AT&T South Stage 9 pm
We wanted to take our time and find
ourselves, says Robert Randolph.
“Find out what was really inside of me
and the band and bring that out. Really try
to come up with the best songs, dig deep with-
in, and let all of the experiences that we have had
in the last three years come out in the music.”
With Colorblind, Randolph and the Family Band have taken
the difficult leap from being great performance artists to being
great recording artists. Since emerging from a House of God
church in Orange, New Jersey, steeped in the sacred steel tradi-
tion, Randolph’s astonishing pedal steel playing has had a revo-
lutionary impact. Like a mere handful of musicians like Louis
Armstrong, Jimi Hendrix, and Stevie Wonder, he has actual-
ly been able to redefine the sonic possibilities of his instrument.
Randolph’s string wizardry is the focal point of the Family
Band’s legendary live appearances, and led to guest spots with
artists ranging from the Blind Boys of Alabama to Ozzy
But even Randolph admits that the Family Band’s previous
recordings have focused more on capturing their onstage magic
than on making an album for the ages. On
the last record (2003’s Unclassified), he says,
“We had some ideas, wrote as we went
along, and we were out of there in three
weeks and that’s cool. But in working with
so many people and getting advice from
Eric Clapton, Steven Tyler, and the guys
from Dave Matthews Band, they all say,
‘We’d love to see your talent showcased
within the context of a great song.’ I was
always caught up in the show, because I’m
comfortable as a performer,” Randolph con-
tinues. “But Carlos Santana said to me, ‘If
you ask fifty people which they remember
most, a show or a record, forty-eight of
them will say a great record. Because you
live with a record, you can pick it up fifty
years later and still listen to those songs.”
Nominate your favorite: email@example.com
live on the AT&T South Stage
Saturday, April 25th 11:30 am
Name: Mark Adamec
Music Style/Genre: The Year in Heaven.
Early music experience: Unacceptable.
Favorite musicians/bands? Janet Baker.
Music schooling: Unschooled.
Favorite style/genre: Schooled.
Favorite instrument: Vibes.
Where do you practice? Country.
Have you ever been hassled for practicing? Practice is
What was the first concert you witnessed? Jerry Clower.
What bands have you played in? Wasted Lonelys, Jolly
Green Bastards, Herb Flow, ElfHerder, Green
Sticky(urban). Glanton Gang.
One thing you would like to change about Oxford’s
music scene: Scenes should be taken “as is” mostly.
Most famous person you’ve jammed with: Joe Nettles.
Are you an artist or do any other creative arts? Nope.
Do you have a “day job”? If so, where? Yes,Tupelo.
Where do you hang out in Oxford? Pig.
Aspirations: Keeping my dreams in the rainbows.
Got a website? Sleepingbullsmusic.com
THE LOCAL VOICE DOUBLE DECKER 2009 5
live at the South Stage 3:30 pm
Every once in a blue moon
along comes someone who can
merge the forces of virtuosity and
exuberance and unleash them on
an unsuspecting public. The latest in
this exclusive line of blue moon arrivals is
Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews.
Andrews plays trombone and trumpet. He is a man to be
reckoned with on both. A product of New Orleans’ culturally
rich Treme neighborhood, Andrews was a bandleader by the
age of six.
While Andrews was navigating New Orleans as a young-
ster with his band in tow, he was also absorbing lessons at the
knee of his older brother James, a dynamic musical performer
known as “Satchmo of the Ghetto.” It is safe to say that by the
time Andrews hit his early teens, he had a PhD in the ways of
the streets, which you can still hear in his music. But he has
also grown into a performer emanating elegance and class;
gleaned from his successful studies at the prestigious New
Orleans Center for the Creative Arts (NOCCA). As a gradu-
ate he joined the ranks of other grads like Wynton and
Branford Marsalis, Harry Connick Jr., and Nicholas
Payton. garnered honors as Best Contemporary Jazz Performer.
In 2005, Andrews was tapped by Lenny Kravitz to be a The here and now finds Andrews a fully developed per-
featured member of his horn section for a world tour—a tour former locked, loaded and bursting into international con-
that shared billing with acts such as Aerosmith. sciousness. His current project is Orleans Avenue, a
In London, during the summer of 2006, Andrews began funk/pop/hip-hop mix populated with musicians like
working with producer Bob Ezrin and U2 at Abbey Road Andrews who are young in age only. Orleans Avenue brings
Studios. This association led to Andrews performing with U2 the heat winding audiences up in merry confusion. Jazz fans
and Green Day during the re-opening spectacular of the New shake their heads in unexpected delight while the funksters
Orleans Superdome for the NFL Monday Night Football shake what they got with glee. Things reach a fever pitch as
pre-game show. The show aired live on ESPN and was broad- Andrews starts his circular breathing, one note sustained in
cast internationally by Westwood One. pristine beauty while the band vamps on a second line beat
To wrap up 2006, Andrews made his acting debut on the and sax player James Martin dances so ugly it’s funky.
NBC television series Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. Leading a Virtuosity and exuberance, Orleans Avenue effortlessly
group of New Orleans musicians, his musical performance of combines both. With Mike Ballard on bass, Pete Murano on
the holiday classic “O Holy Night” drew such an enthusiastic guitar, Dan Oestreicher on baritone sax, Joey Peebles on
response from viewers that NBC released the single for free drums, and Dwayne Williams on percussion , their perform-
download on their web site. ances transcend the boundaries of generations and classifica-
Kicking off 2007, New Orleans’ premier music magazine, tion. Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue is high energy,
Offbeat, named Andrews their Performer of the Year. He also high octane and highly contagious.
George McConnell picked up
his first guitar at age fifteen, and he’s
been picking them up ever since. As
both a player and purveyor of gui-
tars, he has amassed quite a collec-
live at the South Stage 7:00 pm tion of sounds, songs, and stringed
instruments. He’s served as lead gui-
tarist in the bands Beanland,
Kudzu Kings, and Widespread Panic. In his spare
time, he helmed a vintage guitar store on the his-
toric Oxford Square.
McConnell first learned the ways of the world
under the careful teaching of a truck driver named
Lulu. When he was just ten years old, McConnell
worked on the back of a beer truck with Lulu, trav-
eling to juke joints and pool halls delivering deli-
cious Falstaff in the Mississippi Delta.
McConnell grew up in the river town of
Vicksburg, Mississippi, halfway between New
Orleans and Memphis. Thus began exposure to the
wide swath of music that inhabits the Mississippi
soul. Over the years he crossed paths with musi-
cians from the worlds of jazz, soul, blues, country
and, rock n roll; in effect, McConnell couldn’t help
but become the player that he is blurring these
styles of music together. These experiences led him
to become a full time musician, worse than that—a
singing guitar player; despite his family and friends’
wishes for a better life. This is music that can only
be called rock n roll.
Lulu would be proud.
THE LOCAL VOICE DOUBLE DECKER 2009 7
Nominate your favorite: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tyler Keith &
live at The Rebel Stage
on patio at The Blind Pig
Saturday, April 25th 3:30 pm
Name: Tyler Keith
Music Style/Genre: Rock n’ Roll/Folk
Hometown: Gulf Breeze, Florida
Early music experience: Viola & Bluegrass
Favorite musicians/bands? Jerry Lee Lewis, The Kinks,
Hank Williams, CCR, Gun Club, Lightnin’ Hawkins,
Abner Jay, Rock n’ Roll Trio
Music schooling: Some guy showed me Johnny B. Goode
Favorite style/genre: Rock n’ Roll, Folk, Blues, Country
Favorite instrument: Guitar, maracas
Where do you practice? Tamke’s house
Have you ever been hassled for practicing? Yes, often.
What was the first concert you witnessed? Bill Monroe
What bands have you played in? Meager Existence, Sky
Pilots, Recession Hookers, The Cooters, The
Neckbones, Preacher’s Kids, Jenny Jeans, Hot Pursuit,
The Apostles, and many more
One thing you would like to change about Oxford’s
music scene: I don’t know
Most famous person you’ve jammed with: Bob Weird
Are you an artist or do any other creative arts?
Do you have a “day job”? If so, where? Bartender at The
Where do you hang out in Oxford? The Blind Pig
Aspirations: Songs, albums, books, production
Got a website? Apostle TK—MySpace
8 THE LOCAL VOICE DOUBLE DECKER 2009
thing with white pants and jean jackets. started playing with colin
will sleeps upside down every night, and thats and we all started playing
why they say he can’t be killed by conventional together. it wasn’t until
colin shneeed says: weapons. thom’s the man. so, here’s to the the summer we found out.
andrew and i met in physics class. we were studying to rebel stage—I just toasted, did you? rock n' roll is not dead, our particle blasted friend, hank, had returned and was
work at cern in switzerland, but we fell in love instantly and its only dying, and you’re the only one who can save it. five bringing hellfire and fury. tom was back from painting
pursued our many interests, such as sports (broom-board- dollars isn’t that much to ask. nothing worthwhile is free, broom boards and joined our cause. we played rock shows
ing, stapler fights) and rock n' roll. obviously the latter won five dollars helps us bring you the best we can on at least to defeat particle blasted hank. sometimes we can’t stand
out, and we taught ourselves how to play rock n' roll guitars a semi-regular basis, and you’ve got five dollars, i know it. after we play. but it’s not right to be standing after you play,
and formed the worst band with the best drummer—thom i’ve seen you doing those patron shots at the bar, so buy me sometimes.
satan —called the make out bandits. we played two shows, a shot and keep supporting local arts. my band is called the we continued playing rock shows and still do sometimes.
broke one homemade stage, pissed off a couple of baseball sleepwalkers. my name is colin. goodnight and good luck. We call ourserlves the sleepwalkers. colin said all the stuff
players. then i think we broke up. then i think we did it about the intricate soap opera details. So here this is just
again, then I think we broke up and i stole hal michael, who andrew mulligans says: a scientific perspective. john and will cole join our forces
we had met through one of those eyes-wide-shut style par- ultimately the cern venture failed when our 5th period as the bandit and the buddha pirate. each lineup and show
ties (he was wearing a fox mask). i took hal michael back to theatre war antics were disrupted when a particle blaster takes out enough people to satisfy me. colin’s chainsaw is
his house and showed him the ways of the rock n' roll gods, unwittingly destroyed our friend hank’s brain. dismayed at holding up well. i am just strumming along. thom satan is
to which he scoffed and proceeded to light his bass guitar on our loss of hobby, guitar seemed like the only viable teenage basically, to our band, water when it's thrown on a mogwai
fire and peed it out. i found this dude named brian to play option. colin would always come into physics class fifteen to turn it into a gremlin. we need him to truly melt face.
drums, and he was a champ, and i asked andrew to cover my minutes late. some bullshit excuse about immigrant song or everyone pretty much just goads the other into just hurting
ass while i played rippin’ guitar solos something coming on the their instruments. a lot of people have bled and some have
(think queensryche) with a wah radio. which is bullshit unknowingly micterated on a vegan’s mattress. it’s been
pedal and like... 15 amps. andrew because we know noth- really fun.
begrudgingly said yes and came on ing good comes on the it would be awesome to defeat the particle blasted one
board. our friend tom came back in radio, except led zepplin, before reaching the kill screen.
town and we had to say goodbye which, arguably, could the rebel stage has always been the better place to be at
to brian, and we reunited with tom prove my point. anyway, double decker. i, personally, despise lawn chairs and have no
and did all kinds of cool shit, like we made a balloon car interest in being around them. they attract acoustic guitars
blowing up death stars and cutting that went nowhere at and they are displeasing to my ear drums. we had been
the arms off of wampas. i think will all really fast. meaning, going to the rebel stage since high school. it was one of the
cole got jealous and moved back we won the acceleration few places a year high schoolers could see good music in
into town to play drums with us, prize but barely made the oxford. colin sold his soul to newt to get us to play it the
but he was all “i can’t handle all distance category. first time. i remember a few years go when we played for
this!” and had to leave, and we cried tom was my neigh- the first time it was attacked by an angry lady. the magician
dragon tears. local animal rights bor. we burned down the couldn’t make his balloons for the kids because we were so
activist john barrett stepped in and backyard. he got drums. loud. or something. i can’t quite remember. anyway, i just
saved us from becoming like the i got a bass. john got picture crying kids because we were so loud. it has always
dodo and we once again prospered thrown into the mix. he been the place to see the good bands, which happen to be
like the flamingo. then john had to had a system of a down the local bands.
go and tom came back. then tom had to go and john came record on a field trip to the delta. we were on a bus and
back. then will came back for a breath and then left, only to that trip sucked and i thought it was cool he had that at the hal micahelz says:
get busted for speeding on the way back from rosedale (we time. we all played together and formed a band. it was called although i was wearing a fox mask that evening most
told you, will). at some point we recorded the worst 7” in random access. then someone made a joke about it. could people know me through my personality as a wolf, which i
the world with the best physics major in the world—bobby have been colin, who was in offcenter at the time. then we wear when i am feeling more masculine and in balance with
lirette—and wrecked ‘em wreckords put it out, but don’t tell changed it to no comment. then to die dinosaur. tom moved the universe. the fox represented a stage of weakness when i
your mom it’s called wrecked ‘em records. tell her its called away. colin and I formed hindu and the honkeys. tom came needed the knowledge of rock and/or roll which mage colin
something like, flowers for orphans records. she’ll respect back and we had the makeout bandits that totally ruled face showed me. he took me on a journey around the world as
that. newt from the cooters gave us our first big break, play- until, well just until. his apprentice, we made love to demons, angels, horses,
ing at the rebel stage way back like...two years ago, and the thom had moved away to take up broom boarding pro- and Gallagher... who becomes very slippery when covered
cops tried to shut us down, but we were all, “get outta here, fessionally. i was entering full time zombie awareness train- in olive oil.
blue-shirts, and just let us play rock n' roll!” and of course ing and colin had lost his arm in some war, maybe against Once we tamed the Gallagher rock n’ roll was but a fath-
they couldn’t argue with that, so we finished our set in the zombies. anyway, we both failed and worked in a bookstore. om from our grasp. we teamed up with andrew, and i don’t
face of this lady who was telling stories like a mile away. we we started talking about playing music together. he needed even know what was going on with all the drummers, but
played the rebel stage again, and didn’t get the cops called an arm. we both liked bruce campbell and talked about how we took full force. it was a powerful collision of zombies,
on us, but i passed out in the middle of a song, which was cool a chainsaw would sound playing guitar. ultimately, he blood, cross dressing, and insanity that bonded us together...
almost as fun. tyler keith picked me up. optioned to travel to a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away but it was what was necessary for we had no control over
so i owe all my success with the ladies and the men to to get a cyborg arm. or something. any of this. this is what Oxford had deemed appropriate to
newt and tyler (for picking me up). andrew owes his success to make matters less simple. i had known will cole since show its dark side through, it is a force greater than all of us
to his bad-ass haircuts and really good posture. hal Michael birth. his back yard was a snake pit. there was a rope swing. and bonded by blood (and semen).
has found a way to pee into a cup and it turns into drinking it was awesome. he lived in jackson. hal michael did too. they hal also says that andrew’s quote ... “i,
water, like kevin costner in waterworld. john’s got this whole had a band and when hal moved here we played together. he personally, despise lawn chairs and have no
interest in being around them” is the best
thing ever said. just make this
the headline... i have
never laughed out
loud so hard just by
IN CASE OF
aim for the head.
John Paul Keith & The 145s
Live on the Budweiser North Stage at 3 pm
John Paul Keith grew up outside of
Knoxville, the son of a truck driver. He learned to
sing in church and he learned to play guitar when
he was ten and his father gave him an acoustic
and a copy of Chuck Berry’s Golden Hits and The
Best of B.B. King. It was the first music he ever
heard that wasn’t country or spirituals. He didn’t
hear the Beatles until he was nearly in high
school. By the time he was seventeen, he was
drawing big crowds in Knoxville as a member of
the Viceroys, and then quit the band when they
got signed because he didn’t like the direction the
music was headed. By twenty-one, he had moved
to Nashville and formed his own band, and got
signed to Sire within months. It was a meteoric
rise by a kid everyone in the industry had their
eyes on and wanted their hooks in.
John Paul Keith can sum up the rest in just a
few lines. He tells you nearly everything you need
to know about him in the first thirty seconds of
Spills and Thrills, his humble, freewheeling mas-
terpiece of a record, featuring songs so timeless
and well crafted you’d swear they were obscure
honky-tonk b-sides. Over a swinging drumbeat
and a stinging Telecaster, Keith sings, “Well, I’m
right on the money, but I’m never on time / One
step ahead, two steps behind / And I’ve never
been lucky, and I’ve never been hip / Got a whole lotta where he met drummer John Argroves and bassist Mark E.
headaches when I opened my lip.” Stuart. They started playing together, and when they were
Though the loyal following who pack his Memphis shows joined by guitarist Kevin Cubbins, piano player Al Gamble,
with his crack band the One Four Fives might beg to differ and multi-instrumentalist John Wittemore, the One Four
about never being hip, truer words have never been sung. Fives were born. Taking their name from the I-IV-V musical
Blessed and cursed with rare talent and common Southern progression that forms the foundation of all blues and rock and
stubbornness, Keith would have gone a lot further in the roll, the band gave Keith the one thing he was missing for all
music industry if he only had a little less brains and a lot less those years: A group of sympathetic musicians who could
integrity. A blistering guitarist and singer, and the kind of match his talent and his integrity. They brought true power
songwriter who makes great melodies and incredible lyrics and muscle to Keith’s songs, but stayed true to the spirit of his
sound effortless, he certainly seems like a sure-thing—the kind influences.
of artist you just need to hit play and record on and let rip. The band built a loyal following in Memphis—both from
Instead, Keith spent more than a decade at near constant fans, and from the city’s close-knit scene. Supported by such
odds with bands, managers and executives eager to Memphis stalwarts as Jack Oblivian and Harlan T.
water down and compromise his music in order Bobo, John Paul Keith and the One Four Fives built
to chase the latest trend. With each fight— a reputation as one of Memphis’ most ferocious bar
whether it was a shady manager badgering him bands, capable of delivering two, three, even four
to metal up his guitar playing on the major- hour sets of blistering, beer-spilling rock and roll.
label debut that never got released, or losing his With this spirit of open-minded acceptance, sup-
whole band to an Americana prima donna—the port and encouragement, so special to Memphis,
sheer joy of making music was replaced with the Keith began to write the best songs of his life.
drudgery of trying to stay true to yourself in an indus- That raucous excitement and inspiration is all over Spills
try full of exploiters and those ecstatic to be exploited. From and Thrills, Keith’s debut album for Big Legal Mess Records.
Knoxville to Nashville, New York to Birmingham, and back Part of the legendary Fat Possum family, which championed
again, Keith struggled to stick to his guns and create the kind and gave a home to such incredible artists as R.L. Burnside
of music that would hold up to the records that made him and Junior Kimbrough, Big Legal Mess is proudly preparing
want to play music in the first place. By 2005, he’d had about Spills and Thrills for an April 09 release. The album, which was
enough. Alone, with no band and no prospects, he moved to recorded mostly live at Young Ave Sound and the legendary
Memphis and declared himself washed-up at 29. Ardent Records in Memphis, captures the spirit and energy of
Somebody should have told John Paul Keith that Memphis John Paul Keith and the One Four Fives’ live shows, and show-
is the wrong place to go if you’re looking to give up music. A cases Keith’s incredible singing and songwriting. This is the
veritable island of great musicians and music lovers, with a sound of real rock and roll—fast and fun and loud, with songs
scene that is dismissively and blissfully oblivious to the obses- that fly by so quick you want to listen to them two or three
sive flights of the music industry, the city is an outsider’s para- times in a row. It’s around about the third listen the realization
dise. Tapped by an acquaintance to fill in for an absentee gui- comes: These songs are incredible. From the crafted, bouncing
tarist, Keith was introduced to Beale Street. Dead broke, he melodicism of “Lookin’ For a Thrill” to the more-poignant-
started busking for tourists’ tips in W Handy park and sit-
.C. than-you-think tearjerkers “Rock and Roll Will Break Your
ting in at places like the Rum Boogie Café. Not only did it give Heart” and “Otherwise,” this is the work of one of the best
him enough money to eat—or, more likely, keep him in sweet songwriters going. Spills and Thrills is rock and roll brilliance
tea and cigarettes—the spirit of the city and the camaraderie of the way it used to be, back when it was danceable and catchy,
the musicians on Beale rekindled Keith’s faith in playing music before brilliance became synonymous with self-indulgence and
for its own sake. He fell in love with his guitar again, and the experimentation and arrogance. So if you’re looking for one of
www.twitter.com/thelocalvoice next thing he knew, he was writing songs.
Obsessed with his Telecaster, Keith started hanging around
the best records of the year, here it is. It took John Paul Keith
half his life to get the chance to be himself, but it was worth
10 THE LOCAL VOICE DOUBLE DECKER 2009 the now-closed Taylor’s Music store in midtown Memphis, the wait.
Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit
Live on the AT&T South Stage at 5 pm
For a comparatively brief moment in the mid-1960s,
Muscle Shoals, Alabama, was the unlikely epicenter of a
major American songwriting renaissance. Here are some of
the names: Arthur Alexander, Donnie Fritts, Eddie
Hinton, Dan Penn, Spooner Oldham, O.C. Smith, Joe
South, Tony Joe White. Toss Bobbie Gentry into that mix,
on style if not geography, and the list is not complete, regard-
Style matters, for in those turbulent times these writers
and their collaborators fused the vocal passion of African-
American soul and gospel to an Anglo-Saxon storytelling tra-
dition which goes back at least to Beowulf: Tough, hard, pas-
sionate, unflinching songs, unrepentant in their sense of place
and direct in their stubborn Southernness.
That is a powerful pile of names to spade across the work
of Jason Isbell, as his second solo album, named for his
band, is, well, only his second solo album. And he’s almost
30. It’s not simply that he lives in Florence, Alabama, just
outside Muscle Shoals, nor that he recorded Jason Isbell And
The 400 Unit at the famed FAME studio there. That guaran-
The songs will stand on their own. no matter how far he distances himself, no matter that
The opening “Seven-Mile Island” manages simultaneous- “Soldiers Get Strange” is mostly his imagination at work try-
ly to evoke the long-ago sounds of Traffic (who have their ing to make sense of how those returning from Iraq and
own Muscle Shoals connection) and to serve as an oblique Afghanistan feel. No matter that “Cigarettes And Wine”
eulogy to the regionally famous harmonica player Topper claims, midway through painting a very direct vignette, “I
Price, and yet it’s about a failed father, a birthing mother, an know that ain’t much of a line/But it’s the Gods’ own truth.”
island on which banished Native Americans congregated, a That’s enough. Leave the songs to be found, to talk for
place where Jason and his dad used to go to collect arrow- themselves. But let Jason explain, just a bit. “I always say that
heads. All of those things said eloquently in just over four writing a song, first and foremost, to me, is a way of teach-
minutes, and there are layers unexamined by that long sen- ing myself how I feel about something,” he says. “And that’s
tence. the purpose it serves, really, more than anything else.”
That’s the only song that sounds just like that, says those But the last thing Jason says about his new record is this:
things (“Good,” for example, has the rock urgency of Big “I want it to be known that it’s a band record. I want it to be
Star, “No Choice In The Matter” is classic soul, complete known that it’s something we all did together. Even though
with horns), though they all come from deep within Isbell, I wrote the songs, it was a very inclusive project.”
Meet the band, then. Keyboard player Derry deBorja
comes from the Baltimore area, and matriculated into the
400 Unit from a stint in Son Volt, which is where Jason met
him. Guitarist Browan Lollar turned up at a party, turns out
to have just the right knack for Jason’s songs. And bassist
Jimbo Hart? “He’s from Sheffield,” Jason says. “I’ve known
him since I was sixteen. My first image of Jimbo is him
marching in a uniform playing bass with this huge kid behind
him pushing his amp trying to keep up.”
It was also a much more coherent recording process than
the four years it took to stitch together his 2007 debut, Sirens
Of The Ditch (New West). They spent a week cutting tracks
at FAME, went on the road for a week, came back and spent
another week finishing up. And it’s clear from the credits that
the 400 Unit made this album, together. They produced it,
with Centromatic/South San Gabriel drummer Matt Pence
both on the kit and behind the mixing board. Simple enough.
Here’s the story of the band name, because it’s a good
story and deserves telling, and the telling says what needs fin-
ishing here. Jason begins, “There is a mental treatment facil-
ity here in Florence called The 400 Unit. About once a week
they would drive downtown and take, I guess, the six or
eight healthiest people in the facility and let ‘em go down-
town. Give ‘em all like $15 apiece to go get some lunch.
You’d immediately recognize who it was and why they were
there; they all had nametags on, saying kinda strange stuff to
everybody. And trying to get a sandwich at the same time.
“When I started thinking about a band, and how we get
The Local Voice
to a new town and everybody gets $15 and gets out of the
van, goes out and tries to get a sandwich, it kinda reminded
me of that.”
Yeah, it’s a sad record, but he’s laughing. And it’s a good
Oxford’s #1 Entertainment Guide sound, all around.
Thank you for supporting local culture! THE LOCAL VOICE DOUBLE DECKER 2009 11
Also at Double Decker
Spring Run Shuttle Service
Start the day with the Chamber of Commerce 10K run & Shuttles will run from the Oxford Conference Center to to
5K walk. With courses winding through the University of City Hall. Shuttles will run continuously from 10am until
Mississippi campus and nearby Oxford neighborhoods, the 11pm. The charge is $5 per adult (round-trip), children are
two courses are fun for both beginning joggers and experi- free.
enced athletes. For more information call Oxford-Lafayette
County Chamber of Commerce at 662.234.4651.
Children’s Square Fair The OUT (Oxford-Lafayette Transit System) will be run-
ning free of charge. There will be alternate routes Friday and
The children’s Square Fair, sponsored by AT&T, will again Saturday, April 24 and 25.
feature magic shows, face painting, clowns, storytelling, a pet-
ting zoo, and musicians to keep both children and their par-
ents entertained. The highlight of the afternoon is the Best Double Decker Road Ride
Dressed Pet Contest when participants, hoping to win the cov- The routes this year are 10, 24, 50, and 66 mile loops that
eted first prize, parade their dogs, cats, rabbits, and even chick- meander through the rolling hills of Lafayette County. The
ens dressed in elaborate costumes. This year the Square Fair ride will be fully supported with pre-ride bike maintenance,
will move down Van Buren Avenue to St. Peter’s Episcopalian three full service rest stops and rolling sag support for any
Church. mechanical issues or tired riders. Pre and post ride refreshe-
ments available. The ride starts at 9 am leaving you lots of
time to enjoy the festival. For more information and registra-
tion visit www.DoubleDeckerRide.com.
Oxford BBQ Throwdown to Give Away
Grill at Double Decker Festival
Between browsing the art vendors, The Weber Grill, donated by Sears, and four VIP passes to
the 3rd Annual Oxford’s Town BBQ Throwdown will be
listening to the great music raffled off at the Double Decker Arts Festival. To register, visit
the Oxford’s Town BBQ Throwdown tent, located on Van
and sampling the food at the Buren Avenue by the Lyric Theatre. The winner will be
“Taste of Oxford,” announced from the AT&T South Stage at before George
McConnell takes the stage at 7:00. You don’t have to be pres-
patrons at the 14th Annual ent to win, so everyone should register.
“We very excited to give this grill away,” said Kelly
Double Decker Arts Festival Houston, organizer of the Oxford’s Town BBQ Throwdown,
also need to be sure and stop “We hope a lot of people stop by the Oxford’s Town BBQ
Throwdown booth at the Double Decker Festival.”
by the Oxford’s BBQ Throwdown In addition to the raffle, team applications and limited
Oxford’s Town BBQ Throwdown Merchandise will be avail-
tent and register to win a free grill. able at the tent as well. The 3rd Annual Oxford’s Town BBQ
Throwdown will be held September 25-26, 2009.
Double Decker Wins Awards Again
The Square is really picturesque.
Oxford, Miss (OCVB) - The Oxford Convention and happy to have the opportunity to honor the winners of these
Visitor’s Bureau was presented the Best Large Festival of awards as we truly appreciate their dedication not only to our
the Year award for the Double Decker Arts Festival by the organization but to the entire tourism industry,” said Bill
Mississippi Tourism Association (MTA) at their annual Seratt 2008-2009 President of the MTA.
awards ceremony for tourism achievement during the In addition to state recognition, Southeast Festivals and
Governor’s Conference on Tourism held February 17-18 in Events awarded the OCVB multiple prestigious Kaleidoscope
Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Awards, sponsored by RCS Productions, for their contribu-
“We are very excited to have received this award,” says tion to the festivals and events industry at their annual con-
Mary-Kathryn Milner, Coordinator of the Double Decker ference held in Knoxville, Tennessee, February 16-18. The
Arts Festival, “the award is a tribute to the hard work of the OCVB was awarded Best Event Program or Brochure and
staff and volunteers and the community support that makes Best Other Merchandise for the Double Decker Arts Festival.
Double Decker possible.” Further, the OCVB and Double Decker Festival were rec-
The awards program recognizes outstanding contributions ognized in the Best T-Shirt, Best Website, Best Promotional
to the advancement of tourism by members of the 450+ Poster, and Best Marketing Campaign categories.
The Local Voice ONLINE member private sector organization as well as honoring trav-
el media, community volunteers and governmental friends of
The Oxford Double Decker Arts Festival will host the
fourteenth annual event Saturday, April 25, 2009. The festi-
www.TheLocalVoice.net the industry. Awards were presented in ten categories, each
focusing on a different aspect of the hospitality industry or
val takes its name from the town’s authentic double decker
bus imported from England in 1994. The unique festival
www.twitter.com/thelocalvoice individual achievement.
“Special recognition should be given to our tourism indus-
brings together visitors and residents alike for a daylong cele-
bration of music, food and the arts held on the picturesque
12 THE LOCAL VOICE DOUBLE DECKER 2009 try leaders for their outstanding accomplishments. We are Courthouse Square.
Nominate your favorite: email@example.com
Don’t Read This live with Five & Dime
This is the story the board of Aldermen don’t want you to
at the Budweiser North Stage
hear. It might be the biggest secret in all of Mississippi, but I’m
going to tell you in hopes that my honesty and storytelling abili- Saturday, April 25th 10am
ty will inspire someone to give me a free ticket to the sold out Name: Stevi Self Woolworth
Wilco concert at the Lyric. This story starts at Oxford’s notorious Age: Older than I look, thank God
hotdog stand back when Jamo owned this late night institution. Music Style/Genre: I don’t know… what are my choices??
I was his employee at the time and thus was able to witness many Hometown: Greenwood, Mississippi
strange and fascinating events. Early music experience: My first instrument was the piano. I
There was an older, white haired and pudgy-gutted man hang- played for about three years until I realized that it wasn’t
ing around the cart one evening. I don’t think he ate a hotdog cool. So, I started skipping my piano lessons at school and
that night but he bought many of them. Almost every girl that hiding out in the girl’s bathroom instead. When I finally got
walked up to the cart was offered a hotdog by this man. Many of caught my parents sold my piano and grounded me indefi-
the scantily clothed women allowed this man to buy them a dog nitely.
even while he flashed his large roll of money and talked about the Favorite musicians/bands? My favorite musicians are the ones
hotel room he had two blocks away. I had him pegged as a dirty I know. You can’t throw a rock without hitting someone tal-
loser right away but many of the girls seemed enamored and flirt- ented around here. I think it’s something in the water.
ed back. With the guy buying all the dogs but not tipping I start- Unfortunately I live in the county so we are on a different
ed to get pissed, but then he mentioned donuts. He told a couple water system…
of girls that he had some fresh Krispy Kreme donuts in his truck Music schooling: Other than those piano lessons I mentioned
and he asked them if they wanted to go get one. earlier, I haven’t had any formal music training…unless you
“Hey creepy guy,” I finally hollered. “I think you should get count that year that Dave gave me “Libido-less Guitar
the hell out of here and stop trying to get these girls to sleep with Lessons” from Bryan Ledford as a Christmas present.
you by offering them donuts.” Favorite style/genre: I don’t think I have a favorite style. I like
The guy scowled at me and I thought an altercation was about music that’s raw and real.
to go down but then a cop walked by and the creepy guy walked Favorite instrument: Guitar.
off to try and rape a squirrel or something. When Jamo got back Where do you practice? Well, I’ve found that the acoustics are
to the cart I told him about the guy and he said he thought it was usually better in the bathroom.
probably the guy who stood at the front of the stage and drooled Have you ever been hassled for practicing? My children com-
when 2 Live Crew played at the Library a few years before. Then plain sometimes that I’m too loud when they’re trying to go
he told me the story that I’m sure the Aldermen don’t want to me to sleep. So, I go play in the bathroom.
to share. What was the first concert you witnessed? Either Alabama or
My hotdog boss told me that the Double Decker Festival was- Conway Twitty …seriously …I was young. It was not my
n’t named after the stupid bus that people ride around on. fault…
Allegedly the original idea was for Oxford to host an eating con- What bands have you played in? The Sweetbush Revival, Five
test. Several of the Aldermen really loved to eat and they thought
that the best way bring tourism dollars into our fair city was a
One thing you would like to change about Oxford’s music
unique eating contest. Instead of the standard hotdog or apple pie
scene: I don’t know.
our civic leaders thought the world would watch grown men eat-
Most famous person you’ve jammed with: Dave
ing double cheeseburgers, which they called double deckers, until
they puke. The debate rage for several meetings and fistfights
Are you an artist or do any other creative arts? I have a pot-
nearly broke out. A small but vocal group of Aldermen were con-
tery studio at my house that is covered in cobwebs, but
vinced that the idea was ridiculous and eventually they convinced
when I find the time I like to make things out of clay.
enough of the board members to create an art and music festival
Do you have a “day job”? If so, where? I am the co-owner of
instead. As part of the compromise the festival would be called
Southern Star Yoga Center in the Midtown Shopping
The Double Decker and the rest is Oxford history.
But this story doesn’t end there, my hotdog boss told me.
Where do you hang out in Oxford? I hang out at the yoga
Each of the Aldermen who were convinced that an eating contest
studio most of the time, and I have tea at Big Bad Breakfast
was the best thing for our little town have a tradition all their
nearly every morning.
own. Each year during the Double Decker these Aldermen gath-
Aspirations: I want to reach Samadhi (with or without my gui-
er on the top floor of the courthouse and cook a bunch of burg-
ers. Then they see who can eat the most double cheeseburgers
Got a website? Yes, but it has nothing to do with my music…
without puking. It’s their own little protest. Supposedly the
record is seventeen, so while you’re enjoying your Saturday, see if
you can smell the cheeseburgers being grilled at the top of the
courthouse and listen for sound of grown men heaving.
Advertise inThe Local Voice
You’ll get the best deal in town.
and you’ll be helping to keep local culture alive!
THE LOCAL VOICE DOUBLE DECKER 2009 13
Nominate your favorite: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jay Lang Band
live at Rooster’s
Friday, April 24th 10pm-close
Rooster’s Blues Stage
Saturday, April 25th 6-9pm
Name: Jay Lang
Music Style/Genre: Drinkin’ & Fightin’ Music
Hometown: Greenville, Mississippi
Early music experience: Running open mic at One Block
Favorite musicians/bands? The Ramones, R.L. Burnside,
Jr Kimbrough, Skip James, Lemmy, Mark Sandman,
Mississippi Fred McDowell
Music schooling: Mills Hwakins
Favorite style/genre: Blues and Rock n’ Roll
Favorite instrument: Guitar
Where do you practice? At the house and Rooster’s
Have you ever been hassled for practicing? No.
What was the first concert you witnessed? John the
Marine’s mama took me, Mills, and Ryan to see Stevie
Ray Vaughn when he played Bluesfest in Grenville.
What bands have you played in? Three Legged Dog, Jay
Lang’s Rockin’ Blues Combo
One thing you would like to change about Oxford’s
music scene: Higher cover charge! We are in a recession
and I need some stimulus!
Most famous person you’ve jammed with: Mickey
Are you an artist or do any other creative arts? Little bit
Do you have a “day job”? If so, where? Paint houses. Call
Where do you hang out in Oxford? Wherever good music
and cold beer are served, usually Rooster’s!
Aspirations: To break even
Got a website? F**k no. Just come to the show and get
14 THE LOCAL VOICE DOUBLE DECKER 2009