Here’s a list of the artists, including biographical information and video, who are scheduled to play at the 2014 Double Decker Arts Festival in Oxford on April 25-26. A special broadcast of Thacker Mountain Radio featuring Rosco Bandana and The Bo-Keys is set for 7 p.m. on the Square.
Rosco Bandana — Friday, 6 p.m.
Rosco Bandana is a Gulfport-based band whose act includes blues/Americana style music blended with modern folk and a hint of gypsy fanfare. The band was formed in 2010 and has been shaking up the music scene with their energetic live performances.
The Bo-Keys — Friday, 8 p.m.
The Bo-Keys don’t simply replay the Memphis instrumental tradition –they deliver a hard-hitting and authentic take on the city’s original soul-stew sound. A devotee of Stax instrumental groups like the Mar-Keys and Booker T. & the MGs, bandleader and bassist Scott Bomar formed the Bo-Keys as an homage to the quintessential Memphis sound – yet he has both feet firmly planted in the 21st Century.
Morgan Pennington — Saturday, 10 a.m.
Singer/songwriter Morgan Pennington was born in Pascagoula, but has called Oxford home for the last 10 years or so. An Ole Miss graduate, and admirer of music and the songwriting world, Pennington began playing guitar in 2010 and after raising more than $6,000 through a Kickstarter campaign she took to Black Wing Studio in Water Valley to record her first EP.
Garry Burnside — Saturday, 11:30 a.m.
The son of the late bluesman R.L. Burnside, Garry Burnside carries on his father’s torch by sharing the Hill Country Blues with the rest of the world. He has appeared and collaborated with Ian Siegal, North Mississippi Allstars and Junior Kimbrough among others.
Dent May — Saturday, 1 p.m.
Dent May writes, performs, and produces homemade pop music from his home base in Mississippi. A stylistic chameleon, May’s recordings echo folk, disco, R&B, psychedelia, country-western, soul and funk sounds of the past, present and future. Increasingly, his songwriting has taken a turn toward existential classicism, channeling the tuneful longings of Harry Nilsson and Brian Wilson at their dreamiest.
T Bird and The Breaks — Saturday, 2:30 p.m.
T Bird and the Breaks are a big, funky, band. Horns? Check. Female singers that swing-it-while-they-sing-it? Check. Fire-in-the-hole rhythm-section of drums, bass, guitar and keys? Check. Gravel-voiced frontman who always leaves it on stage? Check. Hailing from Austin, Texas, T Bird and The Breaks play a style of dance music that has its most basic and obvious roots in the funk and soul music of the late-1960s and early-1970s.
The Infamous Stringdusters — Saturday, 4 p.m.
The Infamous Stringdusters combine virtuosic chops on five traditional bluegrass instruments, with an ethos of pushing the genre forward. The Stringdusters’ live shows take improvised string band music to new places, combining musicianship and songwriting with experimental performance and a contagious energy flowing between the band and crowd. Their groundbreaking musical proficiency is earning them critical acclaim, awards, and nominations aplenty; and has even attracted the attention of musical legends Phil Lesh and John Scofield, who have joined The ‘Dusters on stage to offer up unforgettable, raucously crowd-pleasing sit-ins.
The Wild Feathers — Saturday, 5:30 p.m.
Long before it got broken up into a million sub-genres, rock ‘n’ roll was just rock ‘n’ roll. Pure, true, organic. Six strings, booming harmonies and the call of the open road. It’s a singularly American tradition that Nashville’s The Wild Feathers are full-force dedicated to not only preserving, but also — more importantly — evolving. Their sound melds the five unique voices of Ricky Young, Joel King, Taylor Burns, Preston Wimberly and Ben Dumas, taking inspiration from across the musical spectrum — country, blues, folk and rock — and spinning it into a roaring web of warm, cosmic melodies with vintage roots and modern tones. The Wild Feathers are a rock band that feels impossibly fresh with the air of having been here all along.
Preservation Hall Jazz Band — Saturday, 7 p.m.
The Preservation Hall Jazz Band derives its name from Preservation Hall, the venerable music venue located in the heart of New Orleans’ French Quarter, founded in 1961 by Allan and Sandra Jaffe. The band has traveled worldwide spreading their mission to nurture and perpetuate the art form of New Orleans Jazz. Whether performing at Carnegie Hall or Lincoln Center, for British Royalty or the King of Thailand, this music embodies a joyful, timeless spirit. Under the auspices of current director, Ben Jaffe, the son of founders Allan and Sandra, Preservation Hall continues with a deep reverence and consciousness of its greatest attributes in the modern day as a venue, band and record label.
Charles Bradley — Saturday, 8:45 p.m.
Most artists appreciate their audiences, just as many are grateful for them, but few artists love their fans as much and as sincerely as Charles Bradley. “I want them to know how much they have helped me grow,” notes Bradley when discussing “Victim of Love,” the follow-up to his widely praised debut album “No Time For Dreaming.”
By now, Bradley’s remarkable, against-all-odds rise has been well-documented — how he transcended a bleak life on the streets and struggled through a series of ill-fitting jobs — most famously as a James Brown impersonator at Brooklyn clubs, before finally being discovered by Daptone’s Gabe Roth. The year following the release of “No Time For Dreaming” was one triumph after another: a stunning performance at South By Southwest that earned unanimous raves; similarly-gripping appearances at Bonnaroo, Austin City Limits, Newport Folk Festival and Outside Lands (to name just a few); and spots on Year-End Best Lists from Rolling Stone, SPIN, GQ, Paste and more.
(April 3, 2014)