- Celtic music, acoustic blues, bluegrass, gospel, old-time
country and comedy will be on tap March 22 at the spring 2003
edition of the popular Roots Reunion concert series.
a production of The University of Southern Mississippi's
Center for Oral History and Cultural Heritage will
be held from 7-9 p.m. at the Interaction Factory (formerly
Walthall school), 601 Court Street, Hattiesburg.
which is free and open to the public, is the continuation
of a successful series of live radio shows and concerts featuring
traditional South Mississippi artists. It will be broadcast
live on South Mississippi's public radio station based at
Southern Miss, WUSM, 88.5 FM. Hot food also will be served
starting at 6 p.m. for the benefit of the Southern Miss Feral Cat Association.
show will feature an exciting mix of music including
acoustic blues by Fat Possum Records artist and Woodville
resident Robert Cage; Celtic music by the Jackson band, Bounds
Street; bluegrass band Foxfire; the True Light Baptist Church
Sanctuary Choir; and old-time country by the Patchwork String
Band. Joyce Shearer, a comedienne and old-style entertainer
also will perform. The program is hosted by Public Radio Mississippi
emcee Kevin Farrell.
pride ourselves on presenting an exciting sample of the traditional
music of South Mississippi," says Chris Goertzen, ethnomusicologist
at Southern Miss and Roots Reunion programming consultant.
"Roots showcases both older traditions and forms that
may be new to us, but are traditional elsewhere or based on
tradition in fascinating ways."
Cage, who released an album entitled Robert Cage Can See What
You're Doing on the Fat Possum label in 1998, has played clubs
and festivals in the South Mississippi area for decades. A
disciple of South Mississippi blues legend Scott Dunbar, Cage
has an unusual and haunting vocal and guitar style.
Street -- a five-piece band that includes traditional Irish
instrumentation such as the tin whistle, bodhran and bouzouki
-- plays a mix of new and traditional Celtic songs. The band
is listed on the Mississippi Arts Commission Touring Roster
and performs at festivals throughout the South. Bounds Street
released its first CD, Diaspora, in the spring of 1998. The
title reflects the infusion of multicultural flavor that is
subtly woven into the band's work.
is a group of South Mississippi bluegrass artists who frequent
the active bluegrass festival circuit in the region. They
play a combination of traditional bluegrass and gospel grass.
Foxfire also may be heard on their recent release, Come on
Down, recorded in Magee, Mississippi.
to the Roots Reunion after a long hiatus is the True Light
Baptist Church Sanctuary Choir. True Light is a Hattiesburg-based
church with a choir that performs and tours around the area.
It promises to be a rousing and uplifting performance.
String Band brings a very traditional style of music to the
stage with its old-time country and string numbers. The group
of South Mississippians form the house band, opening and closing
the show. Shearer will entertain audiences during the changeovers.
Reunion is becoming a South Mississippi institution. The performers
continue to get stronger and the audiences are better each
time," said Scott McCraw, interim assistant director
of the Center for Oral History. "We look forward to the
shows as much as anyone. It's a treat for the center to bring
this to the community."
Reunion is sponsored by the Mississippi Arts Commission, the
Magnolia State Bluegrass Association, the Purple Parrot Café
and Crescent City Grill, the Center for Oral History and Cultural
Heritage at Southern Miss, the Southern Miss Department of History and
the Southern Miss School of Music. For more information, call 266-4574.