Southern Sounds

Your Spring/Summer Music Festival Calendar

By Elizabeth HutchisonSouthern SoundsApril 17, 2015

Down South we don’t need much of an excuse to put on a festival. Just about anything will do. There’s the annual hollerin’ contest in North Carolina; the Road Kill Cook-off and Harvest Festival in West Virginia; and events dedicated to every fruit and veggie ever grown in Southern soil. When it comes to music, though, Southerners drop the silly and pull in some serious talent, rolling out an impressive lineup of world-class festivals as soon as the weather warms up. Bonnaroo, in Manchester, Tennessee, and Hangout Fest, the three-day beachside blowout, in Gulf Shores, Alabama, are the schedule titans, but if neon tank tops and glow sticks aren’t your thing either, there are plenty of other great outdoor music-fest options for the rest of us.

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The Story Behind a Broadway Classic

By CJ LotzSouthern SoundsMarch 31, 2015

Musical theatre in the 1940s was marked by big-band-blowouts and full-cast, rumble-the-rafters numbers—a way for audiences to escape the weariness of war. So when the curtains parted on March 31, 1943, and a lone cowboy crooned about “a bright golden haze on the meadow,” no one could have anticipated that Oklahoma! would go on to set a Broadway record of 2,212 original performances, four revivals, and two film adaptations. So far.

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First Listen: Jessie Baylin’s “Black Blood”

By Jessica MischnerSouthern SoundsMarch 23, 2015

Since her debut album dropped in 2012, Jessie Baylin has been in constant motion. She gave birth to a baby girl, overhauled her family’s Nashville home (which she recently shared with G&G), and generally went about the business of adjusting to a new phase in her life. At times, she questioned whether she’d even make another record at all. Ultimately, though, the songwriter’s need for expression led her back to the recording studio, where she mined a deep well of emotional, real-life inspiration—motherhood, life on the road, the pang of relationships—to create her sophomore album, Dark Place, out April 7. “The first album was about establishing myself as an artist,” Baylin says. “This one is about establishing who I am as a person.”

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Vintage Music Posters from Austin, Texas

By CJ LotzSouthern SoundsMarch 18, 2015

Austin’s music scene is by turns psychedelic, bluesy, hard rocking, and rootsy—and it’s been that way for decades. From the 1960s to the 80s, hand-drawn poster art captured the city's many musical moods. Before the internet, the posters were the main way locals learned what small-town and national touring bands would be performing nearby. A recently released collection, Homegrown: Austin Music Posters 1967 to 1982, gathers more than one hundred examples of this vintage advertising art.

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Join us at SXSW

By The EditorsSouthern SoundsMarch 17, 2015

In 2013, we made our South by Southwest debut with the first annual Garden & Gun showcase. This year, we’re heading back to Austin to host another all-star lineup in partnership with our friends at Paradigm Nashville. Join us this Thursday night to watch Robert Earl Keen, Gill Landry, Anderson East, and more take the stage (admission is free with a festival band). Not Austin-bound? That’s ok, too. We’re bringing the festival to you with our 2015 SXSW playlist, featuring new music from our headliners.

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First Listen: Feufollet’s "Red Light"

By David ThierSouthern SoundsMarch 3, 2015

Feufollet is Cajun French for the mysterious flickering lights that you can see dancing over the Louisiana swamps on the right night — “crazy fire.” Appropriate, since there’s something unknowable about the band: an indie rock Cajun group, with generations of inherited talent swirling around its young members. They’ve been together since founding members Chris Stafford and Chris Segura were just 12 years old, and in that time they’ve gone from being those kids that play the dance hall classics to something entirely their own—and they’ve even been nominated for a Grammy.

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First Listen: Brandi Carlile's "Murder in the City"

By Jessica MischnerSouthern SoundsFebruary 27, 2015

Straddling the line between country soul, gospel, and stadium rock, Brandi Carlile, is the kind of singer who doesn’t need amplification. Her clarion voice carries effortlessly—so much so, in fact, that on last fall's American “Pin Drop” tour, she decided to go completely unplugged: no amps, no mics. Accompanied by the tight harmonies of Tim and Phil Hanseroth—known as “The Twins”—Carlile played a mix of old and new songs, including a cover of the Avett Brothers’ “Murder in the City,” which became the unofficial anthem of the tour.

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Gravy Podcast: The History of Derby Pie

By Jed PortmanSouthern SoundsFebruary 26, 2015

Ever tried Derby pie? To many Southerners the recipe for the gooey, bourbon-soaked dessert practically belongs to everyone. Alan Rupp would disagree. His grandparents Walter and Leaudra Kern created the recipe about sixty-five years ago, for the dessert menu at the Melrose Inn in Prospect, Kentucky. “If you wanted to get a hold of Derby Pie, you called Walter Kern’s name in the old phone directory,” he says.

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First Listen: Houndmouth’s “Otis”

By The EditorsSouthern SoundsFebruary 19, 2015

This is a busy week for the members of the Louisville, Kentucky–based band Houndmouth. The quartet kicks off their North American tour on the other side of the Ohio River with a show in Champaign, Illinois, tonight, before swinging South next month, hitting several prominent festivals including Texas's SXSW, Alabama’s Hangout, and Tennessee's Bonnaroo before wrapping up back in Kentucky at the Forecastle Festival in July. (Good thing they're making the rounds since their hometown record-release show at Louisville’s Brown Theatre on March 26 is already sold out.)

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When a ‘Love Shack’ Shook: Today In Southern History

By CJ LotzSouthern SoundsFebruary 14, 2015

The house on North Milledge Avenue in Athens, Georgia, quaked. Books thumped off shelves and floorboards creaked. “I’m surprised it didn’t just fall down,” singer Kate Pierson says. “The shack was shimmying so much.”

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