18 Going on 21: Jubilee Jam! Almost Legal! | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

18 Going on 21: Jubilee Jam! Almost Legal!

Mississippi's largest annual music festival has returned for its 18th birthday after its near-fatal deluge of rain and indebtedness in 2003. Jubilee! Jam, with its move to mid-June, has been imagined and re-energized by several changes. As you peruse the line-up, you'll notice that the festival has been scaled down to Friday night and Saturday only. The stages have shifted toward State Street so you won't have to trek back and forth to One Jackson Place from the governor's mansion. You'll have continuous music on two national headliner stages on Capitol Street, a Mississippi stage on Congress Street, and a variety of Jackson's musical offerings in the Jackson Lounge (organized by the Jackson Free Press and other local businesses). The Baroque Dresden exhibit has inspired a traditional German beergarten, complete with German music, food and beer to get your Weinerschnitzel-ed. And, bless us all, the Hallelujah Stage at St. Andrews Cathedral will continue the always-popular Gospel Jubilee on Saturday, and offer a new acoustic singer/songwriters stage on Friday evening.

The daylight hours of Saturday have been reinvented with a family-friendly focus, complete with children's activities and French Quarter- style street performers on the brick section of Capitol Street. Children under 12 get in free to the Jam. Wyatt Waters, creator of this year's Jam art, will be on hand to sign merchandise Saturday.

The Jackson Free Press will have two tents this year: At our small tent—along with The Collective and the Mississippi Voter Project, you can pick up copies of the JFP and register to vote at the same time. And the Jackson Lounge will be the perfect place to cop a squat between acts or if you feel the need to slow the groove a bit. We're pulling together some of your favorite singer/songwriters for your aural pleasure. You can get your advance Jam tickets for $10 a day at any Be-bop Record Shop, or $15 a day at the gate.

Meantime, plan to enjoy the following acts. Check jubileejam.com for updates.

(Previews written by Charlie Braxton, David Chilton, Lynette Hanson, Palmer Houchins, Beth Kander, JC Patterson, Stuart Rockoff, Alex Slawson,
Herman Snell, Eric Stracener and Neola Young)

Chaka Khan

Chaka Khan walks on stage, and time stands still. In "Tell Me Something Good"—her 1974 hit with Rufus, written for her by Stevie Wonder—Khan sings, "I'll make you wish there were 48 hours to each day." So true, because then we could listen to her powerful vocals for the straight 48. As it is, we've had 30 years of that smile, that splendid cloud of hair, those shapely hips and that voice that Rolling Stone says is steeped in "knowingness, carnality, spirituality and intellect." Khan's first solo hit, "I'm Every Woman," came out in 1978. Singer/songwriters Ashford and Simpson gave her these words, "I can cast a spell of secrets you can tell, mix a special brew, put fire inside of you. … 'cause I'm every woman, it's all in me." Show up and let her know that ain't nobody loves her better than you. — LH

Friday, 8-9:15 p.m., The Clarion-Ledger Stage

KEM

Born in Nashville and raised in Detroit, Motown recording artist KEM is often categorized as a "neo-soul" artist, yet his eclectic blend of jazz and R&B, laced with strong gospel undertones, is as "neo" as jazz singer Al Jarreau's 70-year-old voice. Co-incidentally KEM sounds exactly like Jarreau, right down to the malismatic ring in his voice. Inspired by the music of Stevie Wonder, Steely Dan, Prince, the O'Jays and the late great jazz saxophonist Grover Washington Jr., KEM started his musical career singing in a gospel troupe and doing side gigs singing at weddings and clubs in and around the Motor City area. To make ends meet, he waited tables at a local restaurant and saved up enough money to finance his debut EP, "Can't Figure U Out" (1995). The EP created a strong buzz for the budding musician, winning him many fans in the Detroit area. The highlight of the EP was a jazzy tune called "Love Thy Neighbor," a song with a strong spiritual message rooted in the more famous Ten Commandments. Seven years later KEM, whose name means black in the ancient Egyptian language called Medu Netr, financed his debut full-length CD "Kemistry," selling 10,000 copies before gaining the interest of Motown/Universal Records, which re-released the record last year. The self-taught singer/musician's live shows can best be described as similar to attending a Pentecostal church at the height of revival. It is an experience that promises to leave you thoroughly sanctified and satiated. — CB

Saturday, 4:30-5:30 p.m., The Clarion-Ledger Stage

Switchfoot

It seems fitting that modern rockers Switchfoot drew their name from a surfing term, as the San Diego natives are cresting a newfound wave of success. First gaining attention in the insular Christian music world in the late '90s, 2003's "The Beautiful Letdown" saw a major label release and has brought the group from gigging at churches to sold-out clubs and amphitheaters. Musically, think of Switchfoot as perhaps the gentler, more reflective stepbrother of recent Christian crossover bedfellows, P.O.D. and Evanescence. That's not to say Switchfoot does not like to rock out; they do. But their style is something more akin to arena rock than the metal undertones of the aforementioned two bands (P.O.D. and Evanescence). Meshing the obvious surf-rock influences of their locale with a host of others as wide-ranging as alt-country and punk, Switchfoot creates a sound that is summarily hard to pin down, but delightful at the same time. In fact, Switchfoot's edgy, alternative rock is fulfillment in a modern-rock genre full of letdowns.
— PH

Friday, 11:45 p.m.-12:45 a.m., Trustmark stage

24/7

Right away you get the vibe from the group's name—they're willing to work for you—24/7. Carol Bell Cooper, originally from Tupelo and steeped in blues, soul and country music, pairs with Mississippi Delta-born Derrick Cooper on vocals. Kevin Culver, who writes and produces tracks, plays keyboards, as does Louis Morris who comes from a gospel background. Sky Chambers, bass, has hours and hours of studio experience. The group stays busy, performing at concerts, festivals and other regional appearances. Stop by The Clarion-Ledger stage on Saturday, and you'll find it difficult to stand still as Mississippi's own 24/7 gets their groove on. Why, when they play at the Bottleneck Blues Bar at the Ameristar Casino in Vicksburg, they manage to pull folks—young and old—away from the slots and onto the dance floor. That should tell you quite a bit about the work ethic of 24/7.
— LH

Saturday, 2:30-3:30 p.m., The Clarion-Ledger stage

LIVE
Live remains one of the most successful post-grunge rock outfits of the '90s. The group logged a huge victory with 1994's "Throwing Copper," perhaps one of the most celebrated rock albums of the middle part of that decade, both commercially and critically. But 1997's follow-up "Secret Samadhi" could only maintain the commercial end of that two-part success formula. Since then the group has released several albums, but no headway has been made in either the commercial or critical realms. Their new release, "Birds of Pray," may not be any different. It suffers from gross over-production and perhaps a bit of label-orchestrated maneuvering to cash in on the faith-laden trend happening in rock music today.
Frontman Ed Kowalczyk's lyrics address spirituality, and rather sappily at that. Kowalczyk is an energetic and candid performer, but here's hoping he has not forgotten the poignant "Lightning Crashes" and the evocative "I Alone" that the band built their career on. — PH

Saturday, 11:30 p.m.-12:45 a.m., The Clarion-Ledger Stage

Jason D. Williams
Rockabilly music conjures up images of hard-driving, fun-loving bands, often fronted by extraordinarily entertaining and talented piano players. Jason D. Williams fits that description to a T. Hailing from Memphis, the son of Hank and Marie Williams—no relation to the legend—Jason D. Williams is combustible on stage, with talents in the vein of Jerry Lee Lewis. In fact, rumors persist that Jason D. is Jerry Lee's son. While there's no truth to that, once you see and hear the show, you'll come away convinced that there's a cosmic connection, anyhow. Jason D. plays more than 200 dates a year across the country to enthusiastic crowds of all ages who relate to his music—from boogie woogie to rock'n'roll. Step back and let the fireworks begin.
— LH

Friday, 7-8 p.m., Trustmark stage

Raphael Semmes Ensemble

The word "ensemble" is a noun or an adjective—depending upon how it's used in a sentence—from the French together by way of the Latin at the same time. The noun ensemble is defined as a group producing a single effect. Longtime Jackson musician Raphael Semmes couldn't have picked a better name for the group of assembled musicians—Jerré Jackson on drums, Todd Bobo on tenor sax, Sergio Fernandez on keys and more—who will join him just after noontime on The Clarion-Ledger Stage Saturday. The adjective ensemble means emphasizing the roles of all performers as a whole rather than a star performance. I'm saying that melodious, harmonious music ensues. Come listen for yourself. — LH

Saturday, 12:30 - 1:30 p.m., The Clarion-Ledger Stage

Caroline Herring

Originally from Canton, Caroline Herring went to Austin, Texas, in 1999 to work on a Ph.D. in American Studies, but it was the city's music scene that occupied her spare time. That's where she sharpened the songwriting and performing skills she'd developed at Ole Miss where she earned a master's in Southern Studies. Her Austin demo record hooked her up for two years of Thursday shows at Stubbs Bar-B-Q where Blue Corn Music founder Denby Auble heard her, and the rest is history. Herring's October 2001 album "Twilight" hit it big in Austin, and she soon branched out across America from festival to festival. Puremusic.com reports: "There's a hint of aristocracy in her high alto. … a lot of passion here, but it's tempered, fired by an instinctive Southern grace that runs deep and molds it to its will." — LH

Friday, 6:00 - 7:00 p.m., Hallelujah Stage

Cary Hudson Trio

The definition of "alt-country" has always been elusive, but for folks in the know, it's pretty simple: Mississippi's own Cary Hudson. Hudson helped invent the genre, by virtue of his work with The Hilltops, and of course, the legendary Blue Mountain. Always rootsy, always rocking, Hudson's road-hoarse vocals and incredible guitar work are pure ragged beauty. After the demise of Blue Mountain, Hudson has continued as a solo artist, with 2002's "The Phoenix" and the upcoming "Cool Breeze." The advance praise for "Cool Breeze" is mounting, getting rave reviews in No Depression and Harp magazines, among others. Look for more of a bluesy feel to Cary's new material. It will mix in beautifully with the Jubilee! Jam heat. Cary will be joined by the excellent Ted Gainey and Justin Showah, on drums and bass, respectively. This one is a don't-miss — even for you fans of Chaka Khan. — ES

Friday, 6-7 p.m., The Clarion-Ledger Stage

Edwin McCain

If Edwin McCain were a beer, he'd be Rolling Rock Light. McCain will take the Jubilee! Jam stage three days before the release of his new CD, "Scream & Whisper." The CD title is a bit misleading, since McCain's sound ranges from gentle, almost-ballads to moderately upbeat, almost-rock songs (hence the beer analogy). McCain doesn't stray from his pop niche, but his solid vocals are appealing, and he nails the genre pretty well. Think "Hootie and the Blowfish"—traditional, likeable light rock. His radio hits, "I'll Be" and "Solitude," are very representative of his sound—mellow with a little kick (and yes, I'll admit it, I always sing along when they come in on my morning mix radio). He's also a great cover artist—while he may not rock out too much with his own material, "Scream & Whisper" includes an exuberant bonus track cover of the classic "Maggie May." He should bring a good show to the Jubilee! Jam lineup. — BK

Saturday, 10:15-11:30 p.m., Mississippi Stage

Bridgid, Browning and Gill

About three years ago, Malcolm White—the Mal in Hal & Mal's—put Chris Gill and Bruce Browning onto each other's music talents and styles. Since then, Browning says they've been playing what he calls Caribbean blues—he's on congas; Gill is on guitar. Browning, a musician for 40 years, has played all over the world. Playing the guitar since the 5th grade, Gill says his style is a "mix of blues, island calypso, reggae, jazz, Mississippi slide and funk." Joining them in a marvelous union is Jackson paralegal and vocalist Bridgid Ferguson. Together, their music is wide-ranging—Mississippi John Hurt, Elizabeth Cotten, original songs with an island feel, Etta James, Aretha Franklin and Bonnie Raitt. — LH

Saturday, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Mississippi Stage

Delbert McClinton

This Grammy Award winner is the king of the Texas roadhouse blues. Delbert McClinton learned from the masters, as his early band played behind such blues legends as Howlin' Wolf, Sonny Boy Williamson and Bobby "Blue" Bland. According to legend, a young Delbert McClinton touring England in the early '60s gave a fateful harmonica lesson to John Lennon, the leader of a hot new local band called the Beatles. After years of touring as a sideman, he finally released his first solo album in 1975. Audiences and critics acclaimed McClinton's modern, yet reverent take on the blues. He performed on "Saturday Night Live" a few times and even scored a top 10 hit with "Givin' It Up For Your Love." In recent years, Delbert has moved to Nashville and become a successful songwriter for country singers, though he has continued to release albums of his own distinctive brand of swinging blues. Throughout his four decades as a singer and musician, McClinton has always been known as an incredible live performer. His latest release, "Delbert McClinton Live" was recorded at the Bergen Blues Festival in Norway, and features songs from throughout his long and illustrious career. As this disc proves, Delbert McClinton is a music legend who can still bring it. — SR

Saturday, 6:30-7:45 p.m., The Clarion-Ledger Stage

Dirty Dozen Brass Band

If you've caught their high-energy, kick-ass brass show at George Street Grocery or Hal & Mal's over the last few years, you know the addictive rhythms of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band—their music is non-stop, dance-your-sneakers-off New Orleans second-line cool. For more than 25 years, the Dozen have traveled the world, spreading the word of brass funk, be-bop, R&B and pop, leaving audiences whipped from a dancing frenzy, always wanting more. They're currently appearing on the Dave Matthews tune "Some Devil" and the Widespread Panic CD "Night Of Joy." Included in the Dozen's ensemble is original member Roger Lewis, one of the baddest baritone sax players on the planet. Efrem Towns (ET) revs the audience up with clever banter and crackling trumpet solos. Rounding out the group is Kevin Harris (another original) on tenor sax, plus Julius McKee (sousaphone), Terrence Higgens (drums), Fredrick Sanders (keyboards), Jamie Mclean (guitar) and Dave Schools (trombone). Just out is "Funeral For A Friend," an authentic jazz funeral from start to finish. But for the true concert feel, check out "We Got Robbed." It's almost as good as being there. — JCP

Friday, 9:15-10:30 p.m., Mississippi Stage

Eddie Cotton

Eddie Cotton—voted Best Musician by JFP readers for 2003—regularly takes his willing listeners to the church of the blues and ministers to them as skillfully as any preacher does his flock. Folks are soon ready to testify to the man's way with a guitar. He makes that instrument wail and moan, sing and shout, sending out the message he's preaching—full-body blues for which there is no salvation because you're so all-over-glad to have 'em that you don't want to let 'em go. So, even though he sings "Let's Straighten It Out," you don't care, just so long as he keeps singing and playing. It doesn't hurt one bit, either, that he's surrounded on stage by musicians equally as capable as he, men like Myron Bennett on bass and Kimble Funchess on trumpet, to name a few. Come be part of the congregation; this local son-of-a-preacher-man's sermon is not-to-be-missed. — LH

Saturday, 3:30-4:30 p.m., Mississippi Stage

Shelby Lynne

I still can't explain how she won the 2001 Grammy Award as best new artist for her fifth album, "I Am Shelby Lynne." Perhaps it was because this one-time mainstream country singer had reinvented herself as a Southern-style soul diva with a bad attitude. For her follow-up, Shelby worked with slick pop producer Glen Ballard, alienating many of her longtime fans. For her most recent release, the self-produced "Identity Crisis," Lynne has stripped away the pretty pop sheen, and relied on her true talent as a songwriter and vocalist, performing most all of the music herself. From traditional country, to Muscle Shoals soul, to gritty, confessional rock and roll, Shelby Lynne is an American original. — SR

Saturday, 5:30-6:30 p.m., Mississippi Stage

John Kay and Steppenwolf

Steppenwolf's magic carpet parks 5:30 Saturday on the Trustmark Stage.
Anyone in their 50s can really understand just how great I felt, driving around Jackson in my '62 Chevy II, windows down, radio blaring, singing along at the top of my lungs with John Kay and Steppenwolf. Those were the days. I just knew I was "Born to Be Wild" on a "Magic Carpet Ride," even if I didn't know anything about "The Pusher"—then or now. If you're too young to have first-hand knowledge of this band and their enduring, edgy sound, never fear. Come listen with your cool, groovy parents or grandparents—they really do know good music when they hear it, and they won't embarrass you, too much. John Kay and Steppenwolf—an enduring band for its fans, old and new. Once you get your motor runnin', you'll hardly have to get out on the highway—just head for downtown Jackson. — LH

Saturday, 5:30-6:30 p.m., Trustmark Stage

David Banner

I've got to admit that I've not seen David Banner perform in person. I've only seen his videos on TV, but I did see him pumpin' his own gas into an iridescent pink Cadillac with two van-fuls of posse pulled in behind him last summer. I couldn't help myself, stepping up to reach between two of the guys, extending my hand in greeting, saying, "Mr. Banner, I'm a librarian at a middle school here in Jackson, and I just want to tell you how proud I am that you're proud to be a Mississippian and that you're telling everyone that with your music." Well, you shoulda seen his face and the faces of his guys, wondering what's this grandma-lookin' white woman doing knowing who David Banner is in the first place? All in all, they took my praise well and I left there, confused by their hip-hop monikers but with one of my own—Curly Gee. I can tell you for sure that Curly Gee will be in the crowd at 10:15 p.m. Saturday when Mr. Banner takes the stage. I've got to see for myself the show—a fusion of rap, rock and blues with Ezra Brown and friends backing him up—that I've heard brought down the house (and gained him some new Banner converts) at last year's Jam. Holla.
— LH

Saturday, 10:15-11:30 p.m., Trustmark Stage

Rhonda Richmond

Jacksonian Rhonda Richmond's timeless contralto comes from deep within her slender frame, deep inside her psyche. When she sings, she often closes her eyes as if she, too, is mesmerized by the sound. Whether she's performing a standard like "Mood Indigo," Nina Simone's "I Want A Little Sugar In My Bowl" or a Richmond original like "Float That Boat," she'll soon have you in the palm of her hand, just as she does Jackson's jazz lovers. Richmond regularly performs at venues like Julep and Jazz, Art and Friends at the Mississippi Museum of Art. Bringing her music to Jubilee! Jam affords even more people the chance to experience her earthy, soulful songs of love and life. You really should stop and listen; you'll feel better for having done so. — LH

Robert Cray Band

Since their 1986 album "Strong Persuader," the Robert Cray Band has been known as the blues band for modern times. "Time Will Tell"—their first release with Sanctuary Records, encased in somewhat eco-friendly thick paper rather than the oil by-product and usual plastic case—begins with Crays' "Survivor" in which he sings "I'm so glad to be here today 'cause not everybody can stand up and say that they're a survivor." The Robert Cray Band—Cray on guitar, left-handed drummer Kevin Hayes, Jim Pugh on keyboards and Karl Sevareid on bass—has done more than merely survive—they're winners. On the album's seventh song, "What you Need (Good Man)," Cray sings, "What you need is a good man / So whattaya want with me?" Mr. Cray, you are the man. — LH

Saturday, 7:45-9 p.m., Trustmark Stage

The Bluz Boys

What would festivals across the state of Mississippi have been like for the past 20 years without The Bluz Boys? This 15-member show band has been the salvation for many a Mississippian with fun on his or her mind. Right after I moved home in 1983, a new widow with two little boys, my brother took me to the Iron Horse Grill when the Bluz Boys were performing, back when Michael Barranco was one of the leads. Seems like it was a Sunday afternoon and Johhny Barranco was home to sing with them—Otis Redding's "Try a Little Tenderness" in particular. Since then, all I have to do is see those sunglasses and fedoras and I'm ready to par-tay, '60s-style. The Boys, The Girls, The Rhythm and The Horns—you really cannot go wrong spending an hour with The Bluz Boys on Saturday afternoon at the Trustmark Stage. And, as JoAnne says, that's the truth. — LH

Saturday, 3:30-4:30 p.m., Trustmark Stage

Chris Robinson and the New Earth Mud

You may know Chris Robinson as the bonified Holly-Rock God and once leading man for "The Black Crows," husband to Kate Hudson and son-in-law to Goldie Hawn. Robinson is back, touring the states for his second solo album, "This Magnificent Distance." It's straight-up Southern rock 'n' roll from Atlanta's No. 1 son., for the soulful fans of Humble Pie, Allman Brothers, and Widespread. They'll be fresh from a few days R&R after the big Bonnaroo Music Fest, and readying to tour with The Dead and The Allman Brothers in July. — HS

Friday, 9:15-10:30 p.m., Trustmark Stage

Puerto Rican Rum Drunks

Del Rendon and the Puerto Rican Rum Drunks have been legends of the Starkville and Mississippi touring scenes for years. Their enduring popularity stems from their unique blend of rock and soul, amazing marathon live shows, and the only reggae version of Ozzy's "Crazy Train" that you've ever heard. — DC

Saturday, 1:30-2:30 p.m., Mississippi Stage

Charlie Mars

Born and bred a Mississippian, Charlie Mars has been a mainstay on the regional music scene since he released his debut album "Broken Arrow" as a college student in 1995. That was followed by two more independent projects "Born & Razed" and "The End of Romance," neither of which could give Mars the push he needed. In a last ditch effort, Mars logged studio time with Atlanta producer Rick Beato, the product of which eventually landed him a deal with V2 Records, home of luminaries like the White Stripes and Moby. Mars' self-titled V2 debut, released last month, has propelled him across the country with his strongest album yet, touring with acts like Bob Schneider (opening gigs with Dave Matthews and Old 97's are on the way) and from a set on the bare-bones Jubilee! Jam Acoustic Stage during Bob Dylan's show last year, to a primetime slot on the Mississippi Stage Saturday. Mars' album is an amalgamation of a rougher-edged U2, a less-polished Neil Young, a less-Southern Drive-By Truckers, and lyric-flow richness approaching XTC; it showcases his haunted hybrid of modern rock, musing on grim realities like failure but not without acknowledging some looming hope. — PH

Saturday, 7:45-9 p.m., Mississippi Stage

Gospel Roundup

The award-winning Cynthia Goodloe Palmer performs traditional gospel Saturday at 5:10 p.m.

Gospel music—Mississippi style—abounds on the Hallelujah Stage at St. Andrews Episcopal Church on Capitol Street. Leading off are Linous White and Victory, followed by the South Liberty Missionary Baptist Church's Mass Choir, 40 members strong. Made up of members of the Beginner, Youth, Adult, Inspirational, Male and Junior Matron Auxiliary choirs, South Liberty performs contemporary gospel music at church events around the region. The West Singers and Orlander Emmons take the stage next. Then 35 members of the Anderson United Methodist Church's Sanctuary Choir, with ages ranging from eight to 60-plus, will perform contemporary gospel music as well as some Sunday morning favorites. New Life performs next, followed by Purpose, with lead singer Cedric Brown and singers Willie Marshall, Nakia Clemons, Melvin "Jack" Williams and Kofi Woodall, backed by musicians J. C. Terry, "B" Hicks and Ray Marshall. Among their favorite gospel tunes are "Joy," "We Need Your Help" and "You've Really Been Good to Me."
Mississippi Gospel Music Awards 2003 Album of the Year winner Cynthia Goodloe Palmer comes on stage next. Palmer, backed by a five-piece band and nine back-up singers, performs mostly traditional gospel in addition to originals like the title song she wrote for her award-winning album, "Heaven Is the Place to Be." Next up, The Southern Sons who've been singing traditional and contemporary gospel for 30 years. Recording for Juana Records in Jackson are Bob Holloway, Henry Hamilton, Wilbert Smith and Ben Singleton, joined by Robert Taylor on the drums. Rounding out the evening for gospel lovers is Paul Porter, front-man for Marxan recording artists, the Christianaires. — LH

Saturday, various times

Questions in Dialect

QID, who released a full-length CD last August, stand out in the improving Jackson music scene as truly unique and have the potential to become the "new darlings" of the regional indie and college rock circuit. Although their music is primarily instrumental, this certainly doesn't detract from the emotion and atmosphere. One immediately thinks of Mogwai, Robert Fripp, Explosions in the Sky and Sigur Ros. These comparisons end as their shows progress, and the uniqueness of their sound becomes evident. QiD's music starts off slowly, with guitar and bass lines interwoven into a fragile tapestry of sound. As the momentum builds, this fragility is replaced by sheer power, without sounding unrestrained or improvisational. Punctuating this analogy are the moving images being shown on the screen behind the stage, one of which starts with the face of a man walking by himself. As the song increases in tempo, the man is joined by others walking along with him. The people in the film then begin to sprint as the momentum builds even further and, as the music climaxes, they are all running in sync. The result will be a beautiful set of music that is guaranteed to take you within, all the while keeping you connected with everything around. — AS
Saturday, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Trustmark stage

Steve Forbert

How can you sum up a performer who was once called the "new Bob Dylan," played at the legendary New York punk club CBGB, opened for Talking Heads and John Cale, recorded albums with Wilco and the E Street Band's Gary Tallent, had a top 20 album, and recorded an entire album of songs by fellow Meridianite Jimmie Rodgers, the king of country music? Put simply, Steve Forbert's music is unclassifiable. Since his debut in 1978, he has channeled all the roots of his Mississippi home into his passionate and literate work. His most recent album, "Just Like There's Nothin to It" was just released in May. — SR

Friday, 8-9:15 p.m., Hallelujah Stage

North Mississippi Allstars

Truly the children of blues and rock 'n' roll, the North Mississippi Allstars are all that their name implies. You can't help but mention that half the band are the sons of Jim Dickinson, producer of such luminaries as Big Star and The Replacements, and sideman to folks from Ry Cooder to the Rolling Stones, and that one guitarist is the son of living blues legend R.L. Burnside. All this adds up to one thing: roots rock of the highest order. — DC

Friday, 10:30-11:45 p.m., The Clarion-Ledger Stage

Ingram Hill

Ingram Hill has been making the trek from Memphis to their loyal fans at Hal & Mal's since their origin in 2000. The quartet's rootsy classic pop-rock landed them a big record deal on Hollywood Records. They are enjoying some Southern-tinged radio play from their latest album, "June's Picture Show." — HS

Saturday, 9-10:15 p.m., The Clarion-Ledger Stage

Willie Clayton

Willie Clayton is rhythm & blues, old school. The Indianola legend has been creating his own hybrid of sweet Delta Motown and smooth soul-blues since 1969. Bring your dancing shoes to groove deep, like Bobby Rush with all the lovely ladies. — HS

Friday, 11:30 p.m.-12:45 a.m., Mississippi Stage

American Minor

American Minor is a broke-back country rock band that sounds like the Byrds got lost down South, ran out of cash and got drunk on warm beer one Oxford Sunday. Fans of Wilco, old Tom Petty and the "Let It Bleed"-era Rolling Stones will be delighted. —DC

Saturday, 1:30-2:30 p.m., Trustmark Stage

**********

SATURDAY - Jackson Free Press Tent (others to be announced) :

12:15 PM - Percival @ Jubilee JAM in Jackson Free Press tent

9:10 PM - Questions in Dialect @ @ Jubilee JAM in Jackson Free Press tent

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