Join us for a very special evening to celebrate the 200th birthday of the state of Mississippi, under the giant oak trees of the Grove on the campus of the University of Mississippi.
Guests: Author Beth Ann Fennelly (Poet Laureate of Mississippi), Sharde Thomas and the Rising Star Fife & Drum Band, and indie-pop rocker, Dent May. Hosted by Jim Dees and our house band, The Yalobushwhackers.
FREE Admission. Lawn chairs/blankets encouraged.
FIREWORKS display following the show.
No live broadcast; show will air Saturday, 7 pm, July 1 on Mississippi Public Broadcasting.
Beth Ann Fennelly
Beth Ann Fennelly is in her second year of a four-year term as the Poet Laureate of Mississippi. Her latest book, Heating and Cooling: 52 Micro-Memoirs will be published this fall by W.W. Norton. She is the former director of the M.F.A. program at the University of Mississippi, where she teaches poetry and nonfiction writing. Her previous books include the poetry collections, Open House, Tender Hooks, and Unmentionables, a book of nonfiction, Great with Child, and a novel, The Tilted World, co-written with her husband, novelist Tom Franklin. She and Franklin live in Oxford with their three children.
Sharde Thomas and the Rising Star Fife and Drum Band
Sharde Thomas is the granddaughter of the late Othar Turner, a leading practitioner of the North Mississippi fife and drum tradition. She began playing music at the age of 7 with her grandfather’s group, the Rising Star Fife and Drum Band. She released her debut CD, What Do I Do? at age 20. The New York Times called Thomas “the last living link to fife and drum music.” Thomas plays a homemade cane fife she often soaks in ice water before performing. Over the past few years, she has fronted the Rising Star band as well as toured and recorded with Luther Dickinson of the North Mississippi Allstars.
Dent May is a Mississippi musician now based in Los Angeles. His newest CD, Across the Multiplex, is now available for pre-order and will be officially released on August 18th on Carpark Records. Stereogum says the new album is “smooth hi-fi euphoria… absolutely dazzling.” May’s previous CDs include, The Good Feeling Music of Dent May & His Magnificent Ukulele, Warm Blanket, and Do Things, all on Paw Tracks. Pitchfork calls May’s music, with its easy hooks and Beach Boys-like harmonies, “a crowd-pleasing soundtrack to summer.”