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America's Longest-Running Music Festival Returns

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The Jimmie Rodgers Foundation is proud to announce the lineup for our historic 70th Annual Music Festival. Much like Rodgers who influenced all genres of American music, the lineup will include artists performing blues, rock & roll, country and gospel music. The 2023 lineup will take place over eight days in May, with events spanning Meridian's historic, diverse performance venues.

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2023 LINEUP
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SATURDAY MAY 6

Meridian City Hall Lawn, 1PM

Join us for Meridian's 2nd Annual Bud N' Boilin' Crawfish Competition, presented by Mitchell Distributing and Community Bank with proceeds benefitting the Jimmie Rodgers Music Festival!

Whether you're cooking crawfish to win cash prizes or you're sampling from the participating teams, it's a day you don't want to miss! Amazing live music all day, ice cold beer, and you'll be able to vote for your favorite boil!

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SUNDAY MAY 7

The Temple Theater, 2-5PM

The Sucarnochee Revue takes the “old-time” radio show to the next level and is headed into a seventeenth season! It has won numerous awards, and citations from the National Geographic, to the Country Music Association and the radio and TV version has been seen in eight states and overseas. Three documentaries have been filmed about the Revue by Public Television in Alabama, and Mississippi.

 

Several of their regular, and guest artists have gone on to make their marks in American, and International music including Ben Johnson & Track45, John Byron, William Michael Morgan, Adam Box, and more!

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MONDAY MAY 8

Mississippi Arts + Entertainment Experience (The MAX), 5:30PM

Join us for a music history symposium focused on the life and legacy of the father of country music.

FREE ADMISSION (NO RESERVATION REQUIRED)

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TUESDAY MAY 9

Mississippi Arts + Entertainment Experience (The MAX), 5:30PM

In the spirit of Jimmie Rodgers, we invite local musicians to join us for a jam session remembering longtime Jimmie Rodgers enthusiast and volunteer Rick Courtney. This open session is for all musicians and will offer artistry, refreshments, and fun! 

We are joined by Adam Box, an American drummer best known for his work with the country duo Brothers Osborne. Box started playing drums at church in his hometown of Zero, Mississippi before his talents were quickly realized in Nashville, leading to him joining Brothers Osborne.

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WEDNESDAY MAY 10

Mississippi Arts + Entertainment Experience (The MAX), 6PM (Gates open at 5:30PM)

Think you got what it takes to make it on stage before a live audience? If you do, we're looking for you! Digio Strategies and 97OKK is thrilled to bring back the Jimmie Rodgers Singer/Songwriter Competition! 

 

By popular demand, registration will be open until April 21st at 12:00AM. Voting will now open April 22nd - April 29th. There will be a Youth Division (age 10 – 17 years) and an Adult Division (18 years and older). Visit 97okk.com and upload a video using the online entry form to register.

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Join us after the Talent Competition for Crocodile Wine, a high energy, eccentrically southern psychedelic blues/rock band. This newly established group consists of four members: Lach Thornton of Meridian, MS (now based out of Nashville, TN); Evan Bentzel of Macon, GA; Drew and Alex Fitzkee of Lewes, Delaware; with the addition of special guest artist, Grace Bowers of Bay Area, CA (now based out of Nashville, TN).

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THURSDAY MAY 11

Ellis Theater (Philadelphia), 7PM

Delnora is a singer/songwriter based in Nashville, Tennessee. She has been performing her signature blend of roots, country and folk music across the country since she was a teenager, continuing a long and distinguished family tradition in music.

In 2021 Delnora released a new album entitled Blank Page, which climbed to #1 on Steve Roberson's Christian Country Music Countdown on HLE Radio. In May 2022, Delnora  released Man At The Well which debuted at #1 on Christian Music Weekly!  She was awarded New Artist of the Year and Inspirational Song of the Year at the IMCA's.

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Paul Thorn is an American Southern rock, country, Americana, and blues singer-songwriter whose style is a mix of blues, country, and rock. Raised in Tupelo, Mississippi, Thorn spent his early years performing in his father’s Pentecostal church. Thorn later developed a career as a professional boxer who established a respectable 14-4 record.

Thorn's 2010 album Pimps and Preachers debuted at No. 83 on the Billboard 200 chart followed by his subsequent album What the Hell Is Going On, which was the 12th Most Played Album of 2012 on the Americana Music Association Year-End Chart. In 2014, Thorn released Too Blessed to Be Stressed, which he described as a collection of "positive anthem songs." Thorn pivoted back to his roots with his 2018 album, Don't Let the Devil Ride, which featured several covers of gospel songs that were inspiration to him during his youth and adolescence. In 2018, the Mississippi House of Representatives named March 27 'Paul Thorn Day' in recognition of his constant support of his home state.

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FRIDAY MAY 12

Mississippi Arts + Entertainment Experience (The MAX), Gates open at 5PM

Sugarcane Jane, otherwise known as Anthony Crawford and Savana Lee from Loxley, Alabama — have been Americana’s sweethearts from Alabama’s Gulf Coast for over a decade.

 

Between them, they have amassed a rich musical heritage working with such notables as Neil Young, Steve Winwood, and Dwight Yoakam. The music they make together is simple and direct, rooted in country and rock, and anchored by their sweet and soulful harmonies.

“One of the best duos since Johnny and June.” - The Washington Times

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Every generation or so, a young bluesman bursts onto the scene and sends a jolt through the blues community.  Jontavious Willis may just have that effect on people. The 24-year-old multi-instrumentalist was nominated for a GRAMMY in 2020 thanks to his latest album, Spectacular Class.

 

Through original lyrics written by Willis himself, the gifted musician delivers a timeless album that features dynamic vocals and all types of blues: Delta, Piedmont, Texas, and Gospel. His stand-out fingerpicking, flat-picking, and slide prowess are also on display.

Hailing from Greenville, Georgia, Willis grew up singing Gospel music at the Mount Pilgrim Baptist Church with his grandfather. At the age of 14, he came across a YouTube video of Muddy Waters playing “Hoochie Coochie Man” and was instantly hooked on the blues. Many fans of Willis regard him as an old soul, as his style of playing the instruments and his voice touches the very roots of country blues.

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Since the release of Kingfish, his Grammy-nominated 2019 debut, guitarist, vocalist and songwriter Christone “Kingfish” Ingram has quickly become the defining blues voice of his generation. From his hometown of Clarksdale, Mississippi to stages around the world, the now 22-year-old has already headlined two national tours and performed with friends including Vampire Weekend, Jason Isbell and Buddy Guy.

As he was thinking about the man he was becoming and the new directions his life was taking, he began writing songs for his next album, 662. The number 662 is the telephone area code for Ingram’s northern Mississippi home, and it first came into use the same year he was born—1999.

Rolling Stone declared, “Kingfish is one of the most exciting young guitarists in years, with a sound that encompasses B.B. King, Jimi Hendrix and Prince.”

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SATURDAY MAY 13

Mississippi Arts + Entertainment Experience (The MAX), Gates open at 4PM

Daniel Houze is a bonafide country boy from Meridian, Mississippi, steeped in the soulful, earthy traditions of the countryside. And, more than that, he's established himself, through a reputation for kindness and hard work, as a community favorite away from the lights.

Houze has played stages as diverse as the Sucarnochee Review and FloraBama. He's opened for Jeff Bates and delighted country music enthusiasts all over the South East since. No matter where you find Daniel, whether you catch one of his four-show-a-week performances in South Mississippi or run into him at the local convenience store, he's always wearing his big, old, country boy smile and a helping hand ready for a new friend!

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Tyler Tisdale is a singer-songwriter hailing from Hattiesburg, Mississippi, blending folk, country, and soul to deliver music of love, laughter, and heartache. Tyler Tisdale’s roots may be deep in the heart of the south, but the geographical area in which the wildly-talented singer/songwriter calls home hardly defines him as a performer.

After spending the last several years fronting Midnight Revel, a five-piece power jam band whose 2018 genre-bending album was named “Album of the Year’ by Signature Magazine, Tisdale has returned to his roots with an acoustic guitar in hand and a new solo effort that is catching waves throughout the region.

Although Tisdale’s powerful, but precise voice long ago earned him the reputation of having one of the biggest voices in the South, his new songs are creating a buzz all over again.

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Sweet Tea Trio is an all female harmony group hailing from the Deep South. Kate Falcon, from Southside, Victoria Camp, from Tuscaloosa, & Charity Bowden from Hope Hull are the three ladies who make up Sweet Tea Trio.

 

Together, their music has no limit. Each growing up with different influences, the three keep their lyrics honest and their music full of roots and authenticity. They recently released a six song EP titled Sugar Rush, produced by Kid Rock himself. 

He says, "These young ladies are some of the most talented, kind hearted and hard working singers and players I have ever met... In my opinion they pick up where the Dixie Chicks and Pistol Annies meet."

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Brothers, Matt and Cole, grew up in the small town of Pahrump, Nevada. From childhood, the brothers were surrounded by mentors and influences, such as, Dick Dale, Red Simpson, and Gib Guilbeau.

Come 2016, The Reeves Brothers band was born, and they released their first full-length album, being deemed worthy of being “played on a jukebox also stocked with the likes of Charlie Rich, David Allan Coe, and Merle Haggard” with voices “as smooth as top-shelf bourbon.” (The Las Vegas Review) After a successful album release and an every-busying tour schedule with their growing fan base, the brothers received the Ameripolitan Award for “Honky-Tonk Group of the Year” in 2018.

Get ready for their Honky-Tonk sound to revive your country soul!

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Paul Cauthen is a singer, songwriter, entertainer and proud son of Tyler, Texas. His most recent release, Country Coming Down, was highlighted in Pitchfork, Rolling Stone, and Garden and Gun amongst others. The #2 album on iTunes’ Top Country Albums Chart upon release, it was widely considered one of the best country albums of the year. He has garnered over 110 million career streams to date – including over 13 million album streams.

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SUNDAY MAY 14

Mississippi Arts + Entertainment Experience (The MAX), 1-3PM (Gates open at 12:30)

Close out the week with a big, boozy New Orleans-style brunch! Enjoy the soulful vocals of Grammy award-winning Joyful and the Spirit of New Orleans Gospel Choir, featuring members of world class gospel groups.

THANK YOU TO OUR 2023 FESTIVAL SPONSORS
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Anne & Duncan Chalk

Randy Reeves

The Rodgers Boys, Texas

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