Thirsty Hippo hosts Americana in Miss. Tour


Downtown Hattiesburg restaurant and bar The Thirsty Hippo will host the Americana in Mississippi Tour March 10.

Coordinated by Visit Mississippi and Visit Hattiesburg, the Americana in Mississippi Tour will feature Rambling Steve Gardner and The Jericho Road Show, an act comprised of four members performing individually, in combined duo efforts and all together.

According to the band’s website, all four of its members play National Reso-phonic guitars and archtop guitars. Rambling Steve Gardner and Bill Steber also play harmonica, saw, banjo-ukulele, kazoo and washboard.
All of The Jericho Road Show’s shows are family friendly, and this tour is no exception.

“This tour has been amazing so far,” said Wes Lee, roadshow player frontman of the band Blue Roux. “[We’ve] played for the governor, played some beautiful theaters, met some incredible people. We all have a wonderful time together.”

Lee and the rest of the performers bring their mutual love for Americana music to the stage with them.

“The old-time Americana music that this group presents is very relevant because [it’s] the only way to keep in touch with the past,” Lee said. “Our parents music, their parents music, music that came from all over the globe and ended up here… When someone wants to tap an all-American feel, or pull heartstrings, [Americana] music gets the call. It taps people at the core. It is very relevant and important.”

According to the Visit Mississippi website, the Americana in Mississippi Tour pays homage to the state’s “the countless famous, infamous and not-so-famous bluesmen, troubadours, choirs, and songwriters that planted the seeds for what we now call roots music.”

At each stop, notable local musicians join Rambling Steve Gardner and The Jericho Road Show. Scott Chism & the Better Half and Her & the Hymns will also perform with them tonight in Hattiesburg.

The tour’s previous stop in Laurel, Mississippi featured local folk/blues band Honeyboy & Boots. The husband and wife duo play cello and guitar and was formed in Mississippi but is now based in Tennessee.

Drew Blackwell of Honeyboy & Boots said the band plays original music directly influenced by traditional folk and blues music. They also play several traditional folk and blues covers that appeal to Americana fans.

“Americana music is just like it sounds: a blend of American music,” Blackwell said. “And mostly, it’s a blend of traditional music like folk, blues, country and gospel. All of these genres have been richly tied to Mississippi.”

Honeyboy & Boots were enthused to have the opportunity to perform with The Jericho Road Show.

“We were so honored to be a part of the event,” Blackwell said. “We had a great time and [a great] crowd.”

The March 10 show begins at 6 p.m. and is free to the public. The tour will continue through the next month, with the last stop on April 28 at Blue Canoe in Tupelo. Other stops include Ocean Springs, Natchez, Vicksburg, Greenville, Oxford, Greenwood, Cleveland, Clarksdale, Columbus, Indianola and West Point.