Hill Country Picnic: Weekend festival celebrates the blues

North Mississippi Allstars guitarist Luther Dickinson (second from right), who's also played with the Black Crowes, leads a guitar workshop at the 2013 Hill Country Picnic. (Candise Kola)

North Mississippi Allstars guitarist Luther Dickinson (second from right), who’s also played with the Black Crowes, leads a guitar workshop at the 2013 Hill Country Picnic. (Candise Kola)

Hill Country Blues Picnic founder Kenny Brown performs at last year's picnic. (Candise Kola)

Hill Country Blues Picnic founder Kenny Brown performs at last year’s picnic. (Candise Kola)

By Sheena Barnett

Daily Journal

WATERFORD – Fan favorites and fresh faces are all performing at this year’s Hill Country Picnic.

The annual music festival and non-profit celebrates hill country blues with two days of concerts and a guitar workshop. Organizer and blues musician Kenny Brown said the annual festival is a good way to hear favorite artists and discover new favorites.

“Every year I’m glad to see these people; they’re friends of mine,” he said.

This year’s lineup includes Rocket 88, Rev. John Wilkins, Cary Hudson, Duwayne Burnside Band, Alvin Youngblood Hart’s Muscle Theory and Bill “Howl N Madd” Perry.

The guitar workshop is the day before the festival starts, and instructors are Garry Burnside, Eric Deaton and Cary Hudson.

The festival also includes a raffle.

“Luther (Dickinson) donated a notebook with song lists and notes, and we have a guitar donated,” Brown said. “We have paintings and a lot of cool stuff.”

The money raised at the raffle goes to a local cause. Last year, the proceeds paid for bluesman T. Model Ford’s funeral and tombstone. This year, Brown said, the money will go toward tombstones for members of R.L. Burnside’s family.

Because the festival’s outdoors, fans should bring along sunscreen and bug spray. Coolers are allowed, but glass isn’t.

For a complete list of details, visit nmshillcountrypicnic.com.

Brown is proud of how the festival has grown. This year, the festival celebrates its 9th anniversary.

“It’s looking better every year,” he said. “I’m looking forward to the 10th.”

sheena.barnett@journalinc.com

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CHECK IT OUT

What: Hill Country Picnic

When: June 27-28, plus guitar workshop on June 26

Where: Waterford, at a picnic site about 15 miles south of Holly Springs on Highway 7.

Cost: $25/Friday or Saturday’s concerts; $150/Early bird VIP tent, $15/camping, $65/weekend packet, $100/guitar workshop. There are also fees for coolers and a shuttle between the picnic and Oxford.

Info: nmshillcountrypicnic.com

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HILL COUNTRY LINEUP

Kenny Brown Band, Stringbean & the Stalkers, Bill “Howl N Madd” Perry, Blue Mother Tupelo, George McConnell & the Nonchalants, David Kimbrough Band, Duwayne Burnside Band, The Bush League, Little Joe Ayers, Robert Belfour, Tate Moore, Rocket 88, Eric Deaton Trio, Rev. John Wilkins, Robert Kimbrough, Cary Hudson, Cedric Burnside Project, Garry Burnside Band, Hill Country Kings, Solar Porch, Bill Abel, Rising Star Fife & Drum Band, Alvin Youngblood Hart’s Muscle Theory