By Sheena Barnett/NEMS Daily Journal
WATERFORD – It gets better and better for the Hill Country Picnic.
The hill country blues festival, now in its 8th year, continues to grow and offer more, for not just its audience, but for the musicians.
“I was just amazed the first year (of the picnic),” said founder and bluesman Kenny Brown. “The first year, we didn’t do any advertising. We just sent out emails. It’s gotten bigger and better every year.”
Blues fans from across the country flock to the picnic, bringing lawn chairs, blankets and plenty of bug spray to the heart of hill country blues territory for two days of music.
This year’s event includes a guitar workshop that will be taught by Brown, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Luther Dickinson and two Burnsides, DuWayne and Garry.
Brown wanted to do more than just play and enjoy music, so he’s included a benefit portion of the picnic, too. Each year money is donated toward a musician or a non-profit that aids musicians in need.
This year, many items will be raffled off to help ailing bluesman T-Model Ford.
Ford, in his early 90s, “has been in pretty bad shape,” Brown said, so the funds raised will help pay his medical bills. “He’s a tough old guy.”
Items raffled off include a Jimbo Mathus and North Mississippi Allstars merch pack, a guitar donated by Alvin Youngblood Hart, and a quilt made by Otha Turner’s daughter.
Brown said the picnic, laid-back, family reunion feel is part of what makes it so special.
“We’re all pretty much family. I try to see as many as I can,” he said. “We want everybody to come out and have a good time.”
Check it out
What: North Mississippi Hill Country Picnic
When: June 28-29, with the camp site opening at 5 p.m. June 27
Where: Camp site located off Highway 7 in Waterford
Cost: $20/June 28, $25/June 29, $150/VIP tent, $65/two days of music, camping and cooler, $100/guitar workshop. All prices include fees. Guitar workshop and VIP tickets cannot be purchased after June 22. There are additional fees for camping and more.
Info and to buy tickets: nmshillcountrypicnic.com
Hill Country Picnic music schedule
3:30 p.m. – Lil Hambones
4 p.m. – Workshop jam
5 p.m. – Tate Moore
6 p.m. – Blue Mother Tupelo
7 p.m. – Rocket 88
8 p.m. – Eric Deaton Trio
9 p.m. – Bobby Rush
10 p.m. – David Kimbrough Band
11 p.m. – Duwayne Burnside and band
11:45 p.m. – Jam
10:30 a.m. – Adam Gussow
11:15 a.m. – Solar Porch
Noon – Joe Ayers
12:45 p.m. – Robert Belfour
1:30 p.m. – Rev. John Wilkins
2:30 p.m. – George McConnell & the Non-Chalants
3:30 p.m. – T-Model Ford tribute featuring Bill Abel and friends
4:10 p.m. – Ian Siegal
4:45 p.m. – Garry Burnside Band
5:45 p.m. – Blue Mountain
6:45 p.m. – Alvin Youngblood Hart’s Muscle Theory
7:45 p.m. – Rising Star Fife and Drum Band
8:15 p.m. – Kenny Brown Band
9:15 p.m. – Jimbo Mathus & the Tri-State Coalition
10:15 p.m. – North Mississippi Allstars
11 p.m. – Hill Country Kings