Friday, January 29, 2010

on the up and up

Two of my favorite musicians in Oxford, Mississippi, have paired up as a string duo. Their calling themselves Fussell & Hollister, a self-titled band name that beckons to the yesteryear, which is where their musical inspiration can be found. They've been playing regularly in North Mississippi, but I was lucky to catch them in Oktibbeha County at one of my favorite drinking holes, Dave's Dark Horse Tavern.

Fussell & Hollister opened for the semi-defunct Mayhem String Band (listen to my interview with the Mayhem on the Arts Hour), playing a few original tunes such as the heart wrenching "Troubles" and the more playful tune "Donkey Riding." I really dig Jake Fussell's voice-- simple, compelling, warm-- and over the years I've watched Jamison Hollister grow into a fine fiddle player. The duo also played one of my favorite traditionals, "Raggy Levy," and it may be my favorite version yet. Listen to Jake singing "Raggy Levy" on a 2007 episode of Prairie Home Companion.

This is one group I'm going to keep up with in 2010. You should, too.

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