Mississippi has played, and continues to play, an interesting and oversized role in the American music industry.
Besides being the birthplace of American blues, perhaps no Southern rock is as raw and authentic as that of Mississippi-based rock bands. Jackson quartet The Weeks epitomizes this concept to a tee.
“We always like to do as many Mississippi shows as possible,” the group’s guitarist and vocalist, Samuel Williams, said. “Of all the good bands that come out of there, a lot of the greatest [Mississippi artists] in general don’t come back a lot… That’s so far away from what we want to do.”
Although the band feels a certain nostalgia and commitment to Mississippi in general, they also have a special connection to Oxford. The Weeks are playing a special Proud Larry’s show starting at 9 p.m. Friday.
“Oxford is one of the rowdiest cities of anywhere that we tour,” Williams said. “Weeks shows in Oxford, I don’t know what it is about that town, but they are just absolutely mental.”
Aside from having a crazy show to look forward to on a busy touring schedule, the band’s connection with the town is sentimental in nature, heralding back to the band’s humble roots.
“We also recorded a handful of things in a studio not too far from Oxford, in Water Valley, Mississippi, and every time we would record there we would go into Oxford and party,” Cyle Barnes, the band’s lead vocalist, said. “So, it’s kind of got a special place in our hearts.”
As for the show this Friday, the band’s members said they cannot emphasize the amount of energy they expect from such a rowdy Oxford crowd, and that all who attend are in for a crazy night.
“For Oxford people I would say keep your head on a swivel. There will be people flying through the air,” Williams said. “That’s another thing I love about Oxford. It’s not a town that I would expect a lot of crowd surfing, but there is a lot of crowd surfing… Don’t come looking for a thoughtful introspective , I mean, it is thoughtful, but it’s mostly thinking about ‘How am I not going to get my head taken off by this guitar?’”
The band is currently in the process of preparing to release their seventh studio album, off which they just revealed their first single. However, their current tour piggybacks on the release of their 2014 album “Dear Bo Jackson,” a project which they feel epitomizes a much different vibe than previous albums.
“When we were making records in Water Valley it was all about just the raw, loud, visceral and aggressive, and with ‘Dear Bo [Jackson]’ we kind of toned it down a bit,” Williams said. “With this [upcoming record] we kind of tried to combine the two. We kind of tried to figure out how to have the same aggression, but also have the fidelity of the recordings.”
Aside from this record release in the next couple of months, the group also emphasized with the release they will be hitting the road hard for long tour stretches across the country, hopefully representing Mississippi all around the nation.
“We are going to be touring as much as we can,” Barnes said. “A ton of music is coming your way for sure, but mainly we’re just going to be hitting the road really hard again, and just coming to a town near you to jump in the crowd and do something ridiculous.”