The Weeks brings local Jackson sound to The Lyric

Posted on Apr 26 2017 - 8:00am by Jonathan Gibson

The Lyric Oxford will host hit Mississippi glam rock band The Weeks, alongside Passion Pit and The Lonely Biscuits, this Thursday night as part of C Spire Tech Experience conference.

Hailing from Jackson, The Weeks epitomizes the funkiness and soul of Southern rock ‘n’ roll.

The band’s songs cross genre lines, dipping into blues, funk, jazz and even a bit of pop. The combination of big brass, strings and signature twang mix together to form a sound that ties together the richness of Southern music styles.

“We grew up with bands like (Lynyrd) Skynyrd, and when that’s the only thing you heard in your dad’s pickup, it’s kind of hard to get rid of that,” Sam Williams, guitarist and backup vocalist for The Weeks, said.

Williams spent his childhood in Jackson alongside twin brothers Cyle and Cain Barnes and Damien Bone. The four started The Weeks project in 2006, Williams’ freshman year of high school.

But Williams said his love for music went back a few years earlier.

“Jackson had this unbelievable music scene back in 2004 and 2005,” Williams said. “The list of bands that played there was just insane. We were convincing these club owners to let us in. Like, ‘Trust me – it’s a $5 cover, 21 and up. I’m 12. Here’s $20. I’m not going to get you in trouble.’”

Williams said they built a relationship with the local club owners, and before long, they were seeing shows every weekend they could, soaking in every kind of music the town had to offer.

In 2006, he said, a void opened up in the music scene. In that moment, The Weeks was born.

“We made a band, had a couple shows really quick off the bat, and we sort of never stopped,” Williams said. “We hit the ground running so fast that there wasn’t really time for us to discuss what kind of band we were or what our influences were, which I think set a nice tempo for us.”

The Weeks recently released a new album titled “Easy,” and Williams said he feels it’s smarter and more efficient than some of the group’s previous work.

“We’ve got glammier sounds now,” Williams said. “It’s a lot of unfiltered, dry guitars, a bit more playful of a record than our previous.”

Williams said the band focuses mostly on constantly improving its sound. His mantra is all about never getting too comfortable and always living outside the box.

While The Weeks has been nationally touring and played alongside bands like Kings of Leon, Williams said it is always a humbling experience getting to come back home and play for cities like Oxford.

“Mississippi treats us like kings, and that’s always really humbling,” Williams said. “It’s always really nice when you get those messages from people that are like, ‘Man, I was really going through some shit. This record helped me.’”

Williams said the band makes a point to engage its fans on social media and treat them as family.

“I feel like people feel like they know us,” Williams said. “We’ve always made it a point to be very available to our fans. People divulge their life stories, and we make an effort to remember them. Sometimes it’s just surface level stuff, but people really appreciate when the ‘cool rock ‘n’ roll band’ comes into town and remembers them.”

Williams said the group is excited to be coming to Oxford and playing at a venue it’s never played before.

“I’m so excited to play at The Lyric,” Williams said. “There was a phase when all of our girlfriends went to Ole Miss – we didn’t go there, though – and we were in Oxford every weekend. That was right when The Lyric first opened, and we were just so excited that nationally touring bands were playing and coming back. I’m just really excited to be playing there now.”

Tickets are available online on the C Spire website, and student tickets are available at a discounted price. Doors open at 7 p.m., and the concert begins at 8 p.m.