This coming weekend, as many of us descend on Downtown New Orleans to witness, play and revel in the 72-hour brass and roots free-for-all that is French Quarter Festival, many of the Big Easy’s rising stars in the underground rock community are (as symmetry would have it) blasting out of town for a cultural melee of their own. Although that means we have to resort to fantasizing about the glory of a Caddywhompus Woldenberg Park concert for yet another year, be assured that they – as well as their close contemporaries – will have no problem reaching such apexes this weekend in Mobile, Alabama.
As a merger of the Coastline Chronicles and LoDa Live Festivals, the first annual SouthSounds Music festival promises to build on the undeniable successes that those two events have enjoyed in the past. Independent bands from all over the Gulf South will take to Dauphin Street and its surrounding area in downtown Mobile for a Foburg-esque weekend of music spread over three days and eight different venues.
Representing New Orleans will be an admirable grouping of acts including Sun Hotel, Caddywhompus, Coyotes, Glish, Native America and Gravy, as well as Honey Island Swamp Band and Theresa Andersson, both of whom will be pulling double duty this weekend at French Quarter Fest and South Sounds. Additionally, while many of Mobile’s hometown heroes – including psychedelic indie rockers El Cantador, barroom brouhaha experience the Underhill Family Orchestra, power pop quartet the Suzies, folk singer/songwriter Garrett Thornton and rapper Venom – will obviously be in attendance, the lineup also features acts hailing from as far north as Tennessee (The Black Cadillacs and Wess Floyd) and as far east as Pensacola, Florida (Cockfight, Paloma and Pioneers! O Pioneers!).
And though the event may not boast the “free festival” card that FQF does, for a weekend price of $10, SouthSounds is a hell of a steal for the opportunity to take a peek at our region’s burgeoning underground rock talent.