Tag Archives: Peter Rowan

Oxford’s Proud Larry’s commemorates 20 years

Larrys_HTScott Caradine flips through his old calendar, which is ink and coffee-stained, well-worn with time. Names fly by in each of the date boxes: Walter Wolfman Washington, Astral Project, Elvis Costello, Mose Allison, Peter Rowan, Medeski Martin and Wood, Jerry Joseph, the Black Keys. He turns over postcards from friends and employees, reminiscing about old times and the string of incredible music that has passed through Proud Larry’s in Oxford, Mississippi.

“It feels like yesterday I was sitting on the couch with two friends saying, you know, we should just open a place in Oxford with a really good beer selection and slices of pizza, because nobody did that then in Oxford then, and put on some good shows,” Caradine says. “Twenty years have gone by pretty fast.”

He opened April 15, 1993 with two partners. Caradine handled the food, another handled music, and the other took care of general upkeep of the facility. By 1996, he had bought out his partners and was joined by his wife Lisa.

Proud Larry’s seats 120 people, serving gourmet pizzas, hamburgers, pasta and salads, making most menu items from scratch and priding themselves on using fresh ingredients.

Their slogan is “Come for the food, stay for the music,” and after the kitchen closes at 10 p.m., tables and chairs are removed and they ease in to music venue mode, reaching a capacity of 350 people.

Caradine doesn’t hesitate when asked about his favorite shows.

“Ween is right up there with the best of all times, with their first one in 1995. I think they were here twice, but the first Ween show was by far the biggest,” he says. “Then looking back, there are so many shows that leave a lasting impression, from Junior Kimbrough and R.L. Burnside to New Orleans music like the Rebirth Brass Band or George Porter Jr., or the sit-down, you can hear a pin-drop type of shows with David Lindley, or Roger McGuinn or the Del McCoury Band. And the local bands that have all left their mark here deserve a lot of the fanfare for making it 20 years.”

Blue Mountain at closing time. Proud Larry's. c. 1996
Blue Mountain at closing time. Proud Larry’s. c. 1996

To commemorate two decades of music, the North Mississippi Allstars played April 4 and George Porter Jr. returns on April 12.

“When we originally thought, what shows can we do to celebrate 20 years of Proud Larry’s, shows that will be fun, but that also have a part of the history here and have stood a long time on their own,” Caradine says. “With George Porter, I was a fan first and then became a friend. He has played a number of shows at Larry’s and in Oxford over the years, so he was a natural fit. We promised when we opened in 1993 to bring a truckload of funk, jazz and rock and roll to Oxford, and George is the heavyweight champion of funk. So it made sense to bring him back for a celebratory show.”

The Allstars were also an easy choice.

“I remember meeting Luther Dickinson at a Junior Kimbrough show at Proud Larry’s and then seeing their band do a residency here when they first started out, and then seeing them grow to play the big venue in town and certainly as a nationally touring band, I was really glad they agreed to play a show here,” Caradine says.

Although he may not have known 20 years ago that Proud Larry’s would become an institution full of history, or that it would be folded into the lexicon of Oxford lore, Caradine says he has accomplished what he set out to do: bring pizza, good beer and music to Oxford.

“I don’t know where we will be 20 years from now, obviously, but if Proud Larry’s chooses to be here, it’ll still be here,” Caradine says. “I still enjoy coming to work. I have had fun watching the food progress over the years and it’s been fun to watch employees meet here, and end up married with kids. It’s fun to see my own kids up here.  I have a 13-year-old daughter who comes up here to work from time to time.”

The community itself is also an important aspect to running the business.

“We see people in here today that were customers of ours 20 years ago,” Caradine says. “They are really a lot of the same people. And I think back and have great memories of all the staff that put in a lot of sweat to make this place go, and I’ve been able to watch my family grow through the whole process.”

Tickets for the April 12 show are available at www.proudlarrys.com

Peter Rowan joins The Mosier Brothers for brief Southeastern run


We are thrilled to announce Peter Rowan will be joining The Mosier Brothers for a series of select shows! Peter Rowan has played in Bill Monroe’s Bluegrass Boys, with Jerry Garcia and David Grisman in the supergroup Old & In The Way, and with Tony Rice and a host of other acclaimed musicians throughout his storied career. Now, the Grammy winner joins The Mosier Brothers, the Atlanta band that evolved from the psychedelic hick-hop jamgrass band, Blueground Undergrass.

Rowan says, “I am always ready to collaborate with Jeff Mosier and his fine musicians, to explore the musical tree of Americana-bluegrass roots. We might even find some new branches on the old tree! We can harvest new fruit from old roots!”

Jeff Mosier and Peter Rowan met in 1985 on Mosier’s radio show in Atlanta. Since 1998 they have shared the stage together many times including Suwannee Springfest and Magnolia Festival in Live Oak, Florida. Rowan has always been a key figure in The Mosier Brothers career giving them what Mosier calls “the inspiration to fly between the extremes of traditional and progressive bluegrass music styles, even entering into psychedelic jamgrass and rock.”

The Mosier Brothers, originally from Bristol, Tennessee, have always maintained their “brother sound” amid their various configurations. The solid band sound that Rowan had heard from them over the years, along with their collective stage experience, eclectic musical taste, and genre bending tendencies, created the perfect creative soil in which to forge ahead with a project which both Mosier and Rowan had been thinking about for years. Johnny Mosier’s ability to switch-hit between playing bluegrass with flatpick style guitar, to rock, swing, and jazz on electric guitar, along with Jeff’s unique ability to compose “pick and jam” rock songs on the banjo, are the true ingredients of the “Mosier sound.”

Veterans of the jamband and jamgrass scenes, The Mosier Brothers have been entertaining audiences for over 30 years (longer if you consider pickin’ on the front porch with their family), first with the bluegrass band Good Medicine for 23 years. In the late 1980’s, Jeff Mosier got his first experience playing Rock on the cutting edge of the newly developing jamband scene as a founding member of Col. Bruce Hampton’s Aquarium Rescue Unit, the band that gave him the stage name “Rev.” In 1994 he toured with Phish and tutored them in the ways of bluegrass. The Phish Companion writes “Perhaps no guest artist has had as great an influence on the band’s music as the Rev. Jeff Mosier…”. The brothers re-joined in 1998 in Jeff Mosier’s first nationally known brainchild, Blueground Undergrass, one of the earliest bands to merge bluegrass instruments and traditional tunes with the magnetic energy of Rock n Roll. Then, in 2010, they formed The Mosier Brothers which more finely blends the traditional bluegrass sound of Good Medicine and the jamming of Blueground Undergrass into a more song-driven Americana roots rock unit, all while remaining an eclectic endeavor.

For these “Roots and Branches” shows, Peter Rowan and The Mosier Brothers will be performing an A-Z retrospective of Rowan’s musical career. The band will take the audience on a musical journey that builds throughout the evening, starting with the traditional bluegrass of Rowan’s days with Bill Monroe in the 1960’s, then leading into the progressive bluegrass years of Old and In The Way, Crucial Country, and The Free Mexican Air Force. The result: a night of life-affirming songs with rich melodies and harmonies, all led by the compelling stories of Peter Rowan that will serve as the backdrop for each musical number. Of that, Mosier says, “I think people really want and need to hear ‘songs’ now more than ever, and more importantly, the stories that inspired them.”

Mosier continues, “We can go anywhere Peter wants to go musically with this show, because his career helped mold our own musical taste. He’s been such a major influence on us. He’s like our Bill Monroe and Beatles all in one. The Monroe generation of players spawned the Rowan generation, and the Rowan generation spawned the Mosier generation, no doubt.”

Johnny Mosier adds, “After years of enjoying Rowan’s music from the audience, to actually perform with him on stage is a true joy and career high for me.”

Peter Rowan and The Mosier Brothers will be both acoustic and electric for each performance, as will their band of Kris Dale on bass, Edward Hunter on fiddle, and Will Groth on drums. The Rowan/Mosier recipe will give the songs a new spin while keeping the original flavor, in what promises to be one of the tastiest of musical collaborations.


Peter Rowan and The Mosier Brothers Present “Roots and Branches”

An eclectic A-Z musical journey of songs and stories from the life of Peter Rowan


Wednesday, June 13th   Riverbend Festival  Chattanooga, TN

Thursday, June 14th   Pisgah Brewing   Black Mountain, NC

Friday, June 15th  The Pour House  Charleston, SC

Saturday, June 16th  The Handlebar  Greenville, SC





Related:  Honest Tune exclusive performance with The Mosier Brothers



Suwannee Springfest announces initial lineup

11.jpgKnown for consistently booking some of the finest performers in new and traditional folk, roots rock, bluegrass and newgrass, and other American roots music, Suwannee Springfest returns in 2012 for its 16th straight year. Suwannee Springest will be held March 23-25, 2012 at the Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park in Live Oak, Florida and features some of the biggest names in the scene with veterans and up-and-comers alike. Yonder Mountain String Band, Peter Rowan & Tony Rice Duo, Justin Townes Earl, Emmitt-Nershi Band, and Darol Anger and the Republic of Strings will be joined by The Gourds, Hot Buttered Rum, The Infamous Stringdusters, Greensky Bluegrass and more, with additional artists still to be announced.

Three-day early bird festival tickets are only $125.00 and children age 12 and under are free of charge. Discounts are offered for students and retired and active military. Fans at this year’s MagnoliaFest (October 20-23, 2012 at Suwannee Music Park) will have the opportunity to purchase tickets to Suwannee Springfest 2012 on-site at MagnoliaFest for only $115.00. To purchase tickets online or to find out more, please visit http://suwanneespringfest.com/.

2012 Suwannee Springfest confirmed lineup below, more artists to be announced.

Yonder Mountain String Band
Peter Rowan & Tony Rice Duo
Justin Townes Earl
Emmitt-Nershi Band
Darol Anger and the Republic of Strings
The Gourds
Hot Buttered Rum
Infamous Stringdusters
Greensky Bluegrass
Great American Taxi
Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit
Larry Keel & Natural Bridge
Ryan Montbleau Band
Split Lip Rayfield
Elephant Revival
The Pinkham Family

Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park is also home to other Big IV Productions, including the Blackwater Music Festival (taking place this weekend), the Purple Hatter’s Ball and the Bear Creek Music & Arts Festival. Hosted each November, the 2011 Bear Creek Music & Arts Festival lineup includes Trey Anastastio Band, Medeski, Scofield, Martin & Wood, The Funky Meters, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, John Scofield & Piety Street, Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk, Lettuce, George Porter, Jr., Jon Cleary, and the Pimps of Joytime. For more information on the Bear Creek Music & Arts Festival go to: www.bearcreekmusicfestival.com

Peter Rowan: Crucial Country

I’ve seen Peter Rowan enough times over the years to know that he is constitutionally incapable of playing a bad show.  Like any artist however, some shows are better than others.

This set, recorded live at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival in 1994, was one of those magic nights when the X-Factor was present.  Rowan’s band that night, Crucial Country, might well have been called The Ringers.  Sam Bush on mandolin, Jerry Douglas on dobro, Viktor Krauss on bass, Kester Smith on percussion and Larry Atamanuik on drums breathed not just life but fire into some of Rowan’s finest songs.

Drawing heavily from Rowan’s two early 90s gems, Dust Bowl Children and All On A Rising Day, Rowan and company also stretch out on in cosmic cowboy style on classics like “Panama Red,” and “Land Of The Navajo,” and reveal more tender, reflective and philosophical sides at other times.

During the one moment that starts to lag, a drum breakdown part of the way through an extended take on Bob Marley’s “No Woman No Cry,” the entire crowd began to sing the chorus creating a spine-tingling moment out of what could have been filler.  A dozen years has done nothing to dim the magic captured on these tapes.  It’s good Rowan finally allowed their release.