Hill country.  Both land and music style, as unique and identifiable as the delta to it’s style of blues.  RL Boyce hails from Como, Mississippi, where he was born and still resides.  He grew up surrounded by the music of the region, and in the folk tradition, started playing young with family and friends.  He began as a drummer in fife and drum bands, first appearing on a live recording as a teenager in 1960 backing his uncle, Otha (“Otha”) Turner.  As his style and skills sharpened, his drum setup expanded from washtub to full kit, which he played on Jessie Mae Hemphill’s album Feeling Good. Before too long, though, the allure of the guitar called him.  Inspired by his neighbors, Mississippi Fred McDowell and RL Burnside, Boyce took to the instrument and the life of a front man.  The style draws from traditional lyrics, but floats freely in spontaneity.  Songs are improvised and kept going by driving rhythms, becoming a meditative rumination of sound.  He gets the riff off the ground and the swirling stream of consciousness begins, as he pulls words from passing thoughts and passing people.

Boyce often plays closer to home, collaborating with friends, neighbours and passers-through at clubs, juke joints, and backyard parties.  Take a look at some this video clip of Boyce playing in just the setting the hill country style seems to sit mostly easily – in the backyard. Boyce was also included in the documentary, M for Mississippiproduced by local blues historians including Roger Stolle and Jeff Konkel. We are looking forward to what RL brings to the delta and the stages of Deep Blues Festival 2017!

We are approaching an exciting day for Deep Blues Fest – April 1st: weekend passes are on sale!  Get yours for just $75 at out online shop, and pick up a poster while you’re at it!  This weekend pass gets you into the shows at the Shack Up Inn and the New Roxy over the course of the weekend.  Just check in with the door person when you arrive at your first show and we’ll give you your wristband and program, which includes all free daytime music and other helpful information for the town of Clarksdale.

You can still benefit from being a benefactor! We are always grateful for your support in getting this festival off the ground, as we couldn’t do it without the Deep Blues family.  Being a benefactor means that you get first dibs in booking accommodations at the Shack Up Inn, and you also get exclusive access to the Benefactors Ball – a show we put on for y’all to show our deep appreciation for your donation to the festival, both monetarily and in spirit!

Stay tuned to our bands page for lineup announcements, and to the schedule page as it takes shape.  We will also have info for all DBF-related events around town in juke joints and busking stages, restaurants and clubs.  There is plenty of entertainment over the course of the weekend, so make it a trip you’ll not forget! Join us in Clarksdale, Mississippi, down at the Crossroads, for some real, deep, blues.