Feature Friday: Zach Dickerson

In this week’s Feature Friday, Zach Dickerson—DMI Junior and guitar-legend-in-the-making—talks about his first experiences with music, the bands he performs with, and his favorite gigs.

Zach first picked up the guitar at age 9, but quit after a few lessons.  “I was too worried about baseball…all that stuff,” he says.  He picked it up again at age 14, when he started playing rhythm guitar with his dad’s Christian rock band.  From then on, he’s expanded his skills and learned how to play lead for a wide array of genres.

Pig Pickin’ and More

As always, DMI students and faculty have been on the move these past couple of weeks.  The 31st annual Pig Pickin’ celebration took place the last full weekend of September, resulting in three days of music in a row.

Thursday, September 22nd was the fourth Levitt AMP Cleveland concert of this series, featuring two bands made up of current/former DMI students (Scott’s House and The Tallahatchies) and national act Future Thieves.  It was a great night of alt and indie rock!

Future Thieves at Levitt AMP Cleveland Music Series (9/22)
Future Thieves at Levitt AMP Cleveland Music Series (9/22)

The next night, the stage, lights, and sound were set up at Statesmen Park for a little pre-Pig Pickin’ music (provided, once again, by current/former DMI Student bands) on Friday.  Long Time Coming, Soul & Parliament, and Seasick Harbor shared their own respective genres: bluegrass/country, blues/R&B/Soul, and southern hard rock with a twist.

Saturday, DMI provided entertainment again.  The three DMI bands played—Delta Rox, Ol’ Skool Revue, and B4Y2K—plus President LaForge and his Cabinet, a band made up of DMI and the Department of Music faculty and students.

We are now halfway through the Levitt AMP Cleveland Music Series!  Thanks to the hard work of our students and faculty, these past five weeks have been a whirlwind of great music.  If you haven’t been to a concert yet, it’s not too late! TONIGHT (October 3rd) Levitt AMP Cleveland—in association with the International Conference on the Blues—presents the GRAMMY-nominated Cedric Burnside Project.

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Bluegrass Band at Levitt AMP Cleveland Music Series (9/27)
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Bluegrass Band at Levitt AMP Cleveland Music Series (9/27)

Don’t miss seeing the Cedric Burnside Project and the rest of the International Conference on the Blues!  It will be another excited week at the Delta State and the DMI!

For a schedule of upcoming Levitt AMP Cleveland Music Series concerts, visit: http://concerts.levittamp.org/cleveland

For more information about the International Conference on the Blues, visit: http://www.deltastate.edu/president/international-blues-conference/


DMI Represented at MS Songwriters’ Festival


Tricia Walker performing at Tom's Extreme Pizzeria in Ocean Springs, MS for the MS Songwriter's Festival.
Tricia Walker performing at Tom’s Extreme Pizzeria in Ocean Springs, MS for the MS Songwriters’ Festival.

Last weekend, the DMI had some great representation at the 7th Annual Mississippi Songwriters’ Festival (September 15-18) in Ocean Springs, MS.  Four DMI students (Brennan Barham, Kailey Mathis, Carrie Lynn Stanford and Jessica Faith Wishard) and one professor (Tricia Walker) made the trek to the coast for the festival.

The four students played “in a round” together, performing their original songs and lending their voices and instruments on each others’ songs.  They performed three sets throughout the weekend: one on Friday night, the youth showcase on Saturday, and a late show on Saturday night.  Tricia Walker rocked the house on Friday night with Blue Mother Tupelo, and then again on Saturday with Sean Gasaway and Michael Garvin (Grammy Nominee with over 100 chart hits, including “Waiting For Tonight,” a hit for Jennifer Lopez).

(Left-Right) Carrie Lynn Stanford, Brennan Barham, Kailey Mathis, and Jessica Faith Wishard performing at the MS Songwriter's Festival.
(Left-Right) Carrie Lynn Stanford, Brennan Barham, Kailey Mathis, and Jessica Faith Wishard performing at the MS Songwriters’ Festival.

The Mississippi Songwriter’s Festival originated as a way to recognize and celebrate the works of songwriters and includes local, regional, and national talent. Several venues in downtown Ocean Springs host numerous shows each day, during which songwriters describe and perform their songs onstage before a captive audience.  Since its inception in September of 2010, the festival has grown to include local, regional, and national talent, as well as 15-20 professional songwriters. (http://www.mssongwritersfestival.com/)