‘Jazz Fest Unplugged’ series returns to South Mississippi

The latest show in the “Jazz fest Unplugged” series, featuring Will Kimbrough with special guests Cary Hudson and Lynn Drury, will take place Sunday at the “Garage Mahal” in Bay St. Louis.

“Jazz Fest Unplugged” takes regional artists that have played at the greatest music festival in the world in recent years and puts them together in a unique up close and personal setting for the enjoyment of live music fans.

The critically acclaimed Mobile-born and Nashville-based Kimbrough, a multi-talented singer/songwriter/performer, has written, recorded and toured with the likes of Jimmy Buffett, Little Feat, Rodney Crowell, John Prine and Emmylou Harris, just to name a few.

The former Americana Music Association’s Musician of the Year is making just his second-ever featured appearance in the Bay.

Crowell is such a big fan of Kimbrough that he recently asked him to play his birthday party.

But the Pascagoula native Jimmy Buffett may have said it best.

“Will is a wonderful throwback to the now by-gone era of singer, songwriter, musician and entertainer,” said Buffett, who has recorded at least one of Kimbrough’s songs on each of his last five albums. “Instead of substituting technology for talent, he has a unique ability to use modern-day tools to produce lasting lyrics and melody’s. On stage, he can charm a crowd whether fronting a band or playing solo. That is why you see his songs on my albums and his face on our stage.”

Kimbrough takes it in stride.

“To have an ongoing relationship at that level in this business is really a gift,” Kimbrough said of his writing for fellow Gulf Coast native and powerhouse Buffett. He also notes that his experience as a touring sideman has provided invaluable lessons.

“I’ve learned a lot about how to conduct myself in front of an audience,” Kimbrough said.

Kimbrough and Cary Hudson are frequent collaborators for live shows. Hudson has played guitar for Bobby Rush, R.L. Burnside, Big Jack Johnson, Shannon MacNally, Dayna Kurtz and many others in his close to thirty years on the road. He was chosen as one of the Top Ten Alternative Country Guitar Players by Gibson magazine, and his songs have appeared in TV shows and movies including the George Clooney film “Up in the Air.”

Hudson and Lynn Drury are now both based out of the musically multi-flavored city of New Orleans.

Also a native of the Magnolia State, Drury spent her youth in Pearl River County riding horses before realizing her true love was music as a young adult.

All three artists recently played at the 2016 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival with their respective bands. Kimbrugh with Willie Sugarcapps, Hudson with the Piney woods Players and Drury with her self-titled collection of fellow Big Easy backing musicians.

Tickets are $12 at the door (cash only) for the special early evening Sunday show. The doors will open at 5 p.m., with the show beginning at 6 p.m.. A cash bar will be provided. The “Garage Mahal,” aka, The Longfellow Civic Center, is located at 122 Court St.

Jazz Fest Unplugged Series

Where: ‘Garage Mahal,’ aka, The Longfellow Civic Center, 122 Court St., Bay St. Louis

When: 6 p.m. Sunday, doors open at 5 p.m., a cash bar will be provided.

Tickets: $12 at the door (cash only)