Help Runnin’ Toward Missip!

 

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the essential junior kimbrough

This record was the beginning was the beginning of the journey…

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Sundays used to be practice day for The Bush League. Fittingly on that day is when The Bush League began to discover its sound and its soul. At one practice Shane emerged from his kitchen with an album in his hand. Not a CD, but an actual VINYL RECORD. The photo on the jacket was of a shirtless man smoking a cigarette. We had to hear this record. We had no clue who Junior Kimbrough was, but he looked like a fella that we NEEDED to know. The first track he played was “You Better Run” and we were hooked on this music (we didn’t know that was what it was called at the time).

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Over the years the band changed and the sound evolved. Committed to being an original band, and an original Blues band at that, none of us knew just how much of a challenge it would be to find our place in the music community. We knew we sounded different. It’s not like we were doing it intentionally, but we knew we did. Hell, we were told we sounded different. We were a “band that played the Blues but not a Blues band” or we were told that our music “ain’t no Blues I ever heard”. We knew we were playing the Blues, but couldn’t understand why no one else recognized it. We understood that not everyone was going to like us. Those who did like us REALLY liked us. But that didn’t mean that it didn’t bother us that we didn’t fit in. But we kept playing and refused to change who we were. Then we discovered…

R.L. Burnside’s ‘Snake Drive’ from the album Burnside On Burnside

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This is when we knew. This song gave us our place in the world. Hearing it we knew we sounded just like this. We sounded like the North Mississippi All Stars. We sounded like Junior Kimbrough. Shane had crafted his sound off the foundation of the prowess displayed by R.L., Junior, and Luther Dickinson. Royce’s groove that he had been laying down since The Bush League’s first show was just as infectious as anything that came out of Holly Springs, MS. Jay provided the lyrics that spoke to the human condition in modern terms. We found a home for our sound… Hill Country Blues.

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Last year, the band rewarded itself for getting our first studio record out Can Of Gas & A Match and for not killing each other by going to the 2013 North Mississippi Hill Country Picnic. Shane attended a workshop with some of the current masters of Hill Country Blues and later opened the picnic with the other workshop attendees. In typical “Shane Parch” fashion, he was the only guitarist in the group to play electric. Later on that day, both Shane and Royce got a chance to play on stage with many of the acts! It felt good to be amongst bands and musicians that sounded just like we did. No longer were we the outsiders. No longer were we the “odd sounding” band. We had found our long lost family at a camp site in Waterford, Mississippi.

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The North Mississippi Hill Country Picnic historically does not book bands from outside of that area. We left there last year bummed about that because we REALLY wanted to play there and the one place that we could just be ourselves and play the music we loved was the one place we couldn’t play. Well, God looks over children and fools (The Bush League is both on any given day) because in mid-January, the organizers of the event announced that up to 3 bands outside of north Mississippi that were influenced by Hill Country Blues would be chosen to play the 2014 NMSHCP! We debated about driving BACK down to Mississippi and showing some leg, but we decided to just complete the application and send in some of that good The Bush League music that you know and love. In true The Bush League fashion, we submitted our application a few hours before the deadline. Then we waited..and waited…and waited. The announcement was two weeks later than promised and by then we had convinced ourselves that we didn’t get chosen. Then the email came inviting us, join the 2014 North Mississippi Hill Country Picnic Roster!!! They liked us, they really liked us! Never a more satisfying feeling.

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Now with just 7 weeks to go, we are beginning to get very excited. We can’t wait to represent not only ourselves, but VA and each and every one of you who have supported us all these years. 2014 has been a year of transition for us. We took some time off and now we are back and ready to do what we do best. Preparing for this trip has been easy, but financially it is a challenge because we scaled back gigging at the beginning of the year not knowing that we were going to have to make another trip to Mississippi this soon after our last one. So, as many people have already asked how they can help, we wanted to let you all know that we have a Paypal account to accept any and all donations to make this dream a reality. As our “Thank You” we are going to release limited edition merchandise to commemorate this very special occasion for The Bush League:

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- $10 DONATION is for a round of drinks for the band. Not only will we be eternally grateful, but we will take a picture when we purchase the round…doesn’t matter where…could be on a street in Holly Springs kicking it with our local friends we made last year. We will post that picture on all of our social media platforms and shout you out.


- $25 DONATION will get you a new shooter featuring a design that will just be for this event. We are not selling these at shows.


- $50 DONATION will get you the exclusive shooter and a commemorative t-shirt.


- $100 DONATION will get you a shooter, the commemorative t-shirt AND we will put your name of the back of the shirt as a “sponsor”. We did this in 2012 for our last IBC appearance at it was a popular option.


- $250 DONATION For Businesses: your logo prominently displayed on the back of the shirt, two (2) commemorative t-shits to show off your awesome logo and a new shooter.


- $500 DONATION …other than a kiss in the mouth by the band, we will play a private show within a 200 mile radius of Richmond, Virginia! If you live out of the area, we will explore options options with you including putting on a show for you through StageIt!.


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- This is an exclusive run of merchandise, all offers listed above will be good until Friday June 13, 2014 11:59:59 PM EST so that items will be available at The Bush League’s Capital Ale House Show on Friday June 20, 2014 for the RCBS’s Weekly Friday After Work Brews & Blues from 5p – 8p. -

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If you decide to donate via Paypal it will ask for our email address so please use our bushleague_vatl@yahoo.com address to ensure payment goes to our account. Again, we thank all of you for your continued support. Seven years feels like forever some days and just like yesterday at others. Without each of you coming to shows, buying merchandise, telling other folks about us, and supporting us with words of encouragement and love we would not be where we are now. We are going to make you all proud in Mississippi on June 28th, or get arrested trying.

Wouldn’t be the first time…

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Thank You,

THE BUSH LEAGUE

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Thank You In Advance

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