For the past seven years, the SouthSounds Music & Arts Festival has brought bands from the Southeastern music scene to stages throughout downtown Mobile. Since its inception in 2012, music lovers from the Azalea City and beyond have been able to experience some of the best new projects the region has to offer, with occasional established acts added for good measure.
One of the great things about SouthSounds is you never know which act could be the next to break big into the national scene. Notable bands such as St. Paul & the Broken Bones, Hurray for the Riff-Raff, Lost Bayou Ramblers, SUSTO, Banditos, Boyfriend and Sweet Crude have graced stages at SouthSounds.
This year, organizers say they are also moving some of the public stages to re-focus on the venue aspect of SouthSounds, which showcases some of downtown’s best live music venues, including O’Dalys, the Brickyard, The Merry Widow, The Blind Mule, Alchemy Tavern and more.
SouthSounds 2018 is scheduled for April 13-15, and the initial lineup indicates the festival aims to maintain its reputation as one of the Southeast’s premier musical events.
Before the festival begins, organizers will bring Dr. Dog (with Kyle Craft opening) to Soul Kitchen for the official SouthSounds Kick-Off Party on Thursday, April 12. The critically acclaimed band’s haunting mix of indie rock and folk should perfectly set the tone for the weekend.
Of Montreal, from Athens, Georgia, will provide festival-goers with a round of avant-garde indie pop complemented by a psychedelic stage show. Singer-songwriter and local favorite Corey Smith will be returning to a legion of dedicated fans.
J. Roddy Walston & the Business’ energetic mix of roots and garage rock will make an unforgettable Azalea City debut. The band from Richmond, Virginia lit up Hangout Music Fest in 2015 and is touring in support of its fourth studio album, “Destroyers of the Soft Life.”
New Orleans will be represented by Ivan Neville and his Dumpstaphunk project, as well as the queen of Crescent City hip-hop, Boyfriend, whose unique verbal flow drives a live show that takes on the air of an exotic cabaret. Alabama garage rockers Lee Bains III & the Glory Fires’ rock ‘n’ roll magnificence will be a memorable SouthSounds experience.
But that’s just a taste. The SouthSounds 2018 lineup will also include Paul McDonald, Charley Crockett, Sweet Crude, The Cordovas, Great Peacock, Walker Lukens, The Underhill Family Orchestra, Lisa Mills, Jamell Richardson, The Red Clay Strays, I’magene (formerly known as Continuum), Jimmy Lumpkin, Kalu & The Electric Joint, Blackwater Brass, Frankie Boots, Eric Erdman, Molly Thomas, Forest Fire Gospel Choir, Abe Partridge, The Shunnarahs, Laurie Anne Armour and Brenda Bledsoe.
In the coming weeks, SouthSounds organizers will be adding to this already impressive list.
Early bird tickets are on sale now through the festival’s website (www.southsoundsfest.com). General admission weekend passes are set at $25. Gold-level weekend passes, which include entrance to the April 13 Corey Smith show at Soul Kitchen, cost $45. Single VIP passes cost $90, or $150 for a pair. These early bird prices will only last until April 1, after which prices go up.