April 2016

All too often history is distilled to its most rudimentary form. A narrative where one side is in the wrong and the other side is in the right is the easiest type of story to tell. It is that kind of thinking that reduces individuals to caricatures, their own personal beliefs being eclipsed by the need to simplify certain history.

In 1863, ninety­-five native sons of Jones County, Miss., returned home after abandoning their posts in the Confederate States army. But, unlike many deserters, these men chose to fight back against the confederacy, who were, in their eyes, poor men fighting a rich man’s war. They hid out along the Leaf River launching guerrilla attacks on Confederate forces. Their wives, daughters and other family members supported their actions, supplying them with food and medical care. Of the soldiers who formed the company, only 11 members came from families that owned slaves.

If you ever question the limits of reality, then the surreal sounds of Wild Frames are exactly what you need to fuel those transcendental thoughts. The psychedelic surf rock band from Hattiesburg creates a means of escapism with songs that take listeners to chill beach scenes or on wild flights away from earth.

Not that you could tell as they laughed and shared home-cooked brunch, but the five band members — Will Bird (drums), Ryan Locklear (guitar), Leeann Rogers (vocals), Jesse Spears (bass), and Jessie Vasser (guitar) — barely knew each other this time last year.  

From over a decade ago, you may remember the infectious song “I Believe In A Thing Called Love” blasting over the radio airwaves. Known for their AC/DC style guitar licks, over the top Freddie Mercury-esque cat suits and lead singer Justin Hawkins’ piercing falsetto,The Darkness made a unique niche for themselves in the rock and roll world. But their immediate rise to fame was matched with an even more abrupt backslide when the band parted ways not three years later.


Fast forward to present day, the band has reformed, ditched the cat suits and released their newest album Last of Our Kind to the approval of music critics and fans alike. Bassist Frankie Poullain took some time out with DIME photographer Jenn Devereaux for a quick interview before the band headed out on their Back to the USSA tour that began last month in Santa Cruz, Calif.

Acclaimed folk singer-songwriter Lucinda Williams will headline the 63rd Annual Jimmie Rodgers Music Festival taking place in Meridian on May 6 and 7 at Meridian City Hall Green. The three-time grammy winner will give close to a full lineup of folk, blues and Americana artist with her performance on Saturday, May 7 at 8:30 p.m.

The 2015 Jimmie Rodgers Music Festival was a big hit thanks to a location change, a partnership with entertainment company Ardenland and a lineup that included heavy hitters St. Paul & the Broken Bones.

The 2016 Jimmie Rodgers Music Festival lineup is as follows: Lucinda Williams, Blackberry Smoke, The Lone Bellow, Billy Joe Shaver, Elizabeth Cook, Keller Williams, The Bros. Landreth, James McMurtry, Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys, Cedric Burnside Project and the 2016 Jimmie Rodgers Talent Competition Winners.

In-demand floral designer, James Roy Sims, has been living in Hattiesburg only a year, but his talents are in full bloom. His dedication to his craft, high-design sensibility and ‘rose-colored’ personality have made quite an impression on the ‘Burg’s downtown community.

Green Thumbin’
His love affair with plants blossomed while tending his aunt’s garden as a child in Bay Springs. After receiving a horticulture degree at MSU, he refined his natural gifts by skillfully interiorscaping the colorful vegetable and floral gardens at the Beau Rivage. James also holds a notoriously hard-to-get, official landscaper’s license.

Flowers by James Roy Sims. Photo by Stephanie Casey.

Flowers by James Roy Sims. Photo by Stephanie Casey.

Blooms and Botany

As the lead designer at Blooms (located in the ‘Burg’s Bakery Building), it’s James’ intuitive listening skills, openness and desire to meet his customer’s needs that have garnered him bushels of clients.

Unleashing the Twerk   Dangerously delicious, The Queen Diva herself defied all odds and bounced into the heart of Hattiesburg  March, releasing the wiggle and jiggle of every colorful soul that graced the entrance of Ben Shemper’s The Dollar Box. An eclectic assortment of vivid lip colors,


Nathan Martin, Spectrum Center president


“We are angry, but we are not afraid. And we shall not be silent. We call on all LGBTQ+ people and our families, friends, and other allies to stand up and oppose this shameful law. And we call on you all to lead with love. We call on Speaker Gunn and state legislators, and Governor Bryant, to repeal this hateful law, and thereby restore the honor of this great state,” said Nathan Martin, Board President of The Spectrum Center in Hattiesburg, in response to HB1523 “Religious Freedom that was passed earlier this month. (Full text here.)

The Spectrum Center board met Tuesday to discuss the new law and its organizational response. The group’s mission is to foster a supportive, educated and active community that is open, safe and inclusive to people of all sexualities and gender identities. The Center is a resource and advocate for full inclusion and empowerment of those affected by prejudice and discrimination. TSC defends human and civil rights secured by law for members of the LGBTQ+ community and work towards an open, accepting and diverse Mississippi.