Driven is a word used to describe many successful people, and it’s no different for Robert St. John. Most chefs have their plate full with a restaurant or two. Robert St. John has eight in Hattiesburg, Mississippi and all eight are good–very good, with the emphasis on serving great food and treating people right. St.… Continue reading Filling the Table
The tradition of Southern Blues-Rock is in great shape, in the capable hands of Eli Cook of Nelson County, Virginia. Located west of Charlottesville, Nelson County is farm country, home to orchards and vineyards, as well as traditional crop farming. But young Eli had different plans. He started guitar at a young age and by… Continue reading Eli’s Coming
Two men sit at a picnic table on a sunny day. The contrast is striking. On one side sits Craig Martin a white, fifty-something producer at the helm of a TV show called The Good Road, here to document life in Alabama Village. Across from him sits a young African American man, Da’Cino Dees, describing… Continue reading It Takes a Village
Sonny Landreth plays a mean slide guitar. From his humble beginnings in Mississippi to stages around the world, he has managed to stay grounded, his roots firmly set in the South. Oddly enough, his first instrument was the trumpet, guitar came later. [dropcap letter=”G”]uitar was my first love.” Landreth is on the phone from Lafayette,… Continue reading Native Son
I wanted coffee to start my morning. I gave a whiff of the stuff in the hotel lobby and decided that coffee could wait. I struck out down I-95 and figured I would find a shop on my way to Gilliard Farms. I settled for a Starbucks and ordered two cups of dark roast. As… Continue reading Jupiter Unbound
Outfitted in the camo baseball hat he often wears, Chef David Bancroft kneels down and pushes lettuce between a space in the wire fence separating him from two hogs and a wiggly pack of piglets. “Hey girl.” He’s addressing a black sow who gladly and greedily devours the offering, the large curly green leaf disappearing in… Continue reading Among Friends
Bill Nelson is the sort of guy who would rather go a little out of his way to get what he likes. The sort of things you can’t get in a supermarket, even one in a town as big as Nashville. Bill and his two sons, who were both home from college on summer break,… Continue reading Distillery Interrupted
Driving from Llano to Brady, Texas along TX-71 you might miss the roadside hamlet of Pontotoc. It’s not a large place. From edge to edge it’s about the length of a long, par-5 golf hole and there’s not much commerce happening to catch your eye. No billboards. No storefronts with neon. Not even a gas… Continue reading New Life at Pontotoc
Cowboy Culture in the Mississippi Delta At the 2016 Christmas parade in Cleveland, Mississippi, I had an epiphany of sorts. Finishing up the end of the parade was a small group of African American cowboys. Their presence instantly struck me. My entire life, I had failed to consider the diverse history of cowboy culture. My… Continue reading Enduring Traditions
The future of Delta blues may rest in the hands of one man. Christone ‘Kingfish’ Ingram swims into deeper waters on his debut album. [dropcap letter=”W”]hen people talk about Clarksdale, MS, it’s often in reference to the fabled crossroads, where blues legend Robert Johnson exchanged his soul for the devilish guitar licks that made him famous. Or… Continue reading The New King of the Delta Blues
The line of people stretched out the door of Tri-County Family Ministries. Third-grader Katie Stagliano helped to serve the more than 275 guests who waited for what might be the only meal they would have that day. It forever changed her life. [dropcap letter=”B”]acktrack to early 2008 when Katie’s class participated in the Bonnie Plants… Continue reading Growing a Dream
Caleb Caudle explores new musical territory and in the process reaffirms his country roots. The result is the best record of his career. On the surface Caleb Caudle would seem to be a puzzle. A native of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Caudle is a rising country star who absorbs a world of diverse musical influences,… Continue reading Carolina Troubador
Let the Deer Camp Special shine its ever-lovin’ light on me! This past summer I went missing; not literally but figuratively. I was going through the motions of everyday life and work. I carried on “adulting”, as they call it. This is an expression some folks use meaning to do grown-up stuff like taking… Continue reading Magee’s Southern Accent
Randall Bramblett has become a symbol of strong, nuanced, Southern writing.
Q & A with Author Bryce Gibson Bryce Gibson is a farmer by day, writer by night. He’s lived in South Carolina his entire life, grew up on a farm, and when he’s not writing, that’s where you’ll find him. Though he was a voracious reader as a teenager, he doesn’t really remember any “wow”… Continue reading Fright Night
Summertime when I was a child meant waking up before dawn on Saturdays to my father singing “She’ll be Comin’ Round the Mountain” or “This Train Is Bound for Glory”—his signal that it was time to pile in the truck and head to the country. There were vegetables and fruit to be gathered, and he wanted us pullin’ and… Continue reading Picking Figs with Mama & Daddy
Fly Me to the Moon Pie, Ruby I have just returned from a visit to my hometown’s Piggly Wiggly— the queen of grocery stores known to most Southerners – and I shall be forever in awe of simply for the long gone moments recalled there. [dropcap letter=”M”]any a time I was sent to “The Pig” to fetch… Continue reading Magee’s Southern Accent
“It’s intoxicating,” Justin Hill says as he leans over an open bee box and inhales deeply while 40 or so bees buzz around his head and his constant companion, Jake the hound dog, bounces around behind him, chasing cloud shadows across the grass. The perfume of still-curing honey, a slightly more floral fragrance than harvested… Continue reading The Bees Knees
Support for working musicians
The Vanishing Point or “No Way, Jose” I listen to the radio a lot when I’m driving. My job can send me all over the state of Mississippi, state to state lines sometimes. I usually try to tune in to AM radio when I’m in rural areas just to hear what the locals might… Continue reading Magee’s Southern Accent
Selma, AL Jason Smith MEET JASON: Where did you grow up and how did it influence your life? I grew up in Selma, Alabama and never in my younger years did I ever think about being a farmer. How did the journey to farming begin? We had become conscious of what we were eating and decided… Continue reading Cog Hill Farm : Jason Smith
Katherine “Peanut” Belk • Shawn Jardnicek Molly Belk • Henry Hernandez Chester, SC MEET PEANUT: Where did you grow up and how did it influence your life? I grew up in the suburbs of Charlotte and as one of five kids with a much larger extended family, I was energized by chaos and commotion. I spent… Continue reading Wild Hope Farm : “Peanut” Belk
Clayton, GA MEET DARBY: Where did you grow up and how did it influence your life? I grew up in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania in the heart of Amish Country. As a teen, I took for granted the lush agricultural community that surrounded me and had no real interest in farming. After going to College, I… Continue reading Timpson Creek Farm : Darby Weaver
Everything has its season.
“It’s like medicine to me. I suffer with arthritis, but when I’m quilting, I can’t feel the pain,” said Mary Ann Pettway. Sitting in the Gee’s Bend Quilting Collective in Gee’s Bend, Alabama, she selected a long, thin piece of purple fabric, laid it next to a small square of pink and white shapes already… Continue reading Putting it All Together
Listen to the Mocking Bird [dropcap letter=”T”]here is a row of old crepe myrtle trees that line the sidewalk in front of the house I grew up in. They are gigantic trees now, even towering above the house. A little tidbit of information for you here, don’t park your car under them because you’ll get… Continue reading Magee’s Southern Accent
Q & A with Author: Augustus Jenkins Farmer A self-proclaimed “plantsman,” Augustus Jenkins “Jenks” Farmer began growing his own plants as a young boy after stealing some seeds from the nuns at a convent, near where he went to school. “I think I was sitting there with my Scooby Doo lunchbox and I saw some… Continue reading Lessons From the Past
Miller, baker, seed collector.
Formed in Tuscaloosa, Alabama in the late 90’s, The Dexateens have since been redefining the sound of Southern rock n’ roll. They’re one of a handful of bands in the Southeast currently coupling the mix of country and rock, made famous by originators like Lynyrd Skynyrd and The Marshall Tucker Band, with punk rock influence… Continue reading The Dexateens
Food has consequences. To sustain our lives with nourishment, something else must perish. Plants are cut and harvested, animals are butchered. All of it comes to the table for our sustenance. It sounds like a clichéd trope, but the taking of life to sustain life is truly the “circle of life.” Over time we’ve lost… Continue reading Runaway Chef
Old-school hospitality in NC
Rodney Smith Jr. is a dreamer, doer and leader.
Kevin Gillespie’s love affair with Southern food.
Mr. Okra is the last of a dying breed in NOLA.
Keeping the rural South alive through painting.
More than a quilt replica
Gayden Ward, his ducks and brilliant ideas.
Gip’s Place is a blue’s lovers dream