Radio Free Dixie (or, de Dirty South Broke-down)

Fri, May 8, 2009, 4:30 pm to Sat, May 9, 2009, 6:00 pm
Program in American Studies

A Symposium on New South Sounds and Culture

Musicians, artists, scholars and critics will celebrate the sounds and culture of the New South at a symposium Friday and Saturday, May 8-9, in McCosh Hall, Room 50 and Taplin Auditorium, Fine Hall.

“Radio Free Dixie (or, de Dirty South Broke-down)” will examine rock musicians, artists, scholars, politicians, spiritual figures and critics that emerged from the American Southeast during the late 20th and early 21st centuries.

The event is sponsored by the Program in American Studies and is presented by music critic and 2008-09 Anschutz Distinguished Fellow in American Studies Kandia Crazy Horse.

Stanley Booth, author of The True Adventures of the Rolling Stones and Rhythm Oil: A Journey Through the Music of the American South, will give a keynote address at 4:30 p.m. May 8 in McCosh 50. The address will pay tribute to the late Jerry Wexler, the legendary Atlantic Records music producer who worked with artists such as Bob Dylan, Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles and Led Zeppelin.

The event will continue at 10 a.m. May 9 in McCosh 50 with a panel discussion featuring: Camara Holloway, assistant professor of art history at the University of Delaware; Arthur Jafa Fielder, a filmmaker who was the cinematographer for the movies “Crooklyn” and "Daughters of the Dust”; Ned Sublette, a musician and author of The World That Made New Orleans: From Spanish Silver to Congo Square; and Charles Hughes, a doctoral student in history at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

An afternoon roundtable about southern music and pop culture titled “(Not Just) Knee-Deep in the Briarpatch” will start at 1:15 p.m. May 9, in Taplin Auditorium. The discussion will feature: Booth; Crazy Horse; Jonathan Wilson, co-founder of the North Carolina band Muscadine; Jennifer Herrema, leader of the rock band RTX; Ernest Hardy, an award-winning arts critic for L.A. Weekly; and Craig Street, a Grammy award-winning record producer. The discussion will be followed by a musical performance by Wilson.

The event also marks the 40th anniversary of the founding of the Allman Brothers Band, the influential Southern music group. Symposium participants will examine the significance of the vanguard art of the Allman Brothers and the generation of Southern postmodernists who were inspired by the band.