Picnic Days Are Here Again!

Celebrate the Beginning of Summer with Legendary Blues

The goal of the North Mississippi Hill Country Picnic is to enhance appreciation and educate the general public about the native art form of North Mississippi Hill Country Blues music through performance, preservation, and interpretation.

Click here to download the digital edition of the North Mississippi Hill Country Picnic Guide

The Local Voice media company in Oxford, Mississippi is proud to partner with Sara and Kenny Brown to bring you this official festival guide. There are free souvenir printed copies around the picnic grounds and a digital download is available. Just scan the QR code on the big ass banner near the stage for more information, videos, and artists’ links. See you at the Picnic!

Newt Rayburn (Publisher) and Nature Humphries (Editor)




Gates open Thursday, June 27 at 5:00 pm. NO EARLY ARRIVALS. Music goes from 4 pm till midnight on Friday and 10 am till midnight on Saturday. All Picnic attendees must be off site by Sunday, June 30 by noon – no late departures.


  • Bug Spray
  • Blanket or chair for sitting
  • Water
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Hat for shade
  • Rain gear
  • Shade tent
  • More water!


  • No weapons
  • No glass containers will be allowed ANYWHERE on the festival site
  • For safety reasons – NO motorized vehicles inside the festival (No golf carts or 4 wheelers except by event staff).
  • For safety seasons – NO pets
  • No professional photography equipment, please restrict photos to the first 2 songs of each artist set and NO video or audio recording.

The Picnic has

  • Portable toilets
  • Showers
  • Water faucets for drinking water
  • Vendors will be selling various food, snacks, and beverages
  • Campsites
  • The largest collection of authentic Hill Country Blues musicians you can find on one stage in 2024


  • Tickets are available online at NMSHillCountryPicnic.com and Eventbrite.
  • Online ticket sales end Wednesday, June 19 at midnight.
  • All ticket sales at the gate are CASH ONLY. There is no ATM available at the festival site.
  • VIP tickets must be purchased online by midnight Sunday, June 23, 2024.
  • Gates open Thursday, June 27 at 5 pm. No one will be admitted early. Music goes from 4 pm till midnight on Friday and 10 am till midnight on Saturday. All Picnic attendees must be off site by Sunday, June 25 by noon—no late departures.
  • Friday Only: $25
  • Saturday Only: $25
  • Camping: $15 (Flat rate of $15/person to spend 1–3 nights. If you spend the night you pay $15, no cars in camp ground.) No open fires on the festival site.
  • RV Fee: $100
  • Ice Chest inside festival: $10 (NO GLASS allowed on festival site.)
  • If you go out the ticket gate, you must have your wristband on to re-enter the festival site.
  • Parking is FREE!
  • Children 12 and under FREE
  • Really Cool Art Vendors and Picnic Merch are available for sale on site, Picnic Merch is CASH ONLY!


  • Bring an acoustic guitar for a one day guitar workshop with some of the legends of Hill Country Blues. The cost is $150 and lunch is included.
  • This year’s guitar instructors are Kenny Brown, Garry Burnside, Little Joe Ayers, and Eric Deaton.
  • After the workshop, DuWayne Burnside is hosting a jam at the Burnside Bar & Grill located at 645 HWY 7 North, Holly Springs. Food and beverages will be available for purchase beginning at 3:30 pm.
  • Sales for the workshop end on June 24.

The Hill Country Picnic takes place at Betty Davis Ponderosa
Corner of HWY 7 South and HWY 310
3359 Old Oxford Road
Waterford, Mississippi 38685
View Map

Friday, June 28, 2024 Hill Country Picnic Lineup


Playing Friday, June 28 from 4–4:30 pm

While their love of music began long before their love for each other, Christine Conley and John McDowell have combined the two to create fun and inspiring songs that will leave you smiling.

YouTube: Songwriter Spotlight E20 John McDowell and Christine Conley, September 16, 2021


Playing Friday, June 28 from 4:45–5:30 pm

78 combines influences from the North Mississippi Hill Country Blues, pre-war Memphis, and the funky side of Americana. Hailing from Memphis and North Mississippi, 78 brings classic juke blues and originals. Shake ‘Em!


Playing Friday, June 28 from 5:45–6:30 pm

Rocket 88 was formed in the summer of 2005 and has since brought its Mississippi-soaked sound to venues all over the Southeast. Rosamond Posey (vocals, rhythm guitar), Jamie Posey (vocals, lead guitar, harmonica), and Nathan Robbins (bass, vocals) make up the core.

Click here to read The Local Voice’s 2023 Interview with Jamie and Rosamond Posey of Rocket 88

Website: Rocket88Music.com
Instagram: @Rocket88music


Playing Friday, June 28 from 6:45–7:15 pm

Robert Kimbrough Sr continues the Cotton Patch Soul Blues style created by his father, the legendary Junior Kimbrough. From an early age, Robert was steeped in the sounds and life of North Mississippi and its distinctive style of blues.

Website: RobertKimbroughSr.com


Playing Friday, June 28 at 7:45 pm

The Kudzu Kings, hailing from Oxford, Mississippi, are renowned for their eclectic blend of Rock, Country, and Southern Roots music. Formed in the mid-1990s, the band quickly gained a loyal following with their infectious melodies, tight harmonies, and high-energy performances. Drawing inspiration from their Southern surroundings, the Kudzu Kings infuse their music with a distinctive sense of place, capturing the essence of small-town life in the Deep South. With a knack for storytelling and a laid-back charm, the band’s songs often celebrate the quirks and idiosyncrasies of Southern Culture while exploring universal themes of love, longing, and the passage of time. Over the years, the Kudzu Kings have become beloved fixtures of Oxford’s music scene, embodying the spirit of community and camaraderie that defines the vibrant landscape of Mississippi.

Click here for more Kudzu Kings articles and videos from The Local Voice

Website: KudzuKings.com
Instagram: @KudzuKings


Playing Friday, June 28 from 8:45–9:45 pm

Kent Burnside, grandson of the iconic bluesman R.L. Burnside, carries on his family’s musical tradition with passion and authenticity. Hailing from Holly Springs, Mississippi, Kent learned the blues from his grandfather and other local musicians, soaking in the raw energy and emotional depth of the Hill Country blues style. With his gritty vocals, soulful guitar playing, and driving rhythms, Kent channels the spirit of his forebears while infusing his own modern twist into the genre. Embracing the raw and unfiltered essence of the blues, Kent Burnside mesmerizes audiences with his electrifying performances, keeping the flame of Mississippi blues burning bright for new generations to discover and cherish.

Website: BurnsideKent.com


Playing Friday, June 28 from 10–11 pm

Alvin Youngblood Hart is a virtuoso guitarist and multi-instrumentalist deeply rooted in the blues tradition. Hailing from California but steeped in the rich musical heritage of Mississippi, Hart’s style effortlessly blends Delta blues, country, rock, and folk influences into a captivating tapestry of sound.
Throughout his career, Alvin Youngblood Hart has garnered critical acclaim and earned numerous accolades, including a Grammy Award for Best Traditional Blues Album. He is known for his technical prowess on the guitar, seamlessly shifting between slide and fingerstyle playing with precision and flair.
With a discography spanning over two decades and collaborations with luminaries like Taj Mahal and Ben Harper, Alvin Youngblood Hart continues to inspire and influence generations of musicians with his unparalleled talent and unwavering dedication to the craft.

Click here for The Local Voice’s 2021 Interview with Alvin Youngblood Hart

Website: Alvin Youngblood Hart
Facebook: Alvin Youngblood Hart On Tour
Spotify: Alvin Youngblood Hart
Instagram: Alvin Youngblood Hart

YouTube: Alvin Youngblood Hart
YouTube: Alvin Youngblood Hart’s Muscle Theory – Millennium Stage (May 14, 2022)
YouTube: Alvin Youngblood Hart & Muscle Theory – Full Set – Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival (2016)


Playing Friday, June 28 from 11:15 pm–12:15 am

DuWayne Burnside, son of the legendary bluesman R.L. Burnside, carries on his father’s musical legacy while carving out his own distinctive path in the blues world. DuWayne grew up immersed in the sounds of Hill Country blues, learning from his father and other local musicians. He inherited R.L.’s raw, hypnotic style but has evolved it with his own modern sensibilities, infusing elements of funk, soul, and rock into his music.

DuWayne Burnside has collaborated with artists like North Mississippi Allstars and Cedric Burnside to keep the Hill Country blues tradition alive and thriving. With albums like Under Pressure and Bout 2 Get Wild, DuWayne continues to captivate listeners with his electrifying performances, ensuring that the Burnside family’s musical legacy remains a vital force in the blues landscape.

Facebook: DuwayneBurnsidemusic

Saturday, June 29, 2024 Hill Country Picnic Lineup


Playing Saturday, June 29 from 10–10:45 am

Earl “Little Joe” Ayers is a guitarist and singer from Lamar, Mississippi, who plays Hill Country blues. He was the bass player for legendary Cotton Patch Soul blues musician Junior Kimbrough, and the two played house parties together as teenagers. Ayers is known for his elegant guitar playing and soulful voice, and often performs covers in the style of R.L. Burnside or T-Model Ford.


Playing Saturday, June 29 from 11–11:45 am

Marlow Dorrough is a drummer and guitarist from Ruleville, Mississippi. He is the son of legendary Mississippi guitarist Duff Dorrough. He has played with Duff Dorrough & The Revelators, Solar Porch, Brad Moneymaker Band, Lawdogs, and more.

Click here for The Local Voice’s 2022 interview with Marlow Dorrough

Facebook: MarlowDorrough


Playing Saturday, June 29 from noon–12:15 pm

Libby Rae Watson is an authentic blues woman who has been playing since the early 1970s, when she discovered the blues in her hometown of Pascagoula. She helped organize the talent for the very first Delta Blues Festival in Greenville, Mississippi, in 1978. Libby Rae has played many festivals and music venues all over the world.


Playing Saturday, June 29 from 1–1:45 pm

R.L. Burnside’s oldest son teams up with R.L.’s adopted son for this electric duo that is sure to get you off your seat and on your feet.


Playing Saturday, June 29 from 2–2:45 pm

Trenton Ayers has been playing guitar since age four. The son of Earl “Little Joe” Ayers, he has played with The Electric Mudd, Cedric Burnside Project, and more. He was nominated for a GRAMMY in 2015.

Webpage: Trenton Ayers
Facebook: Trenton Ayers
Twitter: Trenton Ayers
Instagram: Trenton Ayers
YouTube Channel: Trenton Ayers Hands of Fire
YouTube: How to get that Hill Country Blues guitar tone with Grammy nominee Trenton Ayers


Playing Saturday, June 29 from 3–3:45 pm

Afrissippi is an afro-beat/blues/experimental band based out of Oxford, Mississippi, with Guelel Kumba (voice and guitar), Eric Deaton (guitar and voice), Kinney Kimbrough (drums) Justin Showah (bass), and Papa Assane M’baye (handdrum). Guelel Kumba comes from the Futa Tooro region of West Africa, and is a member of the Fulani people. “The blues is close to my music. The lyrics are different, but the emotions are the same,” he says. “I loved the melodies but I was too young to understand the anguish yet.”


Playing Saturday, June 29 from 4–5 pm

Traditional fife and drum music is a vanishing American folk music tradition derived from country blues, martial music tradition, and African rhythms. The late Otha Turner founded the Rising Star Fife & Drum Band, which is now led by his granddaughter Shardé Thomas.

Click here for The Local Voice’s 2022 Interview with Shardé Thomas

Facebook: @risingstarsfifeanddrum
Facebook: @fifemastor
Instagram: @risingstarsfifeanddrum


Playing Saturday, June 29 from 5:15–6:30 pm

Jimbo Mathus is a multifaceted musician whose career spans genres from blues and Americana to rock and country. Born in Oxford, he grew up in Mississippi, deeply influenced by the rich musical heritage of the region. Mathus gained prominence as a founding member of the swing revival band Squirrel Nut Zippers in the 1990s.


Playing Saturday, June 29 from 6:45–8 pm

Eric Deaton is a torch-bearer of the North Mississippi Hill Country blues tradition, having received an apprenticeship first-hand from the masters of this particularly hypnotic, backwoods strain of blues. Eric has recorded albums with The Black Keys and Hank Williams, Jr. Eric’s band includes Junior Kimbrough’s son Kenny and bass guitarist Nate Robbins

Click here for The Local Voice’s 2022 Interview with Eric Deaton

Website: EricDeatonMusic.com
Facebook: @Eric Deaton
The Local Voice: The Black Keys Release R.L. Burnside Cover Song Video Featuring Local Musicians Kenny Brown and Eric Deaton


Playing Saturday, June 29 from 8–9:15 pm

Kenny Brown is a highly respected blues musician renowned for his mastery of Mississippi Hill Country blues. Born and raised in Nesbit, Mississippi, Brown honed his skills playing alongside legends like Mississippi Fred McDowell and R.L. Burnside. His unique blend of traditional blues with elements of rock and punk has earned him a dedicated following and critical acclaim. Brown’s distinctive style, characterized by raw, hypnotic rhythms and blistering slide guitar work, pays homage to the rich musical heritage of the Mississippi Delta while pushing the boundaries of the genre.

Web page: KennyBrownMusic.com
Spotify: Kenny Brown
Facebook: Kenny Brown

YouTube: Kenny Brown – “You’ve Got to Move” and “France Chance” at Music in the Hall 13
YouTube: Kenny Brown’s Band “Goin’ Down South” with Cedric Burnside Blues Rules 2019
YouTube: Kenny Brown – Full Set – Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival (2018)

The Local Voice: The Black Keys Release R.L. Burnside Cover Song Video Featuring Local Musicians Kenny Brown and Eric Deaton
Guitar World: Meet Kenny Brown, the greatest of the Hill Country blues sidemen
Memphis Flyer: Kenny Brown: Mississippi Blues Heavyweight Weighs In On His Country Heroes


Playing Saturday, June 29 from 9:30–10:45 pm

Robert Finley is a captivating blues musician whose soulful voice and heartfelt songwriting have earned him widespread acclaim. Born in Louisiana, Finley’s journey to the spotlight was unconventional; he spent decades working as a carpenter and performing music locally before being discovered by Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys. Auerbach recognized Finley’s immense talent and signed him to his Easy Eye Sound label, where he released his debut album, Age Don’t Mean a Thing, at the age of 63.

Finley’s music channels the raw emotion and authenticity of classic blues while infusing it with his own unique flair. His powerful vocals, reminiscent of legends like Otis Redding and Al Green, effortlessly convey a lifetime of experiences, from love and heartbreak to resilience and redemption. With his gritty guitar playing and soul-stirring lyrics, Robert Finley continues to mesmerize audiences around the world, proving that age is no barrier to creating timeless music.


Playing Saturday, June 29 from 11 pm–midnight

Garry Burnside is an accomplished blues musician hailing from the storied Burnside family, a lineage renowned in the world of Mississippi blues. The son of the legendary R.L. Burnside, Garry has carved out his own niche while honoring his father’s legacy. His guitar playing is distinguished by a raw, powerful style that evokes the rugged spirit of the Delta, and his performances are a testament to his deep-rooted connection to the genre. Throughout his career, he has collaborated with a variety of artists and bands, including the Burnside Exploration and the North Mississippi Allstars, showcasing his versatility and deep understanding of the blues.

In addition to his work as a performer, Garry Burnside is also committed to preserving and promoting the blues. He has participated in numerous educational initiatives and workshops, aiming to inspire a new generation of musicians to appreciate and continue the traditions of the Mississippi blues. Through his dedication to both his craft and his heritage, Garry Burnside not only upholds the legacy of his famous father but also ensures that the soulful sounds of the Mississippi blues will continue to resonate with audiences for years to come.

Click here for The Local Voice’s 2022 interview with Garry Burnside

Website: GarryBurnside.com
Facebook: @GarryBurnside
Instagram: @Garry_Burnside

More Hill Country Picnic articles from The Local Voice:

2023 – North Mississippi Hill Country Picnic Artist Guide June 23 & 24, 2023
2022 – North Mississippi Hill Country Picnic Artist Guide June 24 & 25, 2022
2022 – North Mississippi Hill Country Picnic Vendors (Artists’ Village) 2022
2021 – North Mississippi Hill Country Picnic Brings the Heat June 25–26, 2021
2019 – North Mississippi Hill Country Picnic Returns Friday and Saturday June 28–29, 2019
2017 – North Mississippi Hill Country Picnic Venue Change Due to Weather
2017 – Get Ready for the 12th Annual North Mississippi Hill Country Picnic June 22–25, 2017
2016 – North Mississippi Hill Country Blues Picnic is June 23–25, 2016
2015 – 10th Annual North Mississippi Hill Country Picnic: June 26-27, 2015
2014 – North Mississippi Hill Country Picnic Returns June 27-28, 2014
2013 – Eighth Annual North Mississippi Hill Country Picnic Set For June 28-29, 2013
2012 – Time For the 7th Annual North Mississippi Hill Country Picnic!

North Mississippi Hill Country Picnic Sponsors

Cathead Distillery • The Black Keys • Mississippi Arts Commission • LifeWings • Mississippi Hills National Heritage Area • R&B Feder Charitable Foundation for the Beaux–Arts • The Local Voice • Cetacea Sound • Visit Mississippi • Fat Possum • Frank Kossen • One Day Signs • Margo Cooper • Hick’s Convention Services • Mike & Lisa Bennett • Haynie Construction • The Library Sports Bar • Tom & Connie Kossen • Court Square Inn • Home Place Pastures • Blues on the Porch • Bennett Construction • Budweiser

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