It’s Friday once again and if you’re like me you are texting everyone you know to make plans you know you’re going to break. But not this one, this is an event you should definitely commit to. Hailing from a small town in Mississippi R.L. Boyce brings the Mississippi Hill Country Blues to LA’s The Echo for the first time tomorrow, Saturday, September 22. R.L. began playing drums for his uncle in the 60s and switching over the guitar and vocals somewhere along the way.
“Growing up in Como, Mississippi, we didn’t have no clubs or fancy ballrooms or concert halls to play in. All we had was yard parties and picnics to play at, like the ones over at Otha’s (Turner). And we sure had a lot of them.”
His most recent set of songs Roll and Tumble, out now via Waxploitation and produced by North Mississippi Allstars (fitting), were all recorded over two days and in one take giving 10 tracks a rare free flowing jam vibe that make you feel like you are there with him and his friends in a back yard BBQ deep in the country. Yes, I’ll have another Budweiser bottle, thanks for asking.
As R.L. himself says, “Most of it, when somethin’ hits my mind, I just start. I don’t do no rehearsin’ with no body. I don’t do nothin’ like that. Whatever hits me, I jump in on it.”
To give you an sneak peak of what to expect tomorrow, check out this sweet video for the album track, “R.L.’s Boogie,” with visuals drawn by the artist James Jean.
As R.L. prepares for his first show in LA we caught up with him in anticipation for his trek from Mississippi.
Favorite city to have a day off: During my tour of Columbia, South America, a few years ago, I really enjoyed hanging out in this little community named La Florida just outside the city of Perriera. We spent a couple days off at this cabin right on the Otun River where it flows down the mountain. It was very peaceful and beautiful.
Favorite city to play: I like it when I get to play in New York and New Orleans because I get to see friends in those places who I don’t get to see much. I am looking forward to playing in Los Angeles and I am sure it will become one of my favorites too.
What venue has the best hospitality backstage: That would be the Hard Rock Café in Medellin, Columbia, South America. I was there to play a show with Carlos Elliot, Jr. & The Cornlickers and then the after party and jam session as part of the Medellin Blues Festival. They took real good care of us and the folks were very friendly.
Favorite road meal: I eat just about anything. When I can I like to cook my own scrambled eggs. Now that I got my new teeth, I chew meat again.
Room service order: Either ice cream or chocolate milk shakes.
What city inspires you musically: That would be Como, Mississippi, my hometown. Mississippi Fred McDowell was from Como as well and Otha Turner was from Gravel Springs just on the other side of the interstate. Also, Jessie Mae Hemphill was from just down the road in Senatobia and RL Burnside and Junior Kimbrough were close by, too.
Weirdest place you’ve ever written a song: I usually just make ‘em up as I play wherever that might be.
Favorite meal your grandmother used to make: Chicken with greens and cornbread.
Show drink: One shot of Jack Daniels just before I go on.
Pre show music: “Alice Mae” by R.L. Burnside.
How do you prepare for a show: Don’t do nothing really. I just let everything go from my head and open my mind and see what comes to me.
Favorite place to relax in LA: This will be my first time in Los Angeles and I’m looking forward to it.
Get lost in R.L.’s improvisational blues this weekend at the Echo. Tickets are available here.