The second musical act of Oxford’s Double Decker Arts Festival was new and rising band Delta Springs, a punk jam band assembled of four young Mississippians.
The band’s roots originate in Mentone, Alabama at Alpine Summer Camp, where lead singer, Sam Stevens, and lead guitarist, Will Smith, met each other for the first time when they were nine-years-old. The two Crystal Springs natives continued to grow musically by practicing guitar and making their material but did not see each other again until they were 19-years-old.
Now that both had grown into experienced musicians, nothing stopped them from trying to accomplish every young musician’s dream of forming a band. As the two guitarists were searching for a drummer, they eventually found Watson Turnipseed from Sumner, Mississippi, a small town with under 500 residents.
The trio began to play around Mississippi, and after eight shows the band met Oxford native Patrick Mink, who agreed to join the band as the bass player. Sam Stevens began to assume the role as the band’s songwriter, creating most of the lyrics for Delta Springs’ songs.
They continued to play in Mississippi venues like Oxford, Jackson and Tupelo, and three months later they released the band’s first studio album Greener Things in February of 2016.
On Saturday during Double Decker, you could hear all the songs from the band’s new album. The crowd gathered around the stage that sunny afternoon, bopping their heads to all the songs Delta Springs performed, especially Runaway, a song Stevens wrote in high school.
The band also played a cover song for Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band by the Beatles early in the performance. Bassist Patrick Mink belted out the song’s lyrics “You’re such a lovely audience” and you could feel the energy in the crowd by the positive response they gave in cheers.
Delta Springs is currently working on the band’s second album and have already recorded four new songs. The album is not a “Greener Things Part 2”, but instead music that has branched out in a new and different direction. According to the Delta Spring’s bassist Patrick Mink, the new songs “are not as chromatic, but funkier and soulful.”
This change was influenced by Mink’s love for classic R&B icons like Otis Redding and Earth, Wind & Fire. Mink wants to mirror the band’s soulful styles with his guitar playing and singing roles on the new album.
All members of the band are also contributing to the lyrics of the songs in the next album, which will represent the musical path Delta Springs is headed. Based on the band’s sweet-sounding performance this Saturday at Double Decker, they seemed to be headed down the right path.
Jackson Olstad is an intern for hottytoddyarchive.com and is a student at The Meek School of Journalism and New Media. Jackson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.