By McKenna Morris
Buffalo Nichols, Fat Possum Records’ first blues artist in nearly 20 years, will perform at two venues in North Mississippi this month.
The first performance will be a free concert at the Blue Canoe in Tupelo on April 14 at 7:30 p.m. The second will be an appearance at the Double Decker Arts Festival in Oxford on April 23 at 12:30 p.m.
Buffalo Nichols, born in Houston and raised in Milwaukee, is famous for putting Black stories into the genres of folk and blues. At his upcoming performances, he will play a selection of songs from his self-titled debut album which has received support from NPR Music, Rolling Stone, Bandcamp Daily, Texas Monthly and the Austin Chronicle.
Buffalo Nichols focuses on the blues genre’s origins when making his music, which look back at complicated circumstances for Black Americans.
His songs have been described as showing the joy, exuberance and triumph contained in the blues, while also presenting trying situations that often are not referenced within the genre.
“Listening to this record, I want more Black people to hear themselves in this music that is truly theirs,” the artist said.
Fat Possum Records, an Oxford-based record label, has been evolving over the last several years. The label started out representing Mississippi blues artists, but Fat Possum has recently begun adding younger rock artists to its roster.
The signing of Buffalo Nichols will allow the label to go back to its roots and revisit the blues genre.
Buffalo Nichols makes it his goal to provide a perspective through his lyrics that do not play heavily into microaggressions relating to race, class and culture. The album covers topics such as empathy and forgiveness shown in the song “How to Love,” as well as regret and loss in “These Things.”
“Anyone who fears the blues’ demise would do well to keep their eyes on Nichols,” says Guitar World.
For more information on Buffalo Nichols visit https://www.buffalo-nichols.com/. For more information on the Blue Canoe performance visit https://www.bluecanoebar.com/, and for more information the Double Decker Arts Festival performance visit https://doubledeckerfestival.com/music/.