About seven years ago, Russell Mefford’s sister gave him a South by Southwest T-shirt.
Mefford told his sister that he would wait until he got to play at the festival — one of the biggest in the world — before he wore the shirt.
Mefford will be able to wear that shirt on March 14 as he and his band, The Fiddleworms, are scheduled to play with a host of other Shoals bands.
“It’s been a long wait, and I won’t count it until it happens,” Mefford said. “If we get out there and get on stage and play, it’ll be nice to put that T-shirt on.”
The Fiddleworms will be playing at The Stage On Sixth Patio in Austin, Texas in The Muscle Shoals Showcase presented by Cherokee Lair Productions and 6 Degrees of Muscle Shoals along with The Swampers, Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section, The Valley Roots, An Abstract Theory, The Local Saints, Shonna Tucker, Clayton Colvin with Buggaboo, SCM Electrix, Gnarly Charlies and the Pine Hill Haints.
Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit will be playing on the same day in the same area.
SXSW is a series of film, music and technology conferences and festivals that is held March 8 - 17 this year in Austin, Texas.
The Pine Hill Haints played SXSW in 2011, said lead singer and guitarist Jamie Barrier. He said the music festival is incredibly crowded.
“There is a band everywhere you can stick a band,” Barrier said. “Under the interstate, in the parking lot, next to the bathroom.”
Barrier said he’s proud to be a part of this showcase representing Muscle Shoals music.
“I feel like we’re apart of something,” Barrier said. “There’s a lot of good music in our area, and I’m proud to be a part of it and represent it.”
Brittany Letsinger, lead singer of The Valley Roots, said she’s looking forward to going to the festival.
“We’ve heard a lot about how awesome it’s going to be,” Letsinger said. “And I can only imagine that it’s going to be more so. I’m super excited, and it’s going to be a good place to network and come together with Muscle Shoals musicians and hangout with each other.”
Both The Valley Roots and The Local Saints are releasing self-titled EPs for the show.
Jamie McFarlane, of The Local Saints, said they see the concert as a test of sorts for the band.
“I’m as curious as to how we’ll respond to it as a band, as to how the songs will be received,” McFarlane said. “I see it as a test. A do we belong kind of thing.
“I won’t lie” he said, “I’m very hopeful that we’ll be noticed. I’d love to think that’s a possibility as well. I’d love to be noticed. Obviously though, we do this for ourselves, not for someone to notice.”
As for what the concert will mean for The Fiddleworms, Mefford said, “I’ll just have to tell you when I get back.”
“It’s a huge festival ... you have legends there and established bands and bands like us that nobody has ever heard of. So our approach going in is to bring it. You’ve got 30 minutes to show what you can do. You don’t know who’s going to be there, but you want to give your best to whoever is.”
Bobby Bozeman can be reached at 256-740-5722 or bobby.bozeman@TimesDaily.com.
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