A lot has changed in Oxford over the past decade or so. Nowadays, you’ll notice pricey boutiques and real estate, a burgeoning local food movement, an incredible new record store opened by Fat Possum’s Bruce Watson and David Swider, and the proliferation of top-notch eateries from the likes of John Currence. “The Little Easy” still boasts a top-notch literary/arts scene, too, fostered by the university, Square Books, and other institutions. But perhaps most striking are the sounds emanating from the city by way of the Cats Purring Dude Ranch, a collective of bands and personalities that’s revolutionizing the town’s music scene.
Oxford has produced some formidable music talent in the past (Blue Mountain, The Neckbones, Fat Possum’s bluesmen, et al.), but the Cats Purring folks have thundered onto the scene with material that’s delightedly unexpected. The sleepy little Mississippi town that produced Faulkner now features a loud and rocking array of power-poppers, new-wave revivalists, garage-rockers, and other genre-bending experiments that can’t be ignored. We’ve already touched on Bass Drum of Death, but as part of our year of Mississippi music, we’d be remiss if we didn’t show you the likes of Young Buffalo, Dead Gaze, and Dent May. This is but a sample of the fantastic music coming out of Cats Purring—visit the rest of the family at the dude ranch itself.