TUPELO, MS – Join New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park Rangers Bruce “Sunpie” Barnes and Matt Hampsey on Thursday, May 10th at 7:00 p.m. for a performance of songs from the recently released CD project “Songs of the Lower Mississippi Delta.” Joining Matt and Bruce will be acoustic bassist Jen Maurer, fiddler Gina Forsyth, and special guest Sam Rettman on rub board and harmonica. The concert will feature Civil War songs, old-time fiddle songs, spirituals, delta blues, Cajun, and zydeco music.
After a short stint playing in the NFL, Bruce “Sunpie” Barnes realized his lifelong dream of becoming a park ranger while continuing his passion for music. As a park ranger for Jean Lafitte NHP & Preserve and the New Orleans Jazz NHP, Bruce has been able to combine his love of nature and music in a unique setting. Bruce plays accordion, harmonica, and sings while also leading the band Sunpie & the Louisiana Sunspots which is based out of New Orleans, but performs on the international stage.
Park Ranger and soulful guitarist Matt Hampsey is well versed in many styles including jazz, gospel, and slide guitar. He is a former member of the Marine Band and graduate of the University of New Orleans Jazz Studies Program. Matt has played music professionally in New Orleans for the last 21 years and has worked at the New Orleans Jazz NHP for the last 12 years.
Bassist and vocalist Jen Maurer is the leader of the critically acclaimed zydeco band Mo’ Mojo. Jen also plays button accordion, flute, piano, and guitar while continuing to be a prolific songwriter.
Gina Forsyth has played fiddle for many years in the Bruce Daigrepont Cajun Band but has also released critically acclaimed albums under her own name, writing all her music, playing guitar, and singing.
Guest musician Sam Rettman will be featured on an old-time harmonica tune, and play the rub board.
The concert will begin with a short performance of Civil War-era songs by the North Mississippi Dulcimer Association and take place at the Natchez Trace Parkway Visitor Center located at milepost 266 on the Parkway near Tupelo, Mississippi. This program is free to the public. For more information about this and other Parkway programs, please visit our website at www.nps.gov/natr or call 1-800-305-7417.