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MELODIES // ‘like a badge’

Peavey

Rare Talent // by Molly Lehmuller

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Darnell Jackson

March - April 2013 // The City’s Business and Lifestyle Magazine

design their own custom virtual guitar amplifier. While its products are sold all over the world, Peavey remains deeply connected to the music made in Mississippi, and hasn’t lost its hospitality-state roots. When Blaylock sent an email asking for details on his amp, Peavey responded with a surplus of information,

amplifiers have a long-held reputation for being rugged, like Mississippians themselves. Cole Furlow, a Jackson native and bandleader for the Oxford-based group Dead Gaze, owns lots of Peavey gear. He’s especially attached to his Peavey Fury bass, which has survived years of abuse and still sounds good. “It just

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on Blaylock had to leave his musical equipment behind, including his Peavey Vintage amp, when he evacuated New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. But when Blaylock, drummer for the Jackson band The Electric Hamhock, returned to retrieve the amp, he couldn’t believe how it fared. “It survived (the storm), but it sat in some pretty disgusting water for a while. … It left a nice water line on it,” he recalls. “But once I dried it out, it was just fine.” Mississippi is famous for its role in the development of the blues, gospel and other types of American music, but it’s also home to a company that makes equipment for musicians around the world. Meridian’s Peavey Electronics produces a wide range of musical products, including instruments, amplifiers and sound systems. Founder and CEO Hartley Peavey started the company in 1965 in a space above his father’s music store in Meridian and grew it into a global operation. Peavey currently distributes its products to more than 130 countries, but the company maintains it headquarters in Meridian, and is one of the state’s largest manufacturers. The company has grown through focusing on innovation, including developing the first computer-controlled guitar production process. Peavey’s pioneering spirit continues today through products like ReValver, a computer program that allows guitarists to

// by Larry Morrisey

B Trip

t’s a rare talent who is nominated for a Grammy award. It’s even rarer to find someone who is not a household name nominated twice, in the same year, in the same category. For music producer Matthew Furdge—a.k.a. Got Koke—it’s just the start of what might be his biggest year yet. Furdge, a Jackson native, has created the foundations for some of the hottest tracks of the past few months. (Those 2 Chainz hits you’re hearing all day on 99.7? He helped bring them to fruiMatthew Furdge tion.) Furdge also participated on heavyweight Rick Ross’ well-received new album, “God Forgives, I Don’t,” penning and producing the track “Pirates.” Though associated with well-known music operations, he is in the process of forming his own production company, The Got Koke Administration. Furdge acknowledges the state’s potential as a leader in not only the more traditionally “Mississippian” blues and country, but in popular music as well. “I always tell people, we have talent here (in Mississippi), no question,” he told the Jackson Free Press. “We just have to start investing and believing in ourselves, to put out better music to show people that Mississippi ain’t nothing to sleep on.” Though the National Academy of Recording Artists is only slowly waking up to the talent in the Magnolia State, for six years the Mississippi Grammys have celebrated the musical accomplishments of its native and adopted sons, from the North Mississippi Allstars to Jimbo Mathus to B.B. King. In 2013, however, the starstudded event will be put on hiatus as the music community focuses its efforts on a new venture in the Delta, where the national Grammys will soon have a second home. After the success of the B.B. King Muse um and Delta Interpretive Center in Indianola, the Recording Academy is slated to open its second museum in Cleveland, near Delta State University, by 2015. Billboard reported the new Grammy museum will give visitors the opportunity to discover the history and tradition of Mississippi’s music. Future plans with the museum include a study exchange between Delta State and colleges in southern California, where the main museum is located.

Homegrown Equipment for Mississippi Musicians

Peavey musical equipment is made to last—this vintage amp survived Hurricane Katrina.

including a copy of the original owner’s manual. “I figured (my email) would end up in some black hole of customer service, but they got right back to me,” he recalls. Lindley McKellar, bassist for the Jackson band Slang Hearts, remembers the important role Peavey equipment played when he started playing in bands. “We didn’t have a lot of money,” he says. “We were teenagers working part-time jobs to save up to get something. With Peavey, you get a lot of bang for your buck.” Peavey instruments and

sounds and plays better than any Fender (bass) I’ve ever played,” Furlow says. “I can literally throw it down, run the fretboard up and down a mic stand, and it’s always fine.” While touring with (fellow Jacksonian) Dent May’s band in Europe last year, Furlow and other band members brought along their Peavey guitars. He believes that the instruments help tell the story of their home to audiences. “It’s great being a Mississippi musician and being able to play something that’s made in the state,” he says. “We wear it like a badge.”

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