We invite everyone to join us for this outdoor worship service focused on the relationship between faith, gospel music, and the blues.
What do I need to bring?
- Your lawn chair or blanket.
Will there be snacks?
- Yes, such as corn dogs, popcorn, bottled water, snow cones, and hot dogs.
Will there be anything for my young children to do?
- Yes. We hope to offer a bouncy house, a balloon artist, and pony rides.
Are dogs welcomed?
- Yes. Leashed pets are welcome in Smith Park.
What if it rains?
- If the weather risks damaging the sound equipment, our event will take place across the street in Galloway UMC's in Fellowship Center/Gym.
Tricia Walker is a singer and songwriter whose songs are steeped in the passion, pain and grace of the American South. Born and raised in Mississippi, Tricia has become one of the clearest voices of her own time and place. Her music has been recorded by Faith Hill, Patty Loveless and Alison Krauss, whose performance of Tricia’s Looking in the Eyes of Love earned a GRAMMY® award. A recording artist herself, Tricia’s CD, “The Heart of Dixie,” thoughtfully captures the songwriter’s view of the South with well-placed lyrics and music reflecting her folk, R & B and storytelling influences.
“Culture is a precious, living thing,” Tricia says. “It has to be nurtured if it’s going to survive. Any artist or creative thinker has a responsibility to help chronicle his or her own time, place and people. That’s the surest way to keep a culture from disappearing.”
Before moving to Nashville in the 1980s, Tricia earned an A.A. degree from Copiah-Lincoln Community College and a degree in Music Education from Delta State University. While working on her Master’s Degree, she performed at clubs and festivals in Mississippi and Louisiana. She won American Song Festival and Mississippi Song Festival awards and moved to Music City to sign with giant gospel music publisher Word, Inc. As her songs were recorded on GRAMMY-nominated discs by Kathy Troccoli, Debby Boone, and The Imperials, her reputation as a songwriter spread. Well-respected producer Jerry Kennedy signed Tricia to his Polygram Group stable of writers, further solidifying her credibility.
Tricia’s instrumental skills earned her a spot backing Grand Ole Opry star Connie Smith, with whom she played for six years. She also toured extensively with Shania Twain and Paul Overstreet as a keyboard player and vocalist. Along with Pam Tillis, Karen Staley and Ashley Cleveland, Tricia was a founding member of “Women in the Round,” one of the most celebrated foursomes at Nashville’s prestigious Bluebird Café.
She has performed at the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Tin Pan South Songwriting Festival in Nashville, was a New Folk Winner at the Kerrville Folk Festival in Texas and featured at Austin’s South by Southwest Music Festival. Additional musical highlights included singing at Robert Redford’s Christmas Cantata at his Sundance Resort as well as a choreographed work for the Nashville Ballet entitled “All the Way Home,” co-written by Tricia and Kate Campbell.
Tricia returned to her native Mississippi in 2006 to become director of the Delta Music Institute, an entertainment industry studies program at her alma mater, Delta State University. After retiring from DSU in the summer of 2019, she was awarded the title of Director Emeritus and plans to develop new musical and creative projects for Big Front Porch Productions. Tricia was recently honored with the 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award by the Mississippi Writer’s Guild.
Tricia Walker offers an entertaining slice of her places and times, delivered with a beautiful voice, strong musicianship and the ease of a veteran entertainer. Southern style never had it so good.
Keith Johnson is a 27-year-old graduate of Delta State University, receiving a MBA in Human Resources. As an undergraduate Keith received a BA/degree in Entertainment Industry Studies with a concentration in Audio Engineering in December 2016.
Keith is also an accomplished blues musician and winner of the 2016, 2018, and 2019 local International Blues Challenge Competition sponsored by the Vicksburg Blues Society and the Mississippi Delta Blues Society.
Keith is in the process of carrying on and upholding a family legacy in the entertainment industry as he is the great nephew of blues icon, Muddy Waters. He is also the grandson of Texcellar Fields, blues singer from the early fifty and sixties who once has an opportunity to sign with Chess Records back in the day. He was born in Glen Allen, Mississippi… a small town in the heartland of the Mississippi Delta. Keith is a graduate of Riverside High School, where he wrote his high school senior song, “Outstanding Love.”
While at Delta State University Keith has represented the university by participating in the DMI All-star Band that provides him the opportunity to travel as an ambassador for the university playing lead guitar and singing lead vocals at numerous college-related events. Additionally, Keith was invited to play with world-renowned and legendary bluesmen and blues women at the 2015 International Conference on the Blues where he played with Grammy Award winner/folk artist, Dom Flemons (The American Songster) and founding member of the original Carolina Chocolate Drops.
During the summer of 2016, Keith completed his college internship with the 2010 International Blues Challenge winner and GRAMMY Award winning songwriter, Grady Champion, owner of DeChamp Records. As a result of his internship placement, Keith has participated in the 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 Chicago Blues Festival where he met and performed with several veteran musicians who were contemporaries of and band members of Muddy Waters that included Lazy Lester and Eddie Shaw of the Wolfpack.
Keith went on his first tour in 2018 with Fred Letours. Keith has also performed at the Mississippi Delta Blues festival in Brazil in 2019. Keith has played the Chicago Blues Festival, Mississippi Delta Blues and Heritage Festival, The King Biscuit Festival, the Great Delta Bear Festival, and etc. Keith has released one album entitled “Come to Mississippi”, and a Christmas EP entitled “Sounds like Christmas”. Keith currently has one single entitled “Creeping and Walking”. Keith performs with his band “The Big Muddy Band,” which consist of a five piece Rhythm section. Recently Keith shared the stage with Grammy Award winner, and blues legend Bobby Rush.