Main Entrance NMA History Stats Lyrics Discography Roots Touring Media a surprise! Links Hospitality FAQ's Common Threads Album Reviews About


Check out our Frappr!


NMA YouTube Video
Down In Mississippi ...
Mississippi heritage

Check out the Magnolia Tee
(the Mississippi state flower)
at the Allstars official store


By Langston Hughes

I've known rivers:
I've known rivers ancient as the world and older than the flow
of human blood in human veins.
My soul has grown deep like the rivers.
I bathed in the Euphrates when dawns were young.
I built my hut near the Congo and it lulled me to sleep.
I looked upon the Nile and raised the pyramids above it.
I heard the singing of the Mississippi when Abe Lincoln went
down to New Orleans, and I've seen its muddy bosom turn
all golden in the sunset.
I've known rivers:
Ancient, dusky rivers.
My soul has grown deep like the rivers.

circa 1922

In order to know a little bit more about the boys in the band and the music they play it is helpful to learn about where they come from. This is a little description on the state of Mississippi, it's eccentricities, and the atmosphere the Allstars call home.

Mississippi...knows how to party!
Everybody...come have a party!

State Name:
The state takes its name from the Mississippi River, which flows along the western boundary. The name itself probably comes from Native American words with various spellings that mean "large waters" or "father of the waters." Other nicknames attached to Mississippi are the Magnolia State and the Hospitality State.

The Moundbuilders:
Producing much archaeological controversy is the discovery of earthmounds. Along Mississippi's scenic Natchez Trace Parkway sits an immense flat-topped platform 35 feet high, spanning eight acres. Emerald Mound, the second largest ceremonial earthwork in the United States, was built over two centuries before Columbus waded ashore in the Caribbean. The Mississippians erected hundreds—maybe thousands—of earthworks across the southeast while Europe was living through the Middle Ages and the Renaissance!

fact or fiction?

As the Mississippians flourished, the mounds evolved into urban centers with the common city problems of overcrowding and waste disposal. Sometimes one large flat-topped mound dominated a village or ceremonial center. More often, as at Emerald, several mounds surrounded a plaza, with the village at its edges. Structures atop the plaza—temples or official residences—sat on large four-sided flat-topped mounds. A palisade of saplings surrounded the entire complex. The alluvial soil of its banks yielded a bounty of beans, squash, and corn to foster burgeoning communities. Over the Mississippi’s waters, from near and far, came prized pearls, copper, and mica. Today, most of the moundbuilders’ legacy is gone. Many of their earthworks have been plowed, pilfered, eroded, and built over. Yet evidence of the culture remains

State History:
The Mississippi Territory was organized on April 7, 1798, from territory ceded by Georgia and South Carolina and was later twice expanded to include disputed territory claimed by both the U.S. and Spain.

Mississippi was the 20th state admitted to the Union, on December 10, 1817. It was the second state to secede from the Union as one of the Confederate States of America on January 9, 1861. During the Civil War the Confederate States were defeated and subsequently Mississippi was readmitted to the Union on February 23, 1870.

After the repeal of the national law some states continued to enforce prohibition laws; Oklahoma, Kansas, and Mississippi were still "dry" in 1948. Mississippi, which had made alcohol illegal in 1907, was the last state to repeal prohibition, in 1966. Legal and illegal home brewing was popular during prohibition. Limited amounts of wine and hard cider were permitted to be made at home. Some wine was was only available for use by churches at communion. Whiskey was available by prescription from medical doctors.


A little “moonshine history”…
The literal meaning of moonshine is the light of the moon, but because the activity of distilling whiskey unlawfully was usually done at night with as little light as possible, the word became both a verb, meaning making the liquor, and a noun, meaning the liquor that was made. The reason it is done at night, and usually someplace away from houses and buildings, is that distillation produces a fair amount of smoke and steam, which can be visible for a great distance if it is done outdoors in the daytime. A U.S. synonym for moonshine is hooch, a word apparently borrowed into English ca. 1867 from the Hoochinoo tribe of Alaska, noted for its homemade liquor. White lightning, mountain dew, and white mule are also attested. Today, authorities still claim Moonshine Whiskey as illegal simply because homemade brewing doesn’t fall under good food handling standards (let’s just say it is claimed that stills constructed using car radiators for a condenser are still used).

Natural Disaster:
On August 17, 1969 Category 5 Hurricane Camille hit the Mississippi coast killing 248 people and causing $1.5 billion in damage (1969 dollars).

August 29, 2005 a Category 5 Hurricane Katrina hit Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, and Georgia leaving an economic, structural, environmental catastrophe.

Physical Geography:
Mississippi is bounded by Tennessee on the north, Alabama on the east, the Gulf of Mexico and Louisiana on the south, and on the west, across the Mississippi River, the states of Louisiana and Arkansas.

Mississippi's physical geography is characterized by two distinct regions: the Mississippi River Floodplain and the Gulf Coastal Plain. The Mississippi Floodplain runs along the western part of the state, adjacent to the Mississippi River, and includes the Mississippi Delta region, one of the most fertile regions in the world. Between the southwest corner and Vicksburg the Floodplain extends only a few miles east of the river, but north of Vicksburg it extends eastward to the Yazoo River, forming a large, leaf-shaped region, the Mississippi Delta. The Gulf Coastal Plain covers all the rest of the state and can be divided into nine distinct regions. The Tennessee and Tombigbee Rivers' Hills occupy the northeastern part of the state, where Woodall Mountain, near Iuka, is the state's highest point, at 806 feet above sea level. West of the Hills is the Black Prairie, a narrow, fertile, crescent-shaped lowland with few trees.

North Mississippi also includes the Flatwoods, a narrow crescent of sticky clay soil adjacent to both the Tennessee and Alabama borders. Additionally, the North Central Hills occupy all of north-central Mississippi and extend as far southeast as Clarke County. To the west, the Loess Hills (or Bluff Hills) another series of uplands run along the edge of the Floodplain. These hills border the eastern edge of the Delta in the north and then curve westward following the line of the Mississippi River below Vicksburg.

All of southern Mississippi except for a strip along the gulf, is covered with the Long Leaf Pine Hills (a.k.a. Piney Woods) south of the Jackson Prairies, and is the state's chief timber-producing area. Along the southern edge of the panhandle lie the Coastal Meadows. The lowest part of the state, along the estuary known as the Mississippi Sound, lies at sea level.

The western part of the state is drained by the Mississippi River and three of its tributaries -the Yazoo, Big Black, and Homochitto rivers. The extreme northeastern corner lies in the basin of the Tennessee River. The rest of the state drains southward into the Gulf of Mexico, mainly through the Pearl, Pascagoula, and Tombigbee rivers.

Even Bigfoot likes Mississippi!


Until about 1940 African Americans made up a majority of Mississippians. However, this has changed, as Mississippi is now 36.3% black. A few thousand Native Americans (mostly Choctaw) live in the east central section of the state. The small Chinese population found in the Delta is descended from farm laborers brought there from California in the 1870s. The Chinese did not adjust well to the Mississippi plantation system, however, and most of them became small merchants. The coastal fishing industry has attracted Southeast Asian refugees.

Ain't no party like the north Mississippi!
Like the North Mississippi Allstaaaaaars!

Mississippi Fun Facts:
-There are over 200,000 five year olds living in Mississippi
-Total population is about 2,900,000
-About 150,000 college students
-About 70,000 homes without telephone service
-The Mississippi Gulf Coast, from Biloxi to Henderson Point, is the largest and longest man-made beach in the world.
-The Ringier-America company in Corinth, MS prints National Geographic.
-The world's only cactus plantation is located in Edwards with more than 3,000 varieties of cacti.
-Mississippi has more tree farms than any other state.
-Mississippi has more churches per capita than any other state.
-H.A. Cole in Jackson, MS, developed the cleaning product Pine-Sol.
-Four cities in the world have been sanctioned by the International Theatre/Dance Committee to host the International Ballet Competition: Moscow, Russia; Varna, Bulgaria; Helsinki, Finland;
and Jackson, Mississippi.
-The Teddy Bear's name originated after a bear hunt in Mississippi with President Theodore Roosevelt.
-The world's oldest Holiday Inn is in Clarksdale.
-On April 25, 1866, women in Columbus decorated the graves of Confederate and Union soldiers in Friendship Cemetery. This gesture became known as Decoration Day, the beginning of what we observe as Memorial Day.
-Shoes were first sold as pairs in 1884 at Phil Gilbert's Shoe Parlor in Vicksburg.
-Inventor James D. Byrd of Clinton holds seven patents and developed the plastic used as a heat shield by NASA.
-Mississippi University for Women in Columbus was the first state college for women in the country, established in 1884.
-Hat Maker John B. Stetson learned and practiced hat making in Dunn's Falls, MS.

-The oldest field game in America is Stickball, played by the Choctaw Indians of Mississippi.
-Natchez was settled by the French in 1716 and is the oldest permanent settlement on the Mississippi River. Natchez once had 500 millionaires, more than any other city except New York City. Natchez now has more than 500 buildings that are on the National Register of Historic Places.
-In 1894, Coca-Cola was first bottled by Joseph A. Biedenharn in Vicksburg.
-Mississippi was the first state to outlaw imprisonment of debtors. (Praise the Lord!)
-Peavey Electronics, in Meridian, is the world's largest manufacturer of musical amplification equipment.

Cultural Links:
Mississippi Authors
Mississippi Art
Delta Blues/Folk/Pop Culture
Tennessee Williams Festival

State motto: "Virtute et Armis" (By Valor and Arms)
State song: "Go, Mississippi", adopted 1962
State flower and state tree: Magnolia
State bird: Mockingbird
State beverage: Milk
State insect: Honeybee
State land mammal: White-tailed Deer
State wildflower: Coreopsis

Famous Mississippians: Jim Henson, James Earl Jones, Oprah Winfrey, Brett Favre, Walter Payton, Jerry Rice, Steven Lombardi, William Faulkner, Tennessee Williams, Jimmy Buffett, Bo Diddley, Faith Hill, John Lee Hooker, Robert Johnson, B.B. King, Elvis Presley, LeAnn Rimes, Jimmie Rodgers, Ike Turner, Conway Twitty, Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Tammy Wynette

To find out more about the musical origins in Mississippi click on Going Down South
Quick Hits

NMA Updates
About Grotto
NMA History
Band Stats
Tour Dates
Set Lists

About the Music
FAQ and Gear
Album Reviews
Promo Material
Radio Requests
Fan Photos

Official Folk