In Hattiesburg, we are lucky to be surrounded by a strong community of artistic people that are brilliantly creative. This community has grown and developed into a cultural hearth, giving residents of the Hub City a chance to experience great things during their time here. But we don’t often get to witness the huge success of people from our city or state. When confronting this sad truth, it’s hard not to look for a sign of hope and inspiration. This search proved to be successful in the summer of 2012 when I stumbled across a group of musicians.
Five simple, nice guys from Jackson, Miss., commonly referred to as The Weeks, yielded their instruments on the small stage at Benny’s Boom Boom Room in downtown Hattiesburg. The band burned down the house with their awe-inspiring talent. The Weeks had something different about them. Needless to say, everyone in the crowd became an immediate fan.
The Weeks came back to Benny’s Boom Boom Room Sept. 27. They attracted the biggest crowd that’s ever been seen at their Hattiesburg shows. They formed in 2006 to fill the gap when the music scene in the Jackson area quickly dissipated. Young boys at the time, they were thrown together on a whim, quickly taking the area’s music scene by storm.
Fast forward seven years later and The Weeks are set to open for Kings of Leon on a six-week European tour. Talk about a major transformation. They spoke kindly about the members of KOL and their crew. The band said KOL made it easier and more comfortable to perform in front of huge crowds. “It was kind of surreal,” said Cyle Barnes, lead singer of the band. “Going out [on stage] with them made it a lot easier.”
If their matching Miss. tattoos didn’t signify their love for our great state, the band also talked about what makes their home so special.
“Mississippi has got a lot of sweet people and it’s wonderful,” Cyle Barnes said. “The fact that we’re called the ‘Hospitality State,’ I don’t think a state has a better nickname,” said Samuel Williams, the band’s guitarist. “There’s no place like home, but there’s really no place like Mississippi.”
Their background provides a lot of writing material for these talented songwriters. The Weeks said their inspiration comes from the struggle of growing up in Miss. and agreed that it wasn’t necessarily their personal struggle but the “acknowledgement of the struggle,” that many Southerners face.
“Also some things in our songs come from the beauty of Mississippi,” said Cain Barnes, the band’s drummer. Clearly, all of these talented musicians are extremely proud to call Miss. their home.
The Weeks are a testament that being from Miss. doesn’t cripple your ability to be successful. In fact, “If you’re from Mississippi, I bet you want it more and you probably deserve it more,” Cain Barnes said.
But if you have dream, you should never give up on it. “You will have to go through a lot before you get that beautiful pearl, but it’s worth it,” Cain Barnes said. “I do exactly what I want to do every single day, which is beautiful.”
With the huge crowd and the band’s unforgettable performance, listeners can agree this was a show like none other, crowd surfing included.
Music lovers shouldn’t miss The Weeks the next time they perform in Hattiesburg.