The Daily Mississippian
ARTICLE | APRIL 6, 2011 – 9:39PM | BY KATE NICOLE COOPER
Some musicians find inspiration at the bottom of a bottle, and alcohol profits will soon benefit Mississippi’s music industry.
Austin Evans and Richard Patrick, the creators of Cathead Vodka, will donate $1 from every bottle sold in the state of Mississippi to the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council in order to support live music.
“There is something special about Mississippi,” the creators said in a press release. “Your neighbors are more than neighbors; (they are) part of the family. When they have a meal they invite you; when music flows, everyone is invited to dance, and when you need help they help without asking. This is the spirit of the people and the businesses they own and run.”
Evans and Patrick said they noticed the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council worked with local musicians to celebrate the music scene in Mississippi, so Cathead Vodka selected the organization as its charity of choice.
Both Evans and Patrick said they felt the arts council had a passion for Mississippi culture that is similar to the idea behind Cathead Vodka.
“The arts council was focused on serving the roots of the region,” Evans said. “They had distilled their mission down to serve the people who create the music and art, and when you do that, the community will thrive.”
The council has made many contributions to local artists, such as the creation of programs that teach musicians a better understanding of their craft via songwriting workshops and seminars that teach the business side of music. It has also hosted music festivals and webcast concerts featuring Mississippi musicians in order to showcase up-and-coming artists to the world.
With Mississippi areas like Tupelo, the birthplace of Elvis Presley, and the Delta, home to many blues artists, music and art play major roles in the state’s culture.
Evans and Patrick said they thought of Mississippi as the root of music and decided the state was a better choice than a place like Memphis or Detroit.
“This is a huge statement because it shows that business owners recognize that the arts are key to a thriving community,” Wayne Andrews, YAC director, said, “Without the arts — music, painting and acting — you don’t have a community, as it is through the arts that people express their common experience and join together.”
Beth Ziegenhorn, YAC operations coordinator, said that the council is honored to have been chosen as the recipient of Cathead’s charity.
“What’s really great about Cathead is they’re trying to do a lot for local music, and not only are they helping the arts council, but they have a different artist coming to Proud Larry’s every Wednesday,” she said. “It’s become like a circle of art, and it’s bettering the community. They’re doing everything they can to bring live music to Oxford.”
Ziegenhorn also said that Cathead sponsors the Powerhouse’s live concert series the first Tuesday of every month.
Mississippi is also the home of Cathead Vodka, which is according to the companies website, the state’s first legally distilled spirit. The company hopes that its commitment to Mississippi and the YAC will inspire other business owners and leaders.