The Head and the Heart serenades Mississippi fans for the first time

-Abbie Walker, Editor

The Head and the Heart, an indie folk band from Seattle, entertained a packed house at Hal & Mal’s in Jackson on Friday, Oct. 10. This was the band’s first time performing in Mississippi, and despite their growing popularity since the release of their latest album, The Head and the Heart took time to spend their second to last night of tour in the magnolia state’s capitol.


The group offers a variety of musical talents including singer-songwriters Jonathan Russell and Josiah Johnson, pianist Kenny Hensley, bassist Chris Zasche, violinist and singer Charity Thielen, and drummer Tyler Williams.

The band and audience pushed through the stifling heat of the small venue on Friday in determination to have a good time. Playing crowd favorites such as “Rivers and Roads,” “Cats and Dogs,” and “Lost in My Mind,” the acoustic-guitar driven melodies of northwestern folk took on a southern vibe as a room full of excited fans belted out the lyrics.

For front man Jonathan Russell, visiting Mississippi brought back old memories. His mother and grandparents are from Mississippi, and he said the state has a special role in his childhood.

“You’re making me get all sentimental,” Russell told the crowd.

Fans dripping with sweat from the tightly-packed mob shouted their appreciation for the band so-loved by the southern state and begged them to “please come back!”

The Head and the Heart came together in 2009 and have released two albums since then—one self-titled in 2010 and their latest “Let’s Be Still” in 2013.

Although fans tend to regard The Head and the Heart’s first album as their favorite, “Let’s Be Still” offers several beloved songs such as “Shake,” “Another Story,” and “Gone.”

“The Head and the Heart are one of my favorite bands. They always put on a good show, and it was so fun getting to see them in Jackson with all of my friends!” said sophomore Ashton Ray.

“The Head and the Heart know how to put on a show,” said senior Bella Cones. “They engage their audience like no other band I’ve seen. Basically, they’re the bomb.”

For Cones, the night also included more sentimental moments, especially when the band played the lyrics from the song “Rivers and Roads”:

“A year from now we’ll all be gone

All our friends will move away

And they’re goin’ to better places

But our friends will be gone away”


Cones said that the song has been dear to her and her friends since freshman year. But it takes on a whole new meaning with this being their senior year, since they will soon be going their separate ways come graduation.

Though the band is wrapping up their current tour, Mississippi fans hope to see them again soon. Despite the heat, The Head and the Heart members seemed to enjoy the night as much as the southern crowd enjoyed them.


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