OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss. (WLOX) - Restaurants and bars can once again offer live entertainment. Nowhere is that more welcome than on the streets of downtown Ocean Springs.
Government Street has been uncharacteristically quiet over the past few months. As of 8 a.m. Monday morning, live entertainment was once again allowed in Mississippi. So, Mayor Shea Dobson found a reason to celebrate. Dobson invited the Tall Boys to city hall for a thirty-minute concert, commemorating the lifting of restrictions. The life of Government Street is arguably live entertainment and groups like the Tall Boys that will now be allowed to help usher in a small, but modified, slice of life before COVID-19.
“The state is lifting the restrictions for live music. Live music is an important part of downtown Ocean Springs, so we just invited the Tall Boys here to basically celebrate our ability to get back to jamming and get back to living," said Dobson.
In true Ocean Springs fashion, Dobson invited the community to a welcome back concert in the parking lot at city hall. “We like to enjoy ourselves. We like to invite everybody to come down and experience all the beauty that Ocean Springs has to offer and live music is a big part of that," Dobson said.
Having that part of life return back is important to the people that live in Ocean Springs. “You know, it’s gonna be great for not only the people around here but also the businesses. We’ve been looking forward to it for a while now and with the Tall Boys kicking it off... that’s just special," said Ocean Springs resident John Dolan.
And for the guys in the band, it’s a chance to finally get back to doing that they do best.
Curtis Tomlinson sings and plays guitar in the band. He’s been waiting for this moment for a while. “It’s gonna make everything a little bit normal—as Warren G. Harding said— a return to normalcy. We’re all gonna be making money again, making friends and making everybody happy in downtown Ocean Springs," said Tomlinson.
Willie Robinson also sings and plays guitar. He’s just happy! “Artistic creativity’s gonna take over. John’s gonna be happier, you’re gonna be happier, I’m gonna be happier and the city’s gonna be happier," said Robinson.
And after a quick chat with the band’s drummer, it wasn’t hard to tell why he’s excited top bang the drums once again. “It’s great. I love playing music. I love making people happy. People love it, and I do it for drinking money too," said drummer Johnny W. Ponytail.
Governor Tate Reeves’ most recent executive order, returning musicians to stages in Mississippi, calls for a minimum of 12-feet of separation between the musicians and bar or restaurant customers.