Hickory Flat, Mississippi is home to one red light, one grocery story and Hickory Flat Attendance Center, a 1A K-12 school.
Some people may think this small town is nothing more than a spot between Holly Springs and New Albany. However, it’s also the birthplace of the new Southern rock band, Pink House.
To understand Pink House and their unique Southern persona, one must first know the band’s origins. Kids that grow up in Hickory Flat don’t have the luxuries of larger towns. There is no movie theatre or variety of places to spend downtime. Lack of venues and nightlife sparks innovation.
That’s why Pink House lead singer and guitarist, Trey Reed, reopened an abandoned house on his grandmother’s property for his friends during his junior year of high school. After weeks of deep cleaning and teenage decorating (their parents would later call it wildly inappropriate), the house, semi-famously known as “the pink house,” was open for weekend adventures, guitar playing and drum beating without volume control.
James White, the band’s drummer, has been Reed’s best friend since they were young. They once played for a youth band at a local church. Both realized each other’s potential, leading them to create something of their own. Together, they decided to open the house.
“I was always interested in playing the drums, but it wasn’t until the pink house was there that I actually took it serious,” White said. “I could play all night without worrying about waking up my parents or neighbors. The Pink House was our own world. No rules, just music.”
White said they wanted a name that represented the group. “That place is where we learned to appreciate our craft and where we fell in love with music,” he said. “No other name could express that for us.”
After two years, White and Reed knew that adding another band member was crucial to achieving their dream. Up until this point, playing music had been a hobby. White said most rock groups of this type need two guitar players.
White attended school at Northeast Mississippi Community College where Dalton Snyder had recently learned to play guitar. They had known each other while living in the same dormitory, but neither knew the musical chemistry they would eventually have.
Snyder said he knew White played music, and had heard about the magic he and Reed made. He gave it shot. “It didn’t take long to figure out how much I loved it,” Snyder said.
Those who have not heard Snyder play guitar would be shocked that he learned so recently. His skill level is obtained by few, and he is what musicians call a “natural.”
Snyder began practicing with White and Reed at the pink house and, within a few visits, the Pink House band was born.
“The pink house was a very unique experience,” Snyder said. “Nobody where I’m from did stuff like that. Who thinks to make something like that? It’s something some people just wouldn’t understand, and that’s OK. But, for me, it felt like home. I couldn’t wait to go practice and have a good time there. I’ll never forget that place. It’s where I first played music in front of people (at a party).”
As time went on, the band secured gigs at several places, including The Hot Spot in New Albany and a large biker club in Olive Branch. Every place they have played has asked them to return. Both White an Snyder enjoy putting their music out into the world – outside the walls of the pink house.
“With music, I can express myself without using words,” White said. “Sometimes it’s hard for me talk in front of crowds and to connect with those people, but with music I can reach out to anyone. For those that feel the same, they know how powerful that is.”