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Thursday, July 11, 2013

Lineup announced for the Mississippi Delta Blues & Heritage Festival in Greenville (September 21)

The Mississippi Delta Blues & Heritage Festival is the longest running blues festival in the United States, having started back in 1978. For more information or to buy tickets, you can visit their website.

Article on the Blues Archive at the University of Mississippi

Greg Johnson of the Blues Archive shows off some of the collection; photo by Adam Robison of the Daily Journal
The Blues Archive was founded at the University of Mississippi back in 1984; some of cornerstones of the initial inventory were the personal record collection of B.B. King and the Jim O'Neal and Amy van Singel / Living Blues Collection (O'Neal and van Singel were founding editors of Living Blues magazine, which was acquired by the University in 1983).

Here's a recent profile in the Tupelo Daily Journal of the Archive and archivist Greg Johnson, who has done a wonderful job over the past decade making available much of the collection in digital form.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Vasti Jackson this weekend at the Bottleneck Blues Bar in Vicksburg

The Vicksburg's Got the Blues series presented by the Vicksburg Blues Society in tandem with the Ameristar Casino will be part of Bridging the Blues this September and October. In the meantime they've got great blues acts every Friday and Saturday night with free admission.

Vasti Jackson is renowned bluesman from McComb who has recorded multiple albums on his own, and recorded behind artists including B.B. King, Z.Z. Hill, Katie Webster, Henry Butler, and Johnnie Taylor.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

B.B. King’s Tour Bus to become part of B.B. King Museum

The B.B. King Museum and Delta Interpretive Center has acquired one of B.B. King's tour buses, which will arrive at the Museum on Thursday, July 11 at 11 a.m. It's not the bus pictured above, but a custom designed 1987 Van Hool, manufactured in Belgium, which King used in the late 80s and early 90s. It's been refurbished and repaired for display.

The photo above was taken on Beale Street in 1955 by Memphis photographer Ernest Withers. It was B.B.'s first bus and the first large band that he put together -- after scoring his first big hit in 1952 with Three O'Clock Blues he went out with the bands of others. From the early '50s until relatively recently King played several hundred gigs a year, sometimes well over 300, so he's certainly spent more time on his various buses than he has his regular home (he maintains one in Las Vegas).

Here's a link to a slideshow of one of King's recent buses, focussing on the elaborate media technology. King has always travelled with large collections of music--one of the founding collections at the Blues Archive at the University of Mississippi was a collection of King's LPs.