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Monday, November 3, 2014

Buddy Guy in Meridian, MS, Thursday, November 6

Guy will be performing at the MSU-Riley Center, a wonderful hall in downtown Meridian. Tickets are $43 and $37 at the MSU Riley Center box office (9 am to 5 pm Monday through Friday). Tickets can be purchased online at www.msurileycenter.com or by calling the box office at 601-696-2200.

More info here.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Mississippi Saxophone Harmonica Festival - November 8 in Clarksdale

The Mississippi Saxophone Harmonica Festival will be held Saturday, November 8th in Clarksdale at the Delta Blues Museum Stage to honor Greg "Fingers" Taylor, who has significant medical bills. Food and drink will be served at the nearby Pinkbar, and there will be a harmonica workshop on the preceding Friday at Deak's Harp Emporium. 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Ongoing events calendar up now!

Bridging the Blues is over for the year, but we'll continue to use this space to announce regional events. Click on the "Ongoing Events Calendar" link to the left to access information about festivals and other special events. For detailed information on music in the Clarksdale area go to the Cat Head Delta Blues and Folk Art music calendar; for Memphis try the Memphis Flyer music calendar, and for the Jackson area visit the Jackson Free Press' music listings.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Upcoming Events! Deep Blues Festival & Booker White Festival

Bridging the Blues officially ended last Sunday, but we'll be keeping you informed about events across the region. Here's some upcoming festivals.


The Deep Blues Festival makes its debut in Mississippi this year, and starts already on Wednesday the 16th with a couple events in Memphis and Clarksdale. There's a full lineup of shows Thursday through Saturday at venues across Clarksdale, and some events for those who stick around on Sunday.

Visit the website for updates -- the New Roxy, for instance, just announced that Cedric Burnside will be playing there on the 16th


Also next weekend is the annual Bukka White Festival in Aberdeen, Mississippi on the east side of the state. Booker Washington "Bukka" White was born in Houston, Mississippi, but later lived in Aberdeen and in 1940 recorded the song "Aberdeen Blues."

6:30 - 7:45 p.m. Leo "Bud" Welch
8:00 - 9:15 p.m. Lightnin' Malcolm
9:30 p.m. - Until Selwyn Birchwood

1:00 - 2:15 p.m. Mississippi Stomp
2:30 - 3:45 p.m. Jason Carter & The Healers
4:00 - 5:15 p.m. Zakk Knight Band
5:30 - 6:45 p.m. Christone Kingfish Ingram
7:00 - 8:15 p.m. Homemade Jamz
8:30 - 9:45 p.m. Jimbo Mathus

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

King Biscuit Blues Festival - Wednesday through Saturday!

The 29th annual King Biscuit Blues Festival kicks off on Wednesday night from 6 to 10 p.m. with the (free) Michael Burks Memorial Jam, paying tribute to the Arkansas guitarist who died all too young just a couple years ago.

The festival starts in full force on Thursday already at 9 a.m., and at 11:30 a.m. features Mr. Sipp, whose slot at King Biscuit was one of his prizes for winning the International Blues Challenge last year. He's followed by artists including Sun rockabilly veteran Sonny Burgess, Chicago-based blues harmonica master Billy Branch, the dynamic Guitar Shorty from Los Angeles, and finishing things off, Roy Rogers with special guest Sonny Landreth.  

At 5 p.m. don't miss the unveiling of a new Mississippi Blues Trail marker for Sonny Boy Williamson II, who fronted the King Biscuit Entertainers on the King Biscuit Time radio program over Helena's KFFA beginning in 1941. The unveiling takes place at 324 Phillips Street, just off Cherry Street near the KBBF headquarters.  The King Biscuit Time radio program continues today, broadcast daily around noon at the Delta Cultural Center and hosted by 88-year-old Sunshine Sonny Payne, who has over 10,000 shows under his belt. Drop by and you might end up on the show! 

Sonny Boy Williamson, center, with guitarist Houston Stackhouse
and drummer James "Peck" Curtis

The lineup Friday features traditional blues from octogenarian L.C. Ulmer, Jackson's Louis "Gearshifter" Youngblood, Richard "Rip Lee" Pryor (son of harmonica legend Snooky Pryor). Later on in the day are festival favorites including Anson Funderburgh and the Rockets, Bobby Rush, Paul Thorn and Delbert McClinton.

On Saturday there's no less than six stages featuring over three dozen acts. Featured artists include the band of drummer Kenny "Beedy Eyes" Smith, the son of Helena-born Willie "Big Eyes" Smith, longtime drummer for Muddy Waters, Nashville R&B veteran Nick Nixon with Andy T, former King Biscuit Time performer and legendary harmonica player James Cotton, California-based slide guitar master Sonny Rhodes, Austin blues veteran W.C. Clark, and Jimmy Vivino and the Black Italians, featuring the wonderful vocalist Catherine Russell.

Many fans head straight to the main stage, with seating on the grass-covered levee, but it's well worth exploring the other stages. Notably, the Delta Cultural Center is presenting the Front Porch Blues Bash at its Miller Annex at 223 Cherry Street on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The strong lineup including Linsey Alexander, who has a new CD out on Delmark, Demetria Taylor (daughter of blues guitar great Eddie Taylor), blues prodigy Marquis Knox from St. Louis, veteran Chicago session man and Willie Dixon collaborator Cash McCall, Big George Brock from St. Louis, and Junior Kimbrough's son David Kimbrough.

On Saturday is the 4th annual “Call and Response: The Blues Symposium,” which features performers from the festival as well as blues journalists and takes place at the Malco Theater on Cherry Street. The event is free to the public.

The first panel takes place from noon until 1 p.m., and features:

-  Bubba Sullivan, proprietor of Bubba’s Blues Corner in Helena, and one of the founders of the King Biscuit Blues Festival
-  Paul Rishell and Annie Raines – an acoustic blues duo from the Boston area who have been together for 22 years
-  Nick Nixon – a veteran of the Nashville blues and R&B scene of the ‘60s who remains an active performer and recording artist
-  Matt Marshall – editor of the popular online magazine American Blues Scene
-  moderator: Don Wilcock, founder of the symposium and a veteran blues journalist

The second panel runs from 1:15 p.m. to 2:15 p.m., and features:

- L.C Ulmer – 84 year old bluesman who traveled around the country for decades playing his music, and who now resides in Ellisville in south Mississippi
- Louis “Gearshifter” Youngblood – blues artist currently living in the Jackson area who mixes the country blues he learned from his grandfather with modern soul/blues from artists such as Bobby Rush
- Richard “Rip Lee” Pryor – son of Mississippi-born harmonica legend Snooky Pryor, who recently returned to music actively and released a new CD
- Leo “Bud” Welch – hailing from tiny Sabougla, Mississippi, 81-year-old Welch recently returned actively to the blues after playing mostly gospel for the last four decades
- moderator: Roger Stolle -  owner of the Cat Head Delta Blues & Folk Art store in Clarksdale, writer, and co-producer of blues documentaries including M for Mississippi and We Juke Up in Here. 

Selected events over the next week - in addition to the King Biscuit Blues Festival!



Memphis Blues Society 2015 IBC Challenge

Wed October 8 & Thursday October 9 -  7 - 11 p.m. each night. 
Rum Boogie Cafe, 182 Beale Street

Bands - Darren Jay and the Delta Souls, Delta Crush, The Erica Roane Band, Fuzzy Jefferies & the Kings of Memphis, Garry Burnside Band, Little Boys Blue, Natedog & the Fellas
Solo/duo - Ms Zeno, The Louisiana Mojo Queen, with Guy Venable 






Monday, October 6, 2014

International Conference on the Blues - Cleveland, MS

The International Conference on the Blues starts THIS morning at 9:30. There's a public interview with Alvin Youngblood Hart at 10:00 a.m., a keynote address with Bob Santelli about the forthcoming Grammy Museum® Mississippi at noon, the "juke joint" on stage performance with multiple bands at 4:00 p.m., and a show by Alvin Youngblood Hart at 7:30 p.m.

NEW - tonight Leo "Bud" Welch will be playing in Cleveland at the Airport Grocery.

For the full schedule of the Conference's events for the next two days, see http://www.deltastate.edu/president/international-blues-conference/

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Roundup of some of the Bridging the Blues events over the next days

Thursday October 2 @ 10 a.m.
Mississippi Blues Trail marker unveiling in Moorhead, Mississippi
Directions and map: http://ow.ly/C0hcA

* * *

Thursday, October 2 - 8 p.m.
Terry "Big T" Williams at Po' Monkey's Juke Joint, Merigold, Mississippi (directions at link).
There will also be a show here on October 9 featuring the band Good Paper.

Photo: This Thursday Clarksdale bluesman Terry "Big T" Williams is playing at Po' Monkey's juke joint in Merigold, Mississippi. There's more information about the venue (including a map) at this link for the Mississippi Blues Trail marker there http://btb.do/YDTiHX

The photo is by Ken Murphy

* * *

Thursday October 2 - 8 p.m.
WROX Radio's Blues Guitar Pull benefitting St. Jude's Hospital featuring
Leo "Bud" Welch, Christone "Kingfish" Ingram, Preston Rumbaugh, and Daddy Rich
Ground Zero Blues Club, Clarksdale, Mississippi

Leo "Bud" Welch, with Dixie Street on drums

* * *

Thursday October 2
Jimmy "Duck" Holmes at the Blue Front Cafe - 7 p.m.
Bentonia, Mississippi

* * *

Friday October 3 & Saturday October 4
Mr. Sipp at the Bottleneck Blues Bar at the Ameristar Casino in Vicksburg
Free entrance, 9pm show; presented by the Vicksburg Blues Society

Photo: Mr. Sipp, the winner of last year's International Blues Challenge, is performing both Friday and Saturdays nights of the second weekend of Bridging the Blues in Vicksburg. 

The show is presented free of charge by the Vicksburg Blues Society in the non-smoking venue the Bottleneck Blues Bar at the Ameristar Casino Hotel Vicksburg. For more information visit btb.do/jObc71

* * *

Saturday, October 4 - 7 p.m.
Mississippi Blues Fest, Greenwood, Mississippi
Leflore County Civic Center - 200 Highway 7, Greenwood

* * * 

Saturday, October 4 - 9 p.m
The Bo-Keys, featuring vocalist Percy Wiggins,
at Lafayette's Music Room in Memphis

* * * 

Saturday October 4 & Sunday October 5
Warfield Point Park, Greenville, Mississippi

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Dedication this Thursday in Moorhead for the "Where the Southern Cross' the Dog" Mississippi Blues Trail marker

In his autobiography W.C. Handy recalled that one of his early inspirations for becoming a blues composer took place in 1903 while he was waiting on a train in Tutwiler. At the station was a guitarist who used a knife for a slide and sang of “Goin’ where the Southern cross’ the Dog.” The line referred to a railway crossing in Moorhead, about forty miles to the South, where the east-west line of The Southern Railway in Mississippi intersected with the north-south line of the Yazoo & Mississippi Valley Railroad; it had recently incorporated the Yazoo-Delta Railway, which was known to locals as the “Yellow Dog.”

In 1914 Handy published the song “Yellow Dog Rag,” which as “Yellow Dog Blues” was later recorded by artists including Bessie Smith, Louis Armstrong and Fats Waller. The phrase about where the “Southern cross’ the dog” also appeared in numerous other blues songs, including Big Bill Broonzy’s “Southern Blues” and Charley Patton’s “Green River Blues,” while bluesman Sam Collins recorded a different song called “Yellow Dog Blues.” The railway crossing and the “Yellow Dog” train became iconic images of the Mississippi, and appear in art works including Eudora Welty’s novel “Delta Wedding,” August Wilson's play "The Piano Lesson," and Memphis painter Carroll Cloar's "Where the Southern Cross the Yellow Dog."

There's already a state historical marker at the crossing in Moorhead, and the new MBT marker will be placed next to the former depot for the Yazoo & Mississippi Delta Railroad.

For more information on the Mississippi Blues Trail go here.

Carroll Cloar, Where the Southern Cross the Dog, 1965.
Copyright estate of Carroll Cloar

Monday, September 29, 2014

Shows at Po' Monkey's Lounge during Bridging the Blues

Photo by Ken Murphy
On Thursday October 2nd Clarksdale bluesman Terry "Big T" Williams will play at the juke joint Po' Monkey's Lounge, and on Thursday October 9th Greenville blues-rock band GoodPaper of Reverend Robert Mortimer will play there. Both events are sponsored by the Cleveland-Bolivar County Chamber of Commerce, which is sponsoring a number of other events during Bridging the Blues.

The juke is run by Willie "Po' Monkey" Seaberry, who lives in the back and farms the nearby fields. Now in his '70s, Seaberry has operated the downhome venue since 1963.

Here's a video portrait of Seaberry and the club that was made a couple years ago for the Oxford American magazine.

A map and a history of the juke joint are featured on the webpage for the Mississippi Blues Trail marker that stands outside.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Bridging the Blues events today - Saturday, September 27


A Mississippi Blues Trail marker for Willie Mitchell, one of the most important figures in Memphis music history, will be dedicated at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, September 27 at the Ashland Town Square. Mitchell, born in Ashland in 1928, began performing actively in Memphis in the late '40s as a trumpeter, and led a popular band in the 1950s. He began his recording career in 1959, and scored multiple hits in the 1960s, including "Soul Serenade." He is best remembered, though, as the producer of many of Al Green's hits for Hi Records. For Hi Mitchell also produced hits for Otis Clay, Syl Johnson, and Ann Peebles, and also recorded artists including Denise LaSalle, Bobby Rush, Otis Rush, Pops Staples, and many more. He died in Memphis in 2010 at the age of 81.



Noon - Dave Sherman
12:30 - Eddie Cusic

1:00 - City of Hollandale Blues Revue
1:30 - Bobby Whalen
2:15 - Bronwynne Brent
3:00 - Doc Maclean
3:45 - Libby Rae Watson
4:30 - Jessie Robinson
5:15 - John Horton
6:00 - Nathaniel Kimble




Cat Head Stage 

- 11am - Stinkeye
- 1pm - The Blues Doctors w/Adam Gussow & Alan Gross
- 3pm - Zakk and Big Papa Binns

Rock & Blues Museum Stage 

- 11am - RL SUPERBAD
- 1pm - Made in Blues (ItalY)
- 3pm - La La



Canton, Mississippi- based Grady Champion is playing tonight at the Ameristar Casino's Bottleneck Blues Bar -- The show is free, and is sponsored by the VicksburgBlues Society

Friday, September 26, 2014

Lineup for the Pinetop Perkins Homecoming Celebration - October 12; same day as Cat Head Mini Blues Festival & the Second Street Blues Party

Every Sunday after the King Biscuit Festival the Pinetop Perkins Foundation stages the annual Pinetop Homecoming Celebration at the Hopson Plantation, located just west of Clarkdale on Highway 49. For many years Pinetop, who lived at Hopson during the 1940s, was in attendance. The pianist died in 2011 at age 97, but his memory lives on via this festival as well through Masterclass workshops that the Foundation sponsors at Hopson each June.

The music takes place on several stages at the Hopson Commissary as well as at the Shack Up Inn's Juke Joint Chapel - musicians include Bob Margolin, who played with Perkins in the Muddy Waters band. 

Hopson Commissary Stage

Bob Margolin* Super Chikan and the Fighting Cocks *  Bob Stroger
Jonn Del Toro Richardson * Sweet Betty * Tom Holland
Jimmi Mayes *  Clay Swafford * Lee Williams * Heather Crosse

Youth Showcase With: 
Kingfish Ingram, Marcus Cartwright, Wyly Bigger and Carson Diersing

Juke Joint Stage

Kenny Brown * Cedric Burnside Project * Lightnin' Malcolm  

Hopson Commissary Acoustic Jam Stage

"Rip Lee" Pryor * Stephen "Blues Dude" Duncan

*  *  *  *  *

Saturday October 11
11 am Theo Boogieman
12 noon Jed Sparks
1pm Made in Blues (Italy)
2pm Stephen Duncan
3pm Blues jam

Sunday October 12
11 am Made in Blues 
12 noon Delta Coasters
1pm Selwyn Cooper
2 pm Dave Dunavent and Evol love
3pm Boogieman Blues Jam

Here's Selwyn Cooper playing outside of the Rock & Blues Museum

*  *  *  *  *

Three times a year -- on the Sundays after the Juke Joint Festival, the Sunflower River Blues & Gospel Festival, and the King Biscuit Blues Festival - Roger Stolle of Cathead Delta Blues & Folk Art puts on the Cat Head Mini Blues Fest in front of his store. The music usually gets going around 9 a.m., and most of the time Red Paden of Red's is there with his portable BBQ cooker. The festival is free, though you might want to bring your own folding chair!

Here's Big George Brock playing at a Cat Head Mini Blues Fest

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Mighty Mississippi Music Festival schedule -- less than two weeks away!

The Mighty Mississippi Music Festival debuted in 2013 with a diverse lineup that includes artists from the fields of rock, country, soul and blues -- the festival's Highway 61 Blues Stage features one of the finest lineup of traditional blues artists of any event. Located next to the Mississippi River in Warfield Point Park, just south of Greenville, the festival incorporates the Highway 61 Blues Festival, which was  founded in Leland in 2010. Part of the proceeds of the festival goes toward the Highway 61 Blues Museum in Leland, which celebrates the blues traditions of the mid-Delta area.

The festival offers camping and on Saturday there'll be TVs set up so fans of SEC football won't have to miss their favorite teams.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Bridging the Blues starts next weekend! Lineups for the Sam Chatmon Blues Festival & Delta Busking Festival

Bridging the Blues kicks off on Friday with the Delta Busking Festival in Clarksdale, which presents two stages of music with no charge during the afternoons of Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The Festival is intentionally structured to complement the live music in local clubs in the evenings.

The full schedule is below -- for a continually updated guide to clubs in Clarksdale visit the music calendar on the website of Cathead Delta Blues & Folk Art, which is presenting the Delta Busking Festival together with Theo Dasbach's Rock & Blues Museum

This Saturday Hollandale, the longtime home of Mississippi Sheik Sam Chatmon, is celebrating the Sam Chatmon Blues Festival, which takes place downtown throughout the today, also with free admission.

Another BTB event this weekend is Indian Bayou Arts Festival in Indianola, home of the B.B. King Museum and Delta Interpretive Center. The Festival takes place in front of the Museum from 9am to 4pm on Saturday.

Click here to read the Blues Trail marker text

Lineup for Sam Chatmon Blues Festival 2014

12:00 - Dave Sherman
12:30 - Eddie Cusic
1:00 - City of Hollandale Blues Revue
1:30 - Bobby Whalen
2:15 - Bronwynne Brent
3:00 - Doc Maclean
3:45 - Libby Rae Watson
4:30 - Jessie Robinson
5:15 - John Horton
6:00 - Nathaniel Kimble


FRIDAY, 9/26

Cat Head Stage (252 Delta Ave.)

- 11am - RL SUPERBAD
- 1pm - Libby Rae Watson
- 3pm - Orland Moses with BluesGate Jams

Rock & Blues Museum Stage (113 E. 2nd St.)
- 11am - TD Boogieman
- 3pm - Made In Blues


Cat Head Stage 

- 11am - Stinkeye
- 1pm - The Blues Doctors w/Adam Gussow & Alan Gross
- 3pm - Zakk and Big Papa Binns

Rock & Blues Museum Stage 

- 11am - RL SUPERBAD
- 1pm - Made in Blues (ItalY)
- 3pm - La La

SUNDAY, 9/28

Cat Head Stage 

- 11:30am - Preston Rumbaugh
- 1pm - Deak Harp

Rock & Blues Museum Stage 

- 11am - RL SUPERBAD
- 1pm - Made in Blues
- 3pm - Tony Mac and The Blues Connection