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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