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Friday, July 17, 2015

Lineup for the Mighty Mississippi Music Festival -- Oct. 2 - 4 in Greenville, Miss.

The Mighty Mississippi Music Festival, which incorporates the Highway 61 Blues Festival, is a one of the signature events of Bridging the Blues. Located along the Mississippi River in the beautiful Warfield Point Park, the festival features a broad array of music with a good heap of traditional blues across two stages.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Come help celebrate the 30th anniversary of the King Biscuit Blues Festival in Helena, Arkansas - October 7 - 10

One of the key events of Bridging the Blues, The King Biscuit Blues Festival in Helena, Arkansas is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year with a lineup that includes Bobby Rush, Taj Mahal, Jimmie Vaughan with Lou Ann Barton, Ruthie Foster, Paul Thorn and Lucky Peterson

In addition to the main stage, located across from the Mississippi River levee, are multiple smaller venues, including a gospel stage, a children's stage and the intimate Front Porch stage. There's also going to be lots of live music at the Delta Cultural Center along historic Cherry Street, where the King Biscuit Time radio show is broadcast every weekday -- it first went on the air in Helena in 1941!

The festival also hosts the annul Call and Response Symposium, a BBQ cook off, and a 5k/10k run. 

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

International Conference on the Blues -- Delta State University, Cleveland, Mississippi - October 5-6

One of the most unique Bridging the Blues events is the International Conference on the Blues, which was founded in 2014 in tandem with the planning of a new blues studies program at Delta State University. It's held on the premises of the Delta Music Institute, a longstanding professional music education program at the University.

Last year the Conference featured an interview with and performance from Alvin Youngblood Hart, an informal "juke joint" jam session, and multiple paper sessions, with scholars from around the world.

The conference schedule or participants have yet to be announced, but those interested in making presentations can go here.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Open Mic Nights at the Blue Front Cafe, September 25 - 30

Jimmy "Duck" Holmes and the Blue Front Cafe will host Open Mic Nights with Jimmy "Duck" Holmes and Friends 

Friday, Sept. 25
Saturday, Sept. 26
Monday, Sept. 28
Tuesday, Sept. 29
Wednesday, Sept. 30

7 PM - Until each night!

Enjoy FREE admission and live blues at the oldest juke joint still in operation in Mississippi - the Blue Front Cafe!

For updates visit the Facebook page for this event. 

Monday, June 29, 2015

Vicksburg celebrates native son Willie Dixon's 100th birthday on Sunday, July 5

On Sunday, July 5 the Vicksburg Blues Society is presenting a concert  at the Vicksburg City Auditorium from 4 - 9 p.m. with Mr. Sipp "The Mississippi Blues Child," Eddie Cotton, Jr., Bernard Jenkins, Zecheriah Lloyd, Bobby D. Benison, Bud "Dr. Who" Carson and Mark Doyle,Artis Brown, Ben Wiley Payton and London Branch, Kern Pratt and Denise Owen

Presentations by Willie Dixon's Blues Heaven Foundation and The Artie “Blues Boy” White Youth Scholarship Foundation.

Doors Open at 3pm.
General Admission $25 advance; $30 door
VIP Seating $50; VIP table for 8 - $320
VIP Table for Eight (8) $320
Concessions by LD's Kitchen

To purchase tickets go here - https://quick.crowdtorch.com/102647

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Bentonia Blues Festival, Saturday June 20

This Bentonia Blues Festival takes place this Saturday in Bentonia, Mississippi. located between Jackson and Yazoo City. The festival is run by bluesman Jimmy "Duck" Holmes, who operates the historic juke joint the Blue Front Cafe, which has been in his family since the late '40s.  Holmes plays in the distinctive "Bentonia blues," which was made famous by blues pioneer Skip James. 

Jimmy "Duck" Holmes in front of the Blue Front Cafe.

10th anniversary of the North Mississippi Hill Country Picnic -- June 26-27

The North Mississippi Hill Country Picnic salutes the distinctive traditions of North Mississippi, notably the music of elders including R.L. Burnside, Junior Kimbrough, and Otha Turner. Each year many of their relatives and former bandmates gather to celebrate and perpetuate the tradition.

The festival takes place at a rustic outdoor venue in Waterford, off of Highway 7 between Oxford and Holly Springs. There are also harmonica and guitar camps on the day before the festival.  Below is the detailed schedule of events

Thursday, May 21, 2015

B.B. King Homecoming this weekend in Indianola; three festivals on Saturday and Sunday

(INDIANOLA, MS - May 18, 2015) The B.B. King Museum and Delta Interpretive Center in Indianola, Mississippi, will be the site of the 35th annual B.B. King Homecoming Festival on Sunday May 24th. On Saturday the Museum will host the first B.B.'s Bikes, Blues & BBQ Blowout, and on Saturday afternoon the Blue Biscuit, located across the street from the Museum, will host the fourth annual Blue Biscuit Festival.

This is a free event, and activities will begin at noon with food and art vendors on site; the musical entertainment begins at 2 p.m. Three-time GRAMMY®-nominated North MS Allstars are headlining the event, and other acts include the B.B. King Children’s Choir; Jimmy “Duck” Holmes, with his brand of Bentonia Blues; David Dunavent and Evol Love; Delta native Eden Brent; the Allstar Tribute Band featuring Alphonso Sanders; the Marquise Knox Band; and Lil Ray Neal Band.

The theme for this year’s festival, which was chosen months ago, is “A Tribute to the King.” At that time it was intended to honor Mr. King, but since his passing it will now become a memorial celebration. “This is our first Homecoming without B.B. so it’s a tough time for all of us, but we are left with priceless memories,” said Bill McPherson, chairman of the Museum board. “We are forever grateful for the many years he took time away from his schedule to perform for free and visit with anyone and everyone who wanted to greet him, especially the children he enjoyed welcoming up on the stage with him,” McPherson added. Dion Brown, executive director of the Museum, said, “Our thoughts and prayers remain with Mr. King’s family and legions of fans as they mourn his loss. We certainly will miss his infectious smile and warmth this year, but we have no doubt he would want us to carry on with this tradition.”

Immediately following the festival, at approximately 10 p.m., an intimate show with Nashville’s Pat McLaughlin and his son Jamie will take place at historic Club Ebony. They are returning by popular demand after a standing ovation at the end of last year’s performance. Tickets are needed for this performance and can be purchased at the B.B. King Museum.

A new addition to the weekend will be BB’s Bikes, Blues & BBQ Blowout, held on Saturday May 23rd,  from 2:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. The event is sponsored by the Museum and hosted by the United Ryders motorcycle club. Visitors are invited to gather behind the Museum with their grills, tents and coolers and listen to music by Jake and the Pearl Street Jumpers and The Big Tyme Blues Band. Juke joint music will be provided by DJ triple X. Gates open at noon and show time is from 2 - 6 p.m. There is a $5 admission fee and a $3 bike contest fee, with a trophy awarded in four categories.

Also on Saturday, May 23rd is the Fourth Annual Blue Biscuit Festival, which takes place across the street from the Museum at 501 Second Street. Free live music will begin at 11 a.m. and continue until dark. Guests are encouraged to bring lawn chairs, but coolers are not allowed. Acts will include Zach Day, Jack McWilliams, Alanna Mosely, On the Run, Gary Vincent, Christopher Polk, Sweet Tea Jubilee, R.L. Boyce, Candice Moore, David Dunavent, Delta Crossin, Alan Jones, Ralph Sandidge, Libby Rae Watson and Wes Lee. After dark, there is a cover charge inside the Blue Biscuit to hear Mississippi Delta Blues Challenge Winner Libby Rae Watson with Wes Lee and The Beat Daddys. Located at 400 Second Street, the B.B. King Museum and Delta Cultural Center incorporates a restored 1920s brick cotton gin where King worked as a young man to tell the story of not only a great man and musican, but the history of the place that helped shape him.

 For more information: Contact: Robert Terrell, Director of Operations 662-887-9539 ext. 222 rterrell@bbkingmuseum.org

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Rosanne Cash and Eddie Cotton, Jr. – Live at Dockery

Grammy-winning artist Rosanne Cash will perform a benefit concert at Dockery Farms on June 6, 2015. Cash won both Best American Roots Performance and Best American Roots Song for “A Feather’s Not A Bird” and Best Americana Album for The River & The Thread at the 2015 Grammy Awards ceremony. She explained her connection to Dockery and this album saying, “So much of the inspiration for The River & The Thread comes from right here on this stretch of highway from Greenwood to the Mississippi River, and the very center of the creative spark is Dockery Farms. It’s a huge thrill and the completion of a circle to finally perform these songs in this historic place.”

The opening act for the concert will be Eddie Cotton, Jr., who is the winner of the 2015 International Blues Challenge. Whether he's punctuating old favorites with his own inflections or crooning a Cotton original with stunning energy, audiences are sure to take notice of this blues artist who demonstrates deep respect and appreciation for his craft. Gates will open to visitors at 5 p.m. The opening act will begin at 6:30 with blues artists Cadillac John, Bill Abel, and Jake and Pearl Street Jumpers performing at different locations on the Dockery grounds, followed by Ms. Cash’s performance at 7:30.

The music heritage of Dockery–located just east of Cleveland, Mississippi, on Highway 8–is rich, as rich as the soil that drew Will Dockery in the late 1800s to clear thousands of acres of woods for farming. His expansive farm and self-sufficient community would become the sometimes home of peripatetic Charley Patton, who is regarded as the “father of the Delta blues.” Cash’s stage for this concert will be the cotton storage shed on the property that was built around 1925; it sits a little over a hundred feet from the commissary porch where Patton often played. Although the commissary burned in 1960, the concrete porch foundation remains. Patton himself learned from fellow Dockery resident Henry Sloan and influenced many other musicians who lived here, including Howlin’ Wolf, Willie Brown, Tommy Johnson, and Roebuck “Pops” Staples. Bill Lester, executive director of the Dockery Farms Foundation, said, “Two years ago, Rosanne and her husband John came to Dockery to talk about a ‘Save America’s Treasures’ grant they had been awarded to save her father’s home in Arkansas. I’m very pleased that they will return here to perform at the birthplace of the Blues.”

In an article for Esquire magazine, Cash offered a suggested playlist for a trip down nearby Highway 61; some of the songs included were Bob Dylan’s “Highway 61 Revisited,” Robert Johnson’s “Cross Road Blues,” Bobbie Gentry’s “Ode to Billie Joe,” Johnny Cash’s “Big River,” the Staples Singers’ “This May Be the Last Time,” Howlin’ Wolf’s “The Natchez Burning,” and Al Green’s “Take Me to the River,” and all with a tie–whether by artist or theme–to this region.

The Dockery Farms Foundation is working to ensure that Dockery can once again be a center for music education, one that serves both the general public and the local community.  Over the last ten years the Foundation has restored many of the original buildings that made up the commercial center of Dockery Farms.  The Foundation has also partnered with the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz to bring music education programs into Delta schools.  The sign on the Dockery Seed House is recognized world wide as a symbol of American Blues music and the site routinely draws visitors from all over the world. The Dockery Farms Foundation is a tax-exempt entity operating under Section 501(c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code. A tax-deductible portion of each ticket sold will go to support the foundation’s preservation  and education programs.

Tickets to the concert are available by visiting dockeryfarms.org or calling 662-846-4626. Specially priced tickets are available for Delta State University students and Teach for America teachers, which must be purchased at the Bologna Performing Arts Center with Okra or TFA ID. In the event of rain, the concert will be held at the Bologna Performing Arts Center. Proceeds from this concert benefit the Dockery Farms Foundation.