Thursday, August 21, 2014

Call and Response symposium during the King Biscuit Blues Festival

The 4th annual “Call and Response: The Blues Symposium” will take place on Saturday, October 11 as part of the King Biscuit Blues Festival in Helena, Arkansas (the festival runs from October 9 - 12). There will be two panels featuring musicians and music journalists between noon and 2:15 p.m. at  the Malco Theater on Cherry St.reet. The event is free to the public.

The first panel takes place from noon until 1pm 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 webs 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, courtesy of the Mississippi Arts Commission
- 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

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Events in the Cleveland, Mississippi area during Bridging the Blues

The city of Cleveland and surrounding Bolivar County are strong participants in Bridging the Blues, and this year they have even more events to offer. Cleveland is the home of Delta State University, which is debuting a blues conference this year, while surrounding Bolivar County contains blues sites including Dockery Farms, the home of blues pioneer Charley Patton and Po Monkey's juke joint in Merigold (follow the links to see the blues markers at these locations).

Here's the events booked for BTB (if you're around the area earlier, you can visit the music festival Otherfest in Cleveland on September 20--see poster at the bottom of this post)

October 2 - Live Music at Po Monkey’s Juke Joint in Merigold - musicians to be announced

Oct 4-5 - 6th Annual Delta Fest Homecoming Celebration, Shaw
Shaw is the home of blues legend David "Honeyboy" Edwards, and the events wills take place on the Honeyboy Edwards Walking Trail downtown. On Saturday there will be live blues from circa 11am until 4pm, and on Sunday there'll be gospel music from 9am to noon.  Barbecue and southern cuisine will be available.

October 6 - Live blues music at Airport Grocery, Cleveland, 8-11 p.m. - musicians TBA

October 6-7 - International Conference for the Blues, Delta State University, Cleveland 
The conference will feature blues artist Alvin Youngblood Hart and keynote speaker Robert Santelli, the president of the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles. A new Grammy Museum is currently under construction at Delta State adjacent to the campus.

Po' Monkey's, by photographer Ken Murphy

October 9th - live music at Po Monkey’s juke joint, Merigold - musicians TBA

October 10-11 - 32nd Annual Octoberfest, Cleveland
Live music, Blues stage and Bloody Mary brunch, Memphis in May sanctioned barbecue contest, arts and crafts, and much more!

Ongoing exhibition - visit Ewing Hall on the DSU campus--the first building to your left as you enter campus on Highway 8--to visit an exhibit of sculptor Sharon McConnell-Dickinson's blues "lifecasts." Dickinson has captured the faces of dozens of blues artists, including legends Koko Taylor, Robert Lockwood, Jr., and Bobby "Blue" Bland. For more information visit her website.

ALSO - on September 20, a week before Bridging the Blues, Cleveland hosts the music festival Otherfest. It's mostly a rock event, but also features local blues musician Bill Abel.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Opening for photo exhibit "Delta in Blue," August 14

On the Wings of a Dove, 16" x 16" cyanotype

On August 14 from 5:30 - 7p.m. the Delta Cultural Center will host a reception for the new exhibit "Delta in Blues," a series of cyanotype photographs by Beverly Buys. Cyantotype is a photographic printing process that produces a cyan-blue print.

The exhibit will be up from August 14 - December 31. The DCC is open Tuesday through Saturday, 9am - 5pm.

For more information contact the DCC at 870.338.4350 or via their website.

To learn more about Buys, visit her website

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Sunflower River Blues & Gospel Festival, Clarksdale, August 8 - 10

The Sunflower River Blues and Gospel Festival in Clarksdale was founded in 1988, and takes place in front of the Delta Blues Museum downtown. The event is free, and many fans bring their chairs to camp out on the grassy area in front of the main stage. The acoustic stage on Saturday is under a tent that serves as the VIP tent in the evening, located near the main stage.

This year's festival salutes Clarksdale blues legend Big Jack Johnson (1940 - 2011), who was the leading artist on the Clarksdale scene for decades. A group consisting of his former bandmates headlines the festival on Saturday. Friday night is usually dedicated to soul/blues, and this year doesn't disappoint, with Latimore of "Let's Straighten It Out" fame and Johnny Rawls, who was won both Blues Music Awards and Living Blues Awards for his music.

Friday, August 8, 2014 

Main Stage

5:00pm – 5:30pm Delta Blues Museum Band
5:45pm – 6:15pm Kingfish
6:30pm – 7:00pm All Night Long Blues Band
7:15pm – 7:45pm Otis "TCB" Taylor Blues Band
8:00pm – 8:30pm Joshua "Razor Blade" Stewart
8:45pm – 9:15pm Stone Gas Band
9:30pm – 10:30pm   Johnny Rawls
10:45pm –11:45pm  Latimore

Saturday, August 9, 2014 

Acoustic Stage
9:00am – 9:30am   Robert "Wolfman" Belfour
9:45am – 10:15am   Eddie Cusic
10:30am – 11:00am   Pat Thomas
11:15am – 11:45am   Lucious Spiller
12:00pm – 12:30pm   Jimmy "Duck" Holmes
12:45pm – 1:15pm    Leo "Bud" Welch
1:30pm – 2:00pm     Sharde Thomas & Rising Stars & Fife Drum Band

Education Program
2:00pm – 3:00pm Conversation with Family & Friends of Big Jack

Main Stage
3:15pm – 3:45pm David Dunavent & The EVOL Love Band
4:00pm – 4:30pm Kenny Brown
4:45pm – 5:15pm Heather Crosse-Heavy Sugar' & Sweet Tones
5:30pm – 6:00pm Terry "Big T" Williams & the Family Band
6:15pm – 7:15pm James "Super Chikan" Johnson
7:30pm – 8:30pm James "Jimbo" Mathus & The Tri State Coalition / with Special Quest
8:30pm – 8:45pm Award "Presentation of Early Wright Award"
8:45pm – 9:45pm Home Made Jamz Blues Band
10:00pm – 12:00pm  The Big Jack Johnson Band

Sunday, August 10, 2014 

Gospel Stage

4:00pm – 4:30pm W.A. Higgins Academy of Art Choir
4:45pm – 5:15pm Morning Star & Locusr Grove Mass Choir
5:30pm – 6:00pm Diane & The Spirtual Angels
6:15pm – 6:45pm Determined
6:45pm – 7:00pm Award ""Presentation of Julius Guy Award"
7:00pm – 7:30pm Chapel Hill Male Chorus
7:155pm – 7:45pm The Myles Family
8:00pm – 9:00pm The Gospel Four

Unofficial events in Clarksdale during the Sunflower River Blues and Gospel Festival, August 8-10

Clarksdale has multiple blues festivals each year, and there's always plenty of unofficial events during the festivals as well as in the days leading up to following them. This year it's no exception, as there will be many events outside the festival grounds to take in.

The free 2nd Street Blues Party takes place in front of the Rock and Blues Museum in Clarksdale on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

The Cat Head Mini Blues Fest takes place three times a year on the Sunday of the weekends of the Juke Joint Festival, the Sunflower River Blues and Gospel Festival, and the King Biscuit Blues Festival. The free event takes places in front of Cat Head Delta Blues & Folk Art on Delta Avenue, and starts at 10am. As usual, there's a great lineup of traditional blues acts.

In order of appearance: Bill "Howl'N Madd" Perry, Lucious Spiller, Big George Brock w/Clarine Wagner, Robert Bilbo Walker, Anthony "Big A" Sherrod and "Bad" Sean Apple w/Stud


Clarksdale's many blues clubs will also be offering live blues each night, and the Club 2000 on Issaquena Avenue has already announced their lineup.