Delta Blues Update | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Delta Blues Update


Ground Zero Blues, Clarksdale, MS
12/5 - Stan Street
12/6 - BLUES JAM w/Big T
12/7 - Razorblade Blues Band
12/8 - Adam Riggle Band w/Wesley Jefferson & Big T
12/31 - New Year's Eve Houseparty starring SUPER CHIKAN (See point 1 below. Pre-sale tickets on sale NOW at )

Red's Lounge, Clarksdale, MS (Sunflower and MLK)
12/7-8 - TBA
12/31 - TBA

Sarah's Kitchen, Clarksdale, MS (278 Sunflower Ave.)
12/31 - New Year's Eve w/BILBO WALKER

Depot Blues Club, Clarksdale, MS (Clarksdale Station) ... TBA

Bluesberry Cafe, Clarksdale, MS (662-627-7008) ... 12/16 - Super Chikan

930 Blues Cafe, Jackson, MS
Thurs/Fri/Sat - Miss Sweatheart Jackie Bell; Thursdays - Norman Clark and Smoke Stack Lightning
12/7 - King Edward Blues Band w/Dennis Fountain
12/8 - Norman Clark and Smoke Stack Lightning
12/31 - New Year's Eve Bash w/Rick Lawson

12/6 (10am) - Miss. State Blues Trail Marker Dedication, Philadelphia, MS
In Philadelphia, MS - MDA Tourism Heritage Trails Program, the Mississippi Blues Commission and the Philadelphia/Neshoba County Community Development Partnership will honor blues legend, Otis Rush. The ceremony will take place at the newly restored train depot located at 256 West Beacon Street in downtown Philadelphia, MS. Note: OTIS RUSH AND HIS FAMILY will be attending.

12/7 - Juke Joint Blues Show at Po Monkeys Lounge, near Merigold, MS (662-846-4311): Blues at a rural juke joint, starring Bill Abel Blues Band and Jimmy "Duck" Holmes. Presented by DSU. Directions to Po Monkeys at bottom of this web page. 8pm.

12/8 - Singing The Gospel Festival, Vernon Memorial Church, Boyle, MS, 120 Andrews Street. 5pm door. 6pm show. Free. With Harmony (Boyle), Guest Choir of Peters Rock (Starkville), Cork Singers (Greenville), Joyful Noise (Clarksdale) and more.

Walnut Circle Grill, Hattiesburg, MS ... 12/8 - Big Juv

12/21 - Mississippi Musicians Hall of Fame Concert, Music Heritage Restaurant/Museum, Jackson-Evers Intl Airport, MS (601-613-7377)... Free concert w/the Rick Lewis Band: John Daughtry, "Bull" Jackson, and Rick Lewis.

- Every Sunday, 6pm - Club 2000 w/Mr. Tater (Clarksdale, MS)
- Every Sunday, 7pm - Club Ebony (Indianola, MS) - David Lee Durham
- Some Sundays, 7:30pm - Alvees (Hwy 4 & 309 at Jamison Rd) - Cedric Burnside/Lightnin Malcolm
- Most Sundays - Wild Bill's juke joint (Memphis, TN) - house band

- Bobby Rush Performs Acoustic... Sunday, December 2, 2007, 4:30 to 7 p.m. Huey's Downtown, 77 S. Second St., Memphis, TN 38103, 901-527-2700. Soul-blues superstar Bobby Rush is known for his elaborate stage shows and sexy dancers, but on his new solo outing RAW, he returns to his rural blues roots and showcases his skills on guitar and harmonica.

4/18-20, 2008 - Juke Joint Festival & Related Events, Clarksdale, MS (also note 2009 dates are 4/17-19, 2009)
5/10, 2008 - Clarksdale Caravan Music Fest, Clarksdale, MS
8/8-10, 2008 (note: dates listed wrong in last Cat Head email; "sorry") - Sunflower River Blues & Gospel Festival, Clarksdale, MS
10/9-11, 2008 - Arkansas Blues & Heritage (formerly King Biscuit) Festival, Helena, AR
10/25, 2008 - Hambone Festival, Clarksdale, MS

PLUS... FREE Cat Head Mini Blues Fests on 4/20, 8/10 and 10/11 in 2008!


He's been on tour around the US and Europe for most of the year and last played world-famous Ground Zero Blues Club over 6 months ago... so this is THE show to see. XM Radio favorite James "Super Chikan" Johnson is returning to his roost at Ground Zero Blues Club this New Year's Eve, 12/31, for an all-out assault on the blues. The club's annual New Year's Eve Houseparty has -- in past years -- attracted both celebratory Deltans and blues fans from around the globe. (It was even broadcast internationally a couple years back in cooperation with NPR and Public Radio Int'l.) This year's show promises to be hotter than ever and is expected to sell out, so advance tickets are recommended. Pre-sale tix are available now exclusively at . Each ticket is $18 plus $2 handling and 7% sales tax. Tix will be held at Cat Head till 4pm on Saturday, 12/29. After that, they will be held at the door of the club. (Sorry, no tickets can be mailed. All sales are final. No refunds. Limited quantities.) On New Year's Eve day, the club will open 11-2 for lunch, then close and reopen for ticket holders at 6pm. Showtime is 9pm. Questions? Email [e-mail missing] . See y'all there!
GROUND ZERO BLUES CLUB (662-621-9009) is located at 0 Blues Alley in historic downtown Clarksdale, Mississippi. Full club calendar and info at . For "CLARKSDALE" that includes hotel, shopping and historic information, go to . See SUPER CHIKAN on YouTube at . Hear his newest CD (also available at Cat Head for $18 plus s/h) at .


Young, family bluesters "Homemade Jamz" of Tupelo were featured on national TV this morning. The story (copied below) is at , though there was no video from the show (yet). In the meantime, check out earlier footage on Jamz on YouTube:


How Do Three Happy Kids Play The Blues? Siblings Teya, Kyle And Ryan Perry Are The Blues Band "The Homemade Jamz" --- TUPELO, Miss., Dec. 2, 2007

(CBS) Like kids everywhere, the Perrys - Teya, 9, Kyle, 13 and Ryan, 15 - love to play, as long as it's the blues. They call themselves The Homemade Jamz, and their band has been wowing blues audiences around the South since Teya first up hopped behind the drums three years ago. "I just started to play along and then the first time I played, it was scary," she told CBS News correspondent Susan Spencer. "And then the next gig I was like, 'Okay, this is gonna be easy.' And then the first mistake I make is like, 'Uh-oh, I better pay attention.'" Brother Kyle had made his debut a year before. "My dad said, 'You wanna try bass?' And I said, 'Sure,'" Kyle said. "So he went out to get me a four-string bass, brought it back and it just went from there." And why not? After all, older brother Ryan had picked up a guitar at age 7. "I was amazed at myself," he said. "I was like, 'Man, I could learn this! What else can I do?'" Quite a bit, it turned out. When not on the road, their mother, Tricia works at a hospital. Dad, known simply as Perry, is a deliveryman. But all that comes second to transporting, booking, feeding, managing and advising the Homemade Jamz. The money they've just started to make is simply plowed back into the band, whose success seems to astonish even them - especially since none of the kids can read a note of music. "I have no idea how far this can go," Perry said. "Because this has just started and look what's happening already." The biggest thing to happen so far is last spring's International Blues Challenge in Memphis. Homemade Jamz competed against 157 other bands and won second place. "When we went there, Memphis, it was nothing but the blues," Ryan said. "Blues memorabilia, blues posters, all of that. And I was like, 'Man, this is really important." The older and wiser musicians the Jamz beat in Memphis may well have wondered how three kids whose combined age is 37 could even understand the blues. They've never been in love, gotten a divorce or lost a job, but Ryan says, "It's just about what you feel." "Well, they know a little about pain and suffering," Perry said. "I mean, you ground 'em or take their bicycle away, they get the blues." Whatever their inspiration, the Jamz are learning all the time - stretching their wings and polishing their act. "I've always wanted a drum solo, so sometimes I could get some attention," Teya said. They've come up with a few stagey gimmicks, and Ryan is working on a trademark all his own: He plays a guitar made from a muffler, complete with a harmonica for the bridge, a seat belt for the strap, a license plate for looks and even exhaust pipes. The kids say they are able to get their remarkable stage presence from a simple source: "It's from the music," Kyle said. "Stage presence can be anything from just noddin' your head to when you hit a high note, you know, just squint your eyes and smile," Ryan said. Talented kids and ambitious parents often come to grief, but the Jamz - at least so far - are all in tune. The kids appreciate their parents' guidance. "I'm actually glad they're doin' it because we can actually talk to them easier than we could somebody else," Kyle said. "And without them there wouldn't be us as far as Homemade Jamz Blues Band, you know," Ryan said. "Cause they're the most important part of the band," Teya said. "They're our parents, our mom, out dad, our supporters, our agents our managers," Ryan said. "You know, everything is just awesome." © MMVII, CBS Interactive, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


Occasionally, I get a visitor or caller here at Cat Head who asks, "Are there any places to stay in Clarksdale?" As many of you already know, the answer is a resounding, "YES!"

Below is a list of the accommodations, PLUS I want to make you aware of another interesting place to spend the night. It's called "The Loft" and is located steps away from the legendary Hopson Commissary on the grounds of the former Hopson Plantation. Check out the slide show and details at

Here's the full list of places to stay:

Clarksdale, MS
- Delta Cotton Company Apartments (above Ground Zero Blues Club), 662-624-2591
- Shack-up Inn and Cotton Gin Inn at Hopson, 662-624-8329,
- Hopson Loft on grounds of old Hopson Plantation, 662-902-3866,

- Riverside Hotel, 662-624-9163
- Big Pink Guesthouse, 662-645-1815 or 615-385-4345 (
- Comfort Inn, 662-627-5122 (
- Best Western Executive Inn (formerly Hampton Inn), 662-627-9292 (Executive Inn)
- Econolodge, 662-621-1110 (
- Budget Inn (formerly Plantation Inn), 662-624-6541
- Uptown Inn, 662-627-3251
- Southern Inn, 662-624-6558
- Royal Inn (formerly Days Inn), just re-opened; 662-624-4391.
- Menagerie House, 662-627-4070; [e-mail missing]
For camping:
- Expo Center on Hwy. 61 in Clarksdale, booked through Tourism/Chamber 1-800-626-3764 (, RV camping available (hook-ups, etc.).
- Shack-up Inn, 662-624-8329, RV and tent camping on grounds - NO hook ups (call first)


- "DELTA MUSIC EXPERIENCE" OFFERS JUKE FEST WEEK TRIP IN APRIL: D.M.E. founder/producer Amanda Gresham will take you from New Orleans to Greenwood, Ms to the Juke Joint Festival in Clarksdale (and accommodations at the Shackup Inn!)... Sounds like an awesome trip. Lots of special, one-of-a-kind experiences all tied into the tour. More details at

- SAVE THE DATE FOR "FESTIVALS AND EVENTS COORDINATORS WORKSHOP: This coming year's Festivals & Events Coordinators Workshops are scheduled for January 22 & 24, 2008 in Starkville and Gulfport, MS respectively. For details, please contact Alex Thomas at 601-359-3297 or [e-mail missing]

- MISSISSIPPI MUSICIANS HALL OF FAME EVENT (thx Peggy): "The MS Musicians Hall of Fame, dedicated to showcasing MS musical heritage and honoring MS musicians , will be hosting a concert at the Music Heritage Restaurant/Museum in the Jackson-Evers International Airport on December 21, from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. The concert is free and will feature the Rick Lewis Band: John Daughtry, 'Bull' Jackson, and Rick Lewis. For more info call 601-613-7377."

- GREAT "HAMBONE FESTIVAL" PHOTOS/TRAVELOGUE FROM RICK MURPHEE: http://attheyodelinncom/clarksdale2007.htm

- 2007 JUKE JOINT FESTIVAL FLASHBACK FROM BOB AGEE: Nice slide show with music at . Check it out. Then, plan to attend next year's Juke Joint Festival & Related Events right here in historic Clarksdale, Mississippi... April 18-20, 2008... .

- NEWS FROM BROKE & HUNGRY RECORDS (thx Jeff): "Our latest release, Done Got Tired of Tryin' by Jimmy 'Duck' Holmes got a nice write up in the latest issue of Dirty Linen Magazine. The magazine describes the CD as 'the exception in today's blues world – an album made by an authentic country bluesman in a real Mississippi juke joint. Most important, the album's 10 songs represent Holmes' artistry and his ability to preserve the rare Bentonia style of blues made popular by Skip James and Jack Owens.'" (NOTE: You can buy this CD at Cat Head or )

- JUKE JOINT BLUES NEWS FROM LUTHER BROWN AT DSU: Friday, December 7. Poor Monkey's Lounge in Merigold, MS, 7:30 pm. Bill Abel and his Blues Band and Jimmy Duck Holmes. Real Country Blues in a real Country Jook. $5 at the door.

- WELCOME CENTER IN-BETWEEN CLARKSDALE AND TUNICA HOLDING "OPEN HOUSE": "Please join us on December 17th from 2 – 4 pm as we celebrate our Holiday Open House! Food, fun, music and festivities all 'round!" -- Lynda O'Neal, Supervisor, Delma Furniss Hospitality Station, Lula, Ms.

- BLUE MONDAY JAM AT HAL AND MAL'S: Every Monday night at Hal & Mal's , 200 Commerce, Jackson. Open at 7, the music starts around 8.

- ART OPENING RECENTLY IN JACKSON, MS (thx Alex Thomas): "The Color of Blues" Photography Exhibit opened last Friday at Schimmel's Fine Dining, 2615 North St. Street. The full color exhibit, which opened for the nationally acclaimed Smithsonian's American music roots "New Harmonies" exhibit, features the work of Mississippi photographer Marianne Todd. The exhibit features such artists as BB King, Bo Diddley, David "Honeyboy" Edwards, Bobby Rush, Sam Carr, Patrice Moncell and the legendary House Rockers.

- NOT IN MISSISSIPPI... BUT INTERESTING FOLK ART, JUST THE SAME: Outsider Folk Art Gallery, Goggleworks Center for the Arts, 201 Washington Street, 5th Floor, Reading, PA. "Self Reliance: The Art of Floretta Emma Warfel" -- November 1, 2007 through December 30, 2007; Opening Reception: Sunday, November 11th from 12- 4 p.m.






- NEWS FROM BLUESBERRY CAFE (via Theo): "Immediate Press Release: James (Super Chikan) Johnson, Noted for his legendary music and story telling has opened Super Chikans Place at the Blues Berry Cafe in Clarksdale, Mississippi. On December 1 2007 Marshall Drew, Walt Busby and Daddy Rich will play for the opening. Joining the festivities will be Lala and Daddy Rich from Super Chikan And The Fighting Cocks and others . Super Chikan will play some of his upbeat tunes. Join us down town for music,food and good times. Come celebrate. 235 Yazoo Avenue."


- "MOTHER'S BEST MUSIC FEST" SET FOR HELENA, AR (thx Terry): "We've scheduled the 3rd annual "Mother's Best Music Fest" for Saturday, June 7, 2008. This is free and will feature local/regional acts who we hope to announce by January or so. I'll get you more information as it develops. Thanks, Terry Buckalew, Delta Cultural Center."

- BLUES NEWS FROM THE NETHERLANDS (thx Johan): Goin' Down South: an account of the trip we made May/June 2007, visiting festivals in Laurel, Aliceville, Clarksdale, Holly Ridge and Leland and a lot of other stuff Yellowdog says...: the first of a series of articles on some bluesguys that are relatively unknown in the Netherlands Some bluespics: some snapshots of Mississippi bluesfestivals.



- BLUES INFLUENCED LED ZEP REUNITES ON DEC. 10: (CAT HEAD NOTE: Is anyone going to this? If so, please email a review when it's over, so I can include it here. Or... better yet... take me with you!)



68-year-old owner Charles Ledbetter says he is just too old to run a blues club and restaurant. Therefore, he is putting The Depot Blues Club "brand" and the equipment inside the building up for sale. The club is located in the restored Clarksdale train depot, downtown. This is the train depot where Muddy Waters boarded a train in 1943, heading for his future blues fame in Chicago. Mr. Ledbetter and a business partner opened the blues club back in June and has featured live blues music most weekends as well as daily lunch. The lunchtime business has been typically quite busy, and weekend blues acts have included such notables as Big Jack Johnson, Robert "Bilbo" Walker, Wesley "Junebug" Jefferson and others. For more information, please call Mr. Ledbetter at 662-902-6042. (Until the business is sold, they will continue to serve lunch during the week and dinner on weekends; they will also continue to book blues most weekends w/a jam by Mr Tater on Thursdays. They will also most likely be a nighttime venue during Juke Joint Festival in '08.)

7. NEWS COURTESY OF WWW.BLUESWAX.COM (edited for space)....
Join their e-list and check out their web site at

- Bluesville Picks To Click:
For the week of December 1
Big George Brock Live At Seventy Five – Cathead Records
Rod Piazza & the Mighty Flyers Thrillville – Delta Groove
Sugar Blue Code Blue – Beeble
Doyle Bramhall Is It News – Yep Roc Records
Buddy Whittington Buddy Whittington – Self-Produced
Big Daddy O Deranged Covers – Rabadash Records
Albert White Soul Of The Blues – Music Maker
Cedric Burnside & Lightnin' Malcom Juke Joint Duo – Soul Is Cheap Records
Dave Riley & Bob Corritore Travelin' The Dirt Road – Blue Witch
Nappy Brown Long Time Coming – Blind Pig
Above item courtesy of: XM Radio

- Buddy Guy Gives Tour of Chicago Music History: Exploring the Home of the Blues, the Chicago Blues Audio Tour narrated by Chicago-local Buddy Guy has found an astonishing audience in just six months. The podcast has been downloaded more than 97,000 times and is currently averaging over 1,000 downloads per day. The free, 50-minute tour combines an interactive map, tour stop directions, archival photos, video, music clips, and interviews – a true multimedia experience unlike anything else available. Listeners are able to follow the tour either by downloading to a portable media player or by virtually experiencing Chicago on a home computer. The Chicago Blues Tour is free and can be downloaded at


12/8 - Pet Parade (meet by Delta Eye, 10am) and Christmas Storytime (Delta Blues Museum, 2pm).
12/15 - "Special % Off Sale Day" (at participating businesses; details in store).
12/22 - Gift Baskey Drawing (register all during Holly Days at participating stores; details in store).

ALSO... THE CLARKSDALE COAHOMA COUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE will hold Clarksdale's yearly Holiday Festival Parade downtown at 7pm on Tues., 12/4. Details at 662-627-7337.


Please pass this on to anyone who might be interested:
Mississippi Cultural Crossroads, an award winning community-based arts organization and sponsor of nationally renowned Crossroads Quilters, based in historic Port Gibson, Mississippi, is seeking qualified candidates for Executive Director. Position requires leadership, fundraising, program coordination, grant writing, and general staff and facility management. Annual budgets for the past three years have ranged from $120,000 to $150,000. Additional organizational information and full job description available at Salary based on experience. Applicants should send resume with cover letter to MCC, 507 Market Street, Port Gibson, MS 39150. The deadline for applications is January 31, 2008.

Larry Morrisey
Heritage Program Director
Mississippi Arts Commission
(601) 359-6036

10. CAT HEAD Presents... REVIEWS FOR BIG GEORGE BROCK'S NEW "Live At Seventy Five" CD...
HEAR/BUY new "Live At Seventy Five" Big George CD today at

- XM RADIO BLUESVILLE NUMBER 1 "PICK TO CLICK" - Thanks to XM Radio and congrats to Big George Brock. His "Live At Seventy Five" on Cat Head Presents is at number 1 for the week of December 1st. (Info courtesy of: XM Radio.) REQUEST Big George AIRPLAY on XM Radio at

- NEW CD REVIEW IN SWEDISH MUSIC MAGAZINE "RED HOT ROCK" (a very cool, oversized, hi-gloss publication): "There are not many of them left. An entire generation of Chicago's biggest bluesmen has died out. A few pioneers are left along with some who never received their big break but have a magic aura surrounding them still. Big George Brock falls in the latter group. This live CD -- recorded just two days before his 75th birthday -- proves that Brock is one of the few remaining bluesmen who can still perform authentic, Chicago-style blues. Just as with his last studio effort, 'Round Two,' this CD is authentic in its production and conveying its feeling. Brock has assembled a beautiful group of musicians -- including the impressive guitarists Bill Abel and Riley Coatie Sr. and master drummer Riley Coatie Jr. The music swings simply and superbly! It's great straight through. This is a live CD that could have been played in the '50s and, at the same time, a live CD that feels current today." -- Petter Seander (translated from Swedish).

- REVIEW OF NEW CD in Blues & Rhythm:

- BBC 2 PLAYS NEW BIG GEORGE CD: Thanks to Paul Jones in the UK for playing the new CD on his BBC radio show... .

- Sun., 12/23, 2007 - Spruell's Int'l (Jefferson & Stoddard), St. Louis, MO: Pre-Christmas Party Show w/Big George.

- MON., 12/31, 2007 - Hwy 61 Roadhouse Webster Groves (St. Louis), MO: NEW YEAR'S EVE HOUSEPARTY. 9pm. $10 music cover... OR contact club about "special dinner show offer" at 314-968-0061. VERY cool venue (take virtual tour on their web site). CD signing at the show.
- Sat., 1/12, 2008 - Bruno's Pub & Grill, Rolla, MO: Annual diabetes fundraiser starring Big George Brock & the Houserockers.

- BOOKINGS: To book 4-time Blues Music Award-nominee and past Living Blues Critics Award-winner Big George Brock for blues festivals worldwide, call 662-624-5992 or email [e-mail missing] .

11. CAT HEAD STORE & related news from 252 DELTA AVENUE IN CLARKSDALE...

- This Saturday night from 6pm-7pm on the CAT HEAD DELTA BLUES HOUR -- sponsored by First National Bank and Fiser Insurance -- on WROX 1450AM , Cat Head will be featuring a set of "shopping" blues (dedicated to biggest shopping days of the year), a set of Christmas blues (since that's why y'all are shopping), music promoting some "upcoming" blues gigs and more!

ALSO, tune in around 8:10am on Thursday for CAT HEAD'S WEEKEND UPDATE.

- Remember CAT HEAD FOR THE HOLIDAYS. New blues CDs from Big George Brock, Super Chikan, Lightnin' Malcolm/Cedric Burnside, Jimmy "Duck" Holmes, Bill Abel (coming real soon) and others make great, hard-to-find gifts. Plus, our Cat Head tees/hoodies and caps are always appreciated.

- KBA mention from UK's "Blues Matters" mag (thx):


These are very worthwhile events that feature amazing markers and free local blues performances. More information on this wonderful, on-going program at . For maps to the dedications, email Alex Thomas at [e-mail missing] .

- Trumpet Records marker in Jackson, MS:

Upcoming Mississippi State Blues Trail marker unveilings with live blues:
- Thurs., 12/6 - Philadelphia, MS - Otis Rush.

On Thursday, December 6, 2007 at 10:00 AM, MDA Tourism Heritage Trails Program, the Mississippi Blues Commission and the Philadelphia/Neshoba County Community Development Partnership will honor blues legend, Otis Rush. The ceremony will take place at the newly restored train depot located at 256 West Beacon Street in downtown Philadelphia, MS. We are delighted that Otis Rush and his family will be present to receive this honor! Otis Rush, the Neshoba County native who will be honored with a marker on the Mississippi Blues Trail in Philadelphia on Dec. 6, is regarded as one of the premier blues artists of the past 50 years. Although he never became as famous as many of the performers he inspired, he has certainly
been a *guitar hero* to many guitarists, bands, and fans, including Led Zeppelin, Eric Clapton, Carlos Santana, and Stevie Ray Vaughan. Rush was born in a rural area near Neshoba on April 29, 1935, according to family sources. (Biographies often give his birth date as 1934, but no birth certificate exists.) His blues came to fruition in Chicago in the 1950s, but was shaped by the hardships and troubles of his early life in Mississippi. He was raised by his mother, Julia Boyd, in a family that was so poor that Otis had to wear the same clothes to school every day * and when the plantation boss summoned him to work the fields, he had to forgo school many times. As a teenager, Rush got married and moved to Chicago in search of a new life. He left Philadelphia from the train station where the Mississippi Blues Trail marker will be unveiled.

Alex T. Thomas, TMP
Heritage Trails Director
Mississippi Development Authority
Division of Tourism
Email: [e-mail missing]


- VERY cool Chicago Blues Tour from Illinois tourism folks (features Buddy Guy as narrator):

- Interesting music web site:

- "Honeydripper" movie press kit:

- John Work vs. John Lomax... folk blues:

- Filmmakers visit the Delta:

- Why they call it blues:

- BBC 2's Paul Jones plays Big George Brock:


- BB OPENS NEW CLUB: http://www.orlandosentinelcom/entertainment/orl-abbott3007nov30,0,247335.column?coll=orl_entertainment_util


Sign up for their great weekly e-newsletter at .

- ALLIGATOR RECORDS SIGNS EDDY "THE CHIEF" CLEARWATER! NEW CD EXPECTED IN SPRING 2008: Alligator Records is pleased to announce the signing of legendary Chicago blues guitarist and songwriter Eddy "The Chief" Clearwater. Clearwater, winner of the Blues Foundation's Blues Music Award for "Contemporary Blues - Male Artist Of The Year" in 2001, is known worldwide as a masterful guitarist and vocalist as well as a charismatic and joyful live performer. Ronnie Baker Brooks, son of Chicago blues legend Lonnie Brooks, produced the CD, and added some of his own guitar work to the mix.

775-337-8626; [e-mail missing] -


Review: The Cathead Mini Festival, Clarksdale and Pinetop Perkins Homecoming Festival, Hopson's Plantation, Clarksdale - 7 Oct
Published by Ken Tuesday 6 November 2007 in Reviews.

After the conclusion of the Blues and Heritage Festival in Helena, a trip was made to Clarksdale just over the river in Mississippi for two great events.

Opening at the Cathead Festival were local guitarist Bill "Howl-N-Madd" Perry backed by Terry "Harmonica" Bean and they went through a nice set of covers before the 84 year old "T" Model Ford or 87 years old dependent on which day it is, took the stage accompanied by his 9 year old grandson Stud on drums.
With Ford you get a great raw rhythmic blues of predominantly standard blues numbers each one of which is finished with a quick slug of Lynchburg's finest bourbon and a wry smile "It's Jack Daniels time". To his great credit he encouraged young Stud who showed great skill for one so young.
One of the star acts of the King Biscuit were undoubtedly The Rev Payton and The Big Damn Band and they gave another great set of high energy stomping blues with the My Old Man Boogie the top number.
70 year old guitarist Robert "Bilbo" Walker was born and raised in Clarksdale but moved to California years ago. He returns regularly to his roots and although he can play a variety of genres, he is best known for his Chuck Berry influenced style of rocking blues. However after two numbers, an instrumental and Magic Sam's All Of Your Love a slightly worse for wear T Model Ford stood beside him playing air guitar on his walking stick, quite obviously provoking him. He then sat down and plugged in his guitar in readiness to play which prompted a full blown row on the stage between him and Walker much to the amazement of all present. Luckily Cathead owner Roger Stolle diffused the situation, Walker blasted off into Johnny B Goode and all was forgotten.
The festival finished off with Robert "Wolfman" Belfour who gave a superb hour of North Mississippi hill country blues including the wonderful Black Mattie.
It was a great start to the day before everyone moved over to The Hopson Plantation just 2 miles out of Clarksdale and congratulations to Roger Stolle for the event and all he is doing for blues in the area.


Pinetop Perkins although he was born in Belzoni, was raised and picked cotton on the Hopson Plantation and today the old commissary building and sheds and shacks have been converted into comfortable B&B accommodation.

The commissary is the setting for Pinetop's homecoming festival and is arranged the day after the Arkansas Blues and Heritage festival and basically it takes the stage as a four hour plus jam session with many of the acts from Arkansas joining the fun.
It's difficult to name the numbers that were played as they gelled from one to another but there were certainly some marvellous performances again to savour. Willie "Big Eyes" Smith started on drums with Robert Stroger on bass and one of the first guitarists on stage didn't actually appear at the festival, Super Chikan with a home made gas can guitar followed by Eugene "Hideaway" Bridges. Most of the artists played two numbers and Jonn Richardson and Diunna Greenleaf and Bob Margolin, were then replaced by RJ Mischo. The appearance together of Carl Weathersby and Michael Burks was again another treat and they, to great applause, played a lot longer than the two numbers.
All the while Pinetop was walking around chatting to everyone, thoroughly enjoying himself.
There was also an acoustic stage and people like Bill Abel and Steve Chesebrough performed beautifully and an even T Model Ford showed up and played in one of the sheds where the amazing drummer Cedric Burnside and guitarist Lightning Malcolm were performing tracks from their new cd.

After it had all concluded at about 9pm a trip was made back into Clarksdale to visit Red's Lounge, the Clarksdale juke joint. Big T and the Family Blues Band were the house band for a great jam night after acoustic openers from Louis "Gearshifter" Youngblood and Robert "Wolfman" Belfour. Joining the jam were Blind Mississippi Morris, Cedric Burnside on drums, guitarists Lightning Malcolm and Bill Abel and a wonderful vocalist in the Tina Turner mould, Miss Zeno from Memphis.

It had been the longest day of blues music experienced by most people, 9.30 am through to 1.30am the next morning, but all totally memorable.



Lower Mississippi River Dispatch Vol 3, No. 30, "Voice of the Lower Mississippi"; Quapaw Canoe Company,

- Help us celebrate the year on Saturday, December 8th, 3-7pm, at our Annual Christmas Party with refreshments & live blues featuring Mississippi Junebug and Mr. Tater, Large-Scale Watercolors Exhibit, most recent paintings from the past year and ceramics by "Baby-Doll" Mara Califf. You are hereby invited! No reply needed, come on in, "The [Catalpa] house is a-rockin' don't bother knockin'" 110 Catalpa in Clarksdale.

- Does anyone want to paddle through the heart of the Delta? 5-day expedition "Where the Big River Gets Lost," leaving Wednesday, Nov 28th, back on land Sunday, Dec 2nd, with exploration of the mouth of the Arkansas River, Choctaw Island, other big islands and mouths of various lakes, gravel bars, sand bars & mud flats galore! National Geographic called it "Where the Big River Gets Lost," in their August 2007 Adventure Magazine, but we think of it as "Where People get Lost on the Big River!"

- For sale: Buck Island (Prairie Point Towhead). In 2002 Choctaw Island (opposite Mounds Landing) was purchased by the American land Conservancy as part of their Lower Mississippi River
Water Trail and is now owned & maintained by Arkansas State Parks. Want to help the ALC complete the water trail with the purchase of another Island? Helena's Prairie Point Towhead (Buck Island) is up for sale: $950K.


News at


From Memphis' Commercial Appeal newspaper...

Delta tenant farmers sang 'Boll Weevil Blues' as they lived it, By Tom Charlier, Sunday, November 11, 2007..."The condition of the boll weevil was something like that of, say, landless sharecroppers." David Evans, University of Memphis music professor and blues expert
CLARKSDALE, Miss. -- When venerable bluesman Pinetop Perkins returns for his annual homecoming at the Hopson Plantation here, the old cotton gin reverberates with music and artists take the stage beneath a huge papier-maché replica of a boll weevil. Campy and outsized, maybe, but the symbol is appropriate. In many ways, the boll weevil helped shape the Mississippi Delta blues -- a seminal art form that influenced rock, country and other types of music. Not only do a variety of songs pay homage to the insect, but the boll weevil infestation across the South drove tens of thousands of African-American sharecroppers into the Delta. The influx created both the market and the creative milieu for the development of the blues. The reasons for the migration lie in peculiarities of the Delta's geography and the weevil's biology. Each fall, before entering into dormancy, weevils find cover in leaf litter in forests. But in the Delta, forests usually flood each winter, greatly reducing the number of the insects that survive until spring. "You don't have as many weevils coming out of hibernation in the Delta," said Jimmy Smith, research entomologist with Mississippi State University. In addition, the luxuriantly fertile Delta soil meant crops could reach maturity sooner -- before weevil populations exploded -- and would be abundant enough to absorb damage from the insect. That meant Delta plantations could remain lucrative -- and sharecroppers could earn a living -- at a time when the insect ruined cotton harvests virtually everywhere else. By December 1909, the Greenville (Miss.) Times reported an exodus of African-American sharecroppers "leaving the boll weevil districts for the Delta." In fact, between 1900 and 1930, as most cotton-growing areas lost population, more than 170,000 people poured into six Delta counties. "People moved into the Delta from all over the South," Smith said. With so many people moving in, there was a ready audience for musicians. "That's why blues developed in the Delta," said James Segrest, co-author of a biography of Chester Burnett, better known as the iconic artist Howlin' Wolf. "There was enough money floating around that you could make money playing music." Influential performers such as Tommy Johnson came to the region to "pick cotton by day, perform by night," said University of Memphis music professor and blues expert David Evans. "There was something of a circuit in the Delta." Howlin' Wolf, a legendary bluesman whose work influenced rock stars such as Eric Clapton, learned the blues from Charley Patton and other greats after coming to the Delta to be with his father, who had moved from the weevil-ravaged hill country to work on a plantation. Bluesmen felt sufficiently influenced by the weevil to sing about it in the "Mississippi Bo Weavil Blues," the "Boll Weevil Song" and other tunes. Bluesman George "Big George" Brock, 75, said artists sang about what concerned them. "That bug could put your family in bad shape," he said. Boll weevils were a logical subject because the blues served as a means of communication among black sharecroppers, said Jim Giesen, assistant professor of history at Mississippi State. In areas not yet infested, the songs kept workers informed of news that landowners tried to keep from them. "They (owners) don't want sharecroppers to hear about the boll weevil, but the evidence from the songs is they already know about it. In fact they know more about it than the landowners," Giesen said. Evans points to another reason sharecroppers sang about the weevil, which moved around as much as they did. "There seems to be kind of an identification with the bug. The condition of the boll weevil was something like that of, say, landless sharecroppers," he said. -- Tom Charlier: 529-2572.

Bo weevil's Southern legacy,
Peanuts prospered in bo weevil's wake,


19. SOUTHERN HISTORIAN VISITS DSU IN CLEVELAND, MS (courtesy of Bolivar Bullet e-newsletter)...
Cobb keeping an eye on Delta

Southern historian James C. Cobb voiced optimism Thursday night at Delta State University about the desire of Deltans to improve their region, but also pointed to the limitations of economic-growth stories such as the "Tunica Miracle." Cobb told a near-capacity crowd at DSU's Jobe Auditorium that it appears many Deltans today take the same determined approach to their problems that made the late Fannie Lou Hamer a memorable force in the civil rights movement. Best known to the public as the author of a book about the Mississippi Delta titled The Most Southern Place on Earth, Cobb told a questioner in the audience Thursday night that he continues to observe and study the region. "I've got my eye on this place," he said. "It's always going to be in my blood, I'm pretty sure." Cobb also talked briefly, as follows, with the Bolivar Bullet about varying perceptions of the South. For more of Cobb's views, see the January/February issue of Delta Magazine, which will carry a full-length question-and-answer interview with him. Bolivar Bullet: Fred Hobson, in his 1983 book titled Tell About the South: The Southern Rage to Explain, talks about the assumption that others had begun to make about a "good South" that could lead the rest of the nation in the field of human relations. In the past quarter-century, there has been a wave of African-American migration back into the South, but we've also endured things like David Duke's bid for the Louisiana governorship, a slew of fights over the Confederate battle flag, and the "Call me, Harold" smear ad used to play the race card on Harold Ford Jr. during his senatorial bid in Tennessee. Did we go wrong somewhere on the path to that "good South" that some commentators foresaw? Cobb: Well, I think the whole idea of a "good South" was sort of an emotional investment that a lot of Southerners and a lot of people not from the South made much more on faith and hope than real substance. That was sort of just creating another kind of myth. There had been this myth of the totally degraded, depraved South. It was never as savage or as vicious as it was made out to be, and by the same token this myth of the good, redemptive South could never be as powerful and as sort of inexplicably present as people imagined. I think what happened was that it just sort of ran afoul of political reality. So much of that was really tied up in Jimmy Carter, too. People really wanted to believe that Jimmy Carter was going to be this soft-spoken, humble dude who stepped in and sort of got us on the right track. And once people began to perceive limitations in Carter and so many other things sort of cut against him politically, the whole idea of that particular South began to unravel. And then the fact that the South jumps in and becomes sort of the cornerstone of the radical religious right in this country pretty well puts the lie to that whole thing, in a sense pretty quickly. It (the notion of the "good South") was a very situational kind of myth.


On October 19th and 20th, the Tommy Johnson Blues Foundation staged their second annual celebrations to remember the legendary father of the blues, Tommy Johnson (1896 – 1956).

On Friday morning a Blues Trail Marker for Tommy Johnson was unveiled at Railroad Ave. Crystal Springs. The ceremony was well attended and Alex Thomas, Heritage Trail Director of The Mississippi Development Authority (Tourist Division), gave a speech and read a citation from The State of Mississippi which recognized the historical and cultural importance of Tommy Johnson's music. The marker was unveiled by Vera Johnson-Collins, President of The Tommy Johnson Blues Foundation. Afterwards, there was a reception, provided by The Crystal Springs Chamber Of Commerce at The Wisteria Cafe. Then on Friday evening in Jackson at The Medical Mall, The Tommy Johnson Blues Foundation held the official Reception for guests, visitors and family members. Guest speaker, Bob Long, from England, presented a paper on his thoughts about Tommy Johnson and his music which focussed on the legend of the crossroads and the question of what really happened (did he actually sell his soul to the Devil?) He concluded his presentation by singing Tommy Johnson's song Maggie Campbell Blues. Finally, Vera Johnson- Collins gave a tribute to her Sister, Lela B Johnson - Dorsey, the oldest surviving niece of Tommy Johnson. On Saturday, The Tommy Johnson Blues Foundation staged their blues festival in Crystal Springs at The National Guard Armory. The line-up included both local and visiting musicians including, Bob Long, Bill Abel, Ben Payton, Charley Taylor Junior, Louis Youngblood, Jesse Robinson and JT Watkins and his band


North Mississippi Allstars for 11 8 07
A "Guitar God" and The Blues Idols

When David Fricke in Rolling Stone Magazine named Luther Dickinson of the North Mississippi Allstars one of 20 new guitar Gods earlier this year, it threw Luther off his game. "When that article came out, I couldn't play right for two or three weeks," says Dickinson whose band plays its own set and backs Mavis Staples and Charlie Musselwhite in the traveling "Solid Blues" show at Proctor's Theatre, Schenectady, Tuesday night. "It messed me up bad. But I got over it, man. I'm proud to be in there." Dickinson will share a bill New Years' Eve in Atlanta with Derek Trucks, another guitar God on the Rolling Stone roster. He jammed with yet another list topper Warren Haynes and the Allman Brothers at SPAC in August for a show he says he'll never forget. "I really got in the zone that day." Luther is also featured on the upcoming Black Crowes CD due out next spring. And that's just the garnish on a plate whose main course is The North Mississippi Allstars themselves. About to release "Hernando," their seventh or ninth album depending on what you consider a legitimate release, The North Mississippi Allstars in 11 years have done for Mississippi hill country blues what the Allman Brothers did for country music almost 40 years ago. Luther along with his drumming brother Cody and gospel-drenched bass player Chris Chew have taken the hypnotic drones of the late Mississppi blues master R. L Burnside – what Luther calls "the resonance of home" – and given them a psychedelic rock infusion. "Chris grew up in the Baptist Church. He superimposes all these changes underneath the drone, and that's what I think makes us really unique," says Luther. "There are lots of hill country-influenced bands these days, (but) I think Chris's church background and our kind of psychedelic improvisational sense are what give us our own style." Touring mate Mavis Staples is a veteran of gospel/soul heavyweights The Staple Singers who had hits in the '70s with songs like "I'll Take You There" and "Freedom Highway," both of which are featured in this show. She has established herself as a commanding solo act with two releases in the last few years. Charlie Musselwhite is a Chicago blues legend. Luther may have been thrown off his game by being named a new guitar God, but he's not about to blow the nightly opportunity to play with two artists he himself idolizes and adores. "You gotta stay cool and keep your cool," he says. "And you gotta play the best you can and concentrate on listening. That's my key for everything. I just listen to everybody else and let my playing come through subconsciously. If I just concentrate on everybody else, then I don't have worry about what I do as opposed to just blowing on top of whatever's going on. Every time you're in the zone, then it doesn't matter what the surroundings are or the people playing with you. Just concentrate and listen to the music, and just try and be a part of the moment." "We broke the cycle," he says about the Allstars' upcoming CD, which was influenced by the ZZ Top and AC/DC tapes he listens to in his van. Until now, Luther and his brother have teetered back and forth between producing their own CDs and being produced by their Dad, Jim Dickinson, himself a Memphis legend whose credits including playing piano on "Wild Horses" with the Stones and producing everyone from John Hiatt to The Tarbox Ramblers. "Hernando" marks the first time Dad has produced two Allstar CDs in a row. "If you're producing, that's like anti-zone 'cause you think about too many things," says Luther who went to Daddy with 22 songs for "Hernando" but let him pick the 12 that will make it onto the final release. "He was right," says Luther about his dad. "The older we get, the better we work together. You gotta protect the album from the artist sometimes." "Solid Blues" is the latest in a series of packaged blues tours to play Proctor's Theatre every November. It's a grueling six-day-a-week multi-city run that can, and has, yielded cookie cutter performances. The buzz on the street and what I'm hearing from Luther tell me this will not happen this time. "We get (Mavis) fired up," says Luther. "She sang this note the other night that just came from the depths of her heart. Man, there was just like this one note. It just sounded so sad and soulful. Chris and I were like, 'Jeeze!'"


- Cat Head's "Down in the Delta" column in Blues Revue mag.
- "Cat Head Presents..." Big George Brock CDs. Listen/buy - -
- Cat Head Presents... "Hard Times" Big George DVD (search for "Brock" and see clip).
- Cat Head's Delta blues event report most Thursdays at 4pm (CST) w/Bill Wax on XM Radio
- Cat Head Delta Blues Hour on WROX blues radio Clarksdale every Sat. 6pm-7pm courtesy Fiser Insurance/1st National Bank

23. FILMMAKERS COMING TO MISS. DELTA IN NOV. (thx Lou Novacheck for sending this in)...

Film Teams To Trace Stories of Miss. Delta
Event Organizers Cite Black History
Associated Press -- Sunday, November 4, 2007

JACKSON, Miss., Nov. 3 -- Filmmakers and producers from across the country will come to Mississippi later this month to document the Delta and its rich black history. "For us, Mississippi with the tremendous cultural history is among the wealth of reasons" to come to the state, said Jacquie Jones, executive director of the National Black Programming Consortium. Jones said 28 "media-makers" from Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, New York, Houston, Denver, New Orleans, Chicago and Ghana, West Africa, will be in Jackson Nov. 11-16 for the 2007 New Media Institute. They will produce projects "in several different areas, and document the stories of African American culture and life in Mississippi," she said. The consortium is one of five ethnic partnerships funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and has provided content to public television since 1979. "We inaugurated this project last year with WGBH Boston, and what we did was convene leaders with public media and technology," Jones said. The institute's Web site says it trains new and seasoned filmmakers who want to create innovative projects using the latest in digital technology. In that vein, some participants will travel to sites along the Mississippi Blues Commission's Blues Trail, Jones said. "Some of the projects are directly associated with the Blues Trail," Jones said. Jones said organizers considered Florida and other locations in the South before selecting Mississippi. She said a group came to the state in February on a scouting trip. "Mississippi Public Broadcasting was incredibly enthusiastic," Jones said. The institute began in September with participants working on virtual media projects. A kickoff party scheduled Nov. 11 at Smith Robertson Museum and Cultural Center will be participants' first in-person meeting. The B.B. King Museum and Delta Interpretive Center, the Mississippi Film Office and the Crossroads Film Society are hosting the party. Nine teams will head to the Delta to record interviews and performances Nov. 13-14 and for a film students' exchange and screening Nov. 13 at Mississippi Valley State University in Itta Bena. The remainder of the institute involves training, editing and screenings at MPB, Jackson State University and other locations. "Various faculty and students will attend sessions and we'll have students who will help out by serving as gofers and chauffeurs," said Dwight Brooks, a JSU professor and chairman of the Department of Mass Communications. Brooks said JSU will host a screening Nov. 15 of a 2006 film called "Banished" and a question-and-answer session with producer-director Marco Williams. Organizers say the film tells the story of black descendants and white residents who struggle with their hidden past.


Contact: Kenneth Bays, Blues Revue
Salem, WV 26426 - (304) 782-1971
[e-mail missing]

Three contributors to Blues Revue, The World¹s Blues Magazine, and BluesWax, The Online Voice of the Blues, are among the twenty-one individuals and organizations who will be recognized with a Keeping the Blues Alive Award in 2008. The KBAs, awarded annually by The Blues Foundation in Memphis, Tennessee, are the highest honor accorded to the people who work behind the scenes in today¹s blues industry.

Don Wilcock, a contributing editor to Blues Revue and BluesWax, will receive the 2008 KBA for Journalism. Based in Scotia, New York, Wilcock has written about music for 40 years, publishing articles in The Audiophile Voice, Britain's Blues World, and King Biscuit Time (where he served as managing editor) in addition to other publications. He has been the music writer for The Record, a daily newspaper in Troy, New York, for 33 years, and is the author of Damn Right I've Got The Blues, the authorized biography of Buddy Guy, published by Duane Press in 1993. Wilcock joined Blues Revue in 2005 and BluesWax in 2007. He has written numerous reviews and artist profiles for Blues Revue, including cover stories on Derek Trucks, John Mayall, and a recent highly acclaimed examination of the career of Johnny Winter. "Don writes from a place of great respect for the artist, but he does so without ever crossing the line into PR-style hype," said Blues Revue's managing editor, Kenneth Bays. "Critical, candid, and always tirelessly researched, Don's work is a model for any blues writer who strives to be both informative and entertaining."

VividPix, a photography and design company that contributes frequently to both BluesWax and Blues Revue, will receive the 2008 KBA for Art/Photography. VividPix is operated by Scott Allen and Jen Taylor, two longtime blues fans who live in Des Moines, Iowa, and whose photographic contributions to Blues Revue and BluesWax help lend an unparalleled visual style to both publications. The pair has contributed photography and design to numerous CD projects, including many Blues Music Award winners and nominees. In addition, the pair lends their talents to artists, promoters, and blues societies for web and other design projects. VividPix's hard work and determination to help preserve blues history place them atop the list of contemporary photographers/designers in the genre. "In the last three years, Scott and Jen have provided some of the most evocative photos to appear in Blues Revue," said Bays. "Their cover portrait for our North Mississippi Allstars issue stands as one of the most forward-thinking shoots we've had, thanks to their vision, taste, and knowledge of location shooting."

Roger Stolle, who contributes a column titled "Down in the Delta" to each issue of Blues Revue, will receive the 2008 KBA for Retailer. The owner of Cat Head Delta Blues & Folk Art in Clarksdale, Mississippi, Stolle's store has featured a full selection of blues CDs, videos, books, and artworks since opening its doors in 2002. In addition to his store, Stolle operates a record label (also named Cat Head) and organizes blues festivals in the Clarksdale area. He has played a key role in the recent rise of internationally touring blues artist Big George Brock, and has championed countless other Delta-based musicians through his store and his contributions to Blues Revue. Since joining the publication in 2005, Stolle has introduced a worldwide readership to performers such as R.L. Boyce, Bill "Howl-N-Madd" Perry, and Terry "Harmonica" Bean, and has helped keep established artists such as T-Model Ford and Robert Belfour in the eye of the blues community. "Roger's contributions to Blues Revue allow the magazine to spotlight talented, historically significant performers that might otherwise go unnoticed outside the Delta," said Bays. "He documents amazing musicians who still remember the blues of the past, using the artists' own words to get at the heart of the rural blues life."

Wilcock, VividPix, and Stolle join previous Blues Revue and BluesWax-affiliated winners Bill Dahl, Rich DelGrosso, Jef Jaisun, Joe Rosen, and Art Tipaldi. As a magazine, Blues Revue received KBAs in 1993 and 2003 for Print Publication, today standing as the only publication to receive that award more than once. BluesWax received the KBA in 2004 in the Internet category. Blues Revue, based in Salem, West Virginia, and BluesWax, based in West Des Moines, Iowa, are owned by West Des Moines' Visionation, Ltd. Visionation also publishes Dirty Linen, the magazine of folk and world music, and FolkWax, an online publication rooted in the soul of the singer-songwriter. The Blues Foundation will give out the 2008 Keeping the Blues Alive Awards on February 2, 2008, at the Downtown Doubletree Hotel in Memphis, Tennessee.






Support our reporting -- Become a JFP VIP.

The news business has changed dramatically in the past year, and we need your help more than ever to keep bringing you important stories about Jackson and the Metro. Become a JFP VIP with an annual membership or you can Sign up as a monthly supporter. Thanks for anything you can do to empower our journalism!


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

comments powered by Disqus