Thursday, June 28, 2007

Thursday Roundup

Vicksburg - Blues Trail marker honoring Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Willie Dixon to be unveiled today.

Potts Camp - North Mississippi Hill Country Picnic: Friday - Bobby Rush, T-Model Ford, DuWayne Burnside and his Mississippi Mafia, Olga Wilhelmine Mathus, Danny Lancaster, Jocco Rushing and John Barnett. A "sunset jam" brings together roots rockers Mother Tupelo, Rocket 88 and Goshen of Santa Fe, N.M. Saturday - Blue Mountain, the Taylor Grocery Band and Alvin Youngblood Hart's trio Muscle Theory, the Rev. John Wilkins, the Rising Star Fife and Drum Band, David Kimbrough and Garry Burnside of Burnside Exploration, the North Mississippi Allstars, Jimbo Mathus and Knockdown South. (Read the Clarion Ledger story here.)

Oxford - alt-country band Blue Mountain reunites

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Wednesday News Round-Up

BlogCriticsMagazine: Music DVD Review: North Mississippi Allstars - Keep On Marchin'

Friday morning, Main Street Kosciusko will be hosting their annual Side Walk Sale, Breezy 101’s 2nd Annual BBQ Battle, and Main Street’s June Jam. June Jam will begin around 6:30 p.m. with the finalists from the 2007 Colgate Country Showdown opening for Nashville singer/songwriter Leith Loftin. Loftin, 27-year-old native of Carroll County and last year’s Colgate Country Showdown winner, said he is ready to come home to Mississippi and play his music.

Benoit will host its first Summer Fest Saturday, featuring bluesman Nathaniel Kimble, Courtney Smith, Jessie Lee Clay, and Mississippi Slim.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Tuesday News Roundup

The Mississippi Blues Commission will dedicate a Blues Trial marker on Thursday to Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Willie Dixon of Vicksburg.

University of Mississippi professor and author Adam Gussow teams with Sterling Magee in a new feature-length documentary on "Five Fingers" Magee in New York City.

Delta State's Delta Center for Culture and Learning has been sponsoring "From the Birth of America's Music: The Music and Musicians of Mississippi," to educate and expose Mississippi teachers to the cultural and artistic resources of the state.

Big George Brock will play Sainsbury's Social Club, in Basingstoke, United Kingdom, on Thursday, June 28. "When 75-year-old Mississippi-born musician Big George Brock sings the blues, he isn't lying. When he sings 'they call me a lover', know that he has 42 kids. When he talks about 'that lonesome cotton field', understand that he grew up a Delta sharecropper." Read the full story here.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Mississippi music tv

Scott Coopwood writes about a project to spread the word of Mississippi's musical heritage in June's Delta Business Journal:

Mississippi Media Group Inc. (MMG) is currently designing and creating content with the intent of launching a television channel rooted deep in the Mississippi mud. Programming is being planned that will include all aspects of life within the Delta. The project is being spearheaded by Vincent Productions who has been collaborating with Bill Luckett and Morgan Freeman of Ground Zero Blues Club, Inc. on a series of shows called “The Clarksdale Juke Joint Jam.” The series produced by the Vincents and partner Robert Eva spotlights performers with international fame, in particular honoring blues legends.

The first show features George Thorogood and the Destroyers with blues master Eddie Shaw. Other shows currently in production include artists such as, Elvin Bishop, Little Smokey Smothers, Pinetop Perkins, Delaney Bramlett, Jimmy Thackery, and the Cate Brothers.

Sponsors for the “Clarksdale Juke Joint Jam” include Intel Corp., Gibson Guitars, Pearl Drums, and Canon International. The idea for a network was brought to Vincent Productions by Columbus resident Ron Williams.

Individuals integrally involved with the Mississippi Media Group include Ron, Gary and Carol Vincent, Covenant Bank CEO Willis Frazer, entertainment and media consultant Jeff Skillen, and Senior Judge of Tunica County Ellis Darby, among others.

It’s time that Mississippi reclaims and exports its own cultural heritage to the world. Production of original content that promotes the rich culture of the Delta could be a significant step in the right direction towards bringing attention and opportunity into our unique corner of the world.

Lee Chester Ulmer

78-year-old Ellisville blues guitar musician, Lee Chester Ulmer has encountered troubles getting a passport to join Afrissippi for a gig in Italy. Why?

Ulmer was born on a backcountry plantation in Stringer in 1928. He was delivered by a midwife, so there's no certified birth certificate or hospital birth certificate.

He was baptized in a creek - so no baptismal certificate.

He attended all-black country schools that did not keep records.

Ulmer doesn't have a family Bible because it was lost in a tornado in 1939.

Both his parents are deceased. His 12 older siblings also are deceased, so there is no one to submit an affidavit of birth.

Read the full story of his struggle with government logistics to take Mississippi blues to Italy in this article by the Clarion Ledger.

Monday News Roundup

Ground Zero in Clarksdale is under new management.

Blues diva Dorothy Moore of Jackson will donate mementos from her personal collection to the Robert Johnson Blues Foundation Official Museum in Crystal Springs.

The Son House Blues Trail Marker is being unveiled today near Tunica.

Lucille and Friends will perform in a Mississippi Musicians Hall of Fame presentation at the OnStage Restaurant at Jackson Evers International Airport this Friday. Lucille is a slide guitarist and vocalist who toured with Little Milton and has played with Albert King, Dr. John, Dorothy Moore, Z.Z. Hill, R.L. Burnside, Sam Myers and others.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Friday News Roundup

Hattiesburg native Hot Dollar has new material out: a single "Streets On Lock" and the album "My Dreams...A Day in the Life." has an interview with this up and coming rapper.

Bluesman David Honeyboy Edwards, a Shaw, Mississippi native, is approaching his 92nd birthday in Chicago and as this article makes clear "sees no reason to slow down."

Gary Clark Jr - the "future of blues music in Texas" - plays with Mississippian Pinetop Perkins tonight at Antone's in Austin, Texas.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The Williams Brothers

The McComb Enterprise Journal writes about an event honoring multiple Grammy nominated The Williams Brothers.

The Williams Brothers of Smithdale have been spreading the gospel through song for 47 years, winning multiple Stellar and Dove awards and receiving six Grammy nominations. Now, the group’s home church is planning to honor them.

On June 22, Rose Hill Missionary Baptist Church of Franklin County and its Women’s Missions Auxiliary will honor the singing trio and lifetime church members with a special celebration at Fernwood Country Club.

Guests will include keynote speaker Bishop Paul S. Morton of New Orleans, master of ceremonies Dr. Bobby Jones of Nashville, and performer and minister Bishop Neal Roberson of Lansing, Mich.

McComb Mayor Zach Patterson will present the group with a proclamation and a key to the city.

The Williams Brothers formed in 1960 with Leon “Pop” Williams heading up the family group. Although Leon Williams died in a wreck in 1989, the Williams Brothers soldiered on. Leon and his wife Amanda, now 87, had 10 children, eight of whom are living. Mrs. Williams sang with The Williams Family and in the church choir at Rose Hill. While she has much to be proud of in her family, Mrs. Williams’ children are proud of her strong influence, too....

The Williams Brothers are Melvin and his younger brother Doug Williams, and longtime family friend Henry Green. Melvin began singing at age 6 with his brothers and has been writing and arranging music since 1970. His youngest brother, Doug, has been singing with his family since age 5. Green joined The Williams Brothers at age 18.

Not only have the trio seen continued recording success, The Williams Brothers own their record label, Blackberry Records, based in Jackson, as well as Blackberry Entertainment. Blackberry made news in 1991 by becoming the first black-owned recording company in Mississippi.

Read the full story here.

Wednesday News Roundup

Purvis native Johnny Rawls plays at Peterborough's Red Dog Tavern in Canada. (06/13/07)

Jackson native and Grammmy winner Cassandra Wilson will be headlining the Bucks County Jazz Restival in Pennsylvania. (06/12/07)

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes about the blues heritage that spread up Highway 61 from the Delta to Chicago and visits Clarksdale to see this home of the blues still jams live from juke joints to Ground Zero. Another article asks if the blues have left St. Louis and looks closer at the history of the Mississippi blues in the city. (6/10/2007)

Greenwoodians enjoyed the Family Funk Festival this past weekend (06/09/07)

Bentonia native Jimmy "Duck" Holmes is profiled in this article in prep for his performance at the Chicago Blues Festival. (06/08/07)

Beulah is planning a gospel festival for June 30. (06/08/07)

The Edinburgh Jazz Festival has sparked some controversy for booking Clarksdale's Ike Turner. Advocates against domestic violence are protesting the Grammy winner. (06/08/07)

Moss Point highschoolers took their instruments to Burlington, Vermont to thank their sister city for post-Katrina support. (06/07/07)

Thursday, June 7, 2007

BB King in Indianola

Scott Barretta writes in today's Clarion Ledger: This Saturday B.B. King makes his annual visit back home to Indianola, where he'll headline the B.B. King Homecoming Festival at Fletcher Park and appear in the evening at the historic Club Ebony. A late change in King's schedule moved the festival from last Friday to this Saturday. Also performing at the festival, which begins at 5 p.m., are Willie King, Bill "Howlin' Madd" Perry, local favorite David Lee Durham and Jackson soul-blues diva Dorothy Moore.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

News Roundup

Sunflower County hosted the Holly Ridge Jam this past weekend with performances by John Horton, Cedric Burnside and Lightning Malcolm, Eden Brent and others (full story here: Delta Democrat Times: 06/04)

Marty Stuart

Great interview with Philadelphia, Mississippi native Marty Stuart regarding his collection of country music memorabilia now on display at the Tennessee State Museum in Nashville at an exhibit: Sparkle & Twang: Marty Stuart's American Musical Odyssey.

Pinetop Perkins DVD

Josh Perkins reviews the new music DVD documentary on Belzoni native and blues legend Pinetop Perkins.

Perkins writes: Joe Willie “Pinetop” Perkins is a national treasure. Forget Mount Rushmore and to hell with the Grand Canyon – old rocks and dead men are no match for a timeless spring of eternal blues....

He was born in Belzoni, Mississippi [in 1913] on the Honey Island plantation. Perkins has taken to saying he was “born in the honey,” a turn of phrase that now serves as the title of a 60-minute documentary on his incredible life.

He started playing music at an early age, learning both guitar and piano as a youngster before leaving home around age 16....He moved to Clarksdale in 1940, not long after the moonshine operation he helped run got broken up. His fellow entrepreneurs were apprehended by the law. He escaped and decided it was time for a change of scenery....Perkins knocked around Memphis, St. Louis, and Cairo, Illinois throughout the '50s. While in Memphis, he taught Ike Turner to play piano. He also recorded on a session with Earl Hooker for Sun Records. While there, he recorded “Pinetop's Boogie Woogie,” which was originally recorded by Clarence “Pinetop” Smith. The song meant so much to Perkins that he donned the nickname himself, becoming even more famous than its originator....

Born in the Honey assembles a wonderful cast of blues legends to both pay tribute to Perkins as well as swap stories about time spent with him. Bobby Rush has a great story about Pinetop the prankster. Ike Turner, Bob Margolin, Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, Ann Rabson, Paul Oscher, Dr. John, Lonnie Brooks, Hubert Sumlin, Taj Majal, Kim Wilson, Marcia Ball, Koko Tayler, and Bernard Allison are all interviewed during the documentary as is Pinetop himself....

Pinetop Perkins is a blues icon, and Born in the Honey does a fine job of telling his story....Also included in the package is a 10-song CD, Pinetop Perkins on the 88s. The first nine tracks are taken from a live performance.

(Read the full article here.)

Monday, June 4, 2007

Howlin Wolf Festival

Columbus Commercial Dispatch: The festival honoring great blues legend Chester “Howlin' Wolf” Burnett is set for Saturday, June 10 at Waverly Waters in Columbus, and will feature plenty of entertainment and barbeque. The event should help finish raising the remaining funds needed to purchase the Howlin' Wolf marker for the Mississippi Blues Trail. Entertainment will feature Daniel “Slick” Ballinger, 19th Street Red, Big Joe Shelton and Flathead Ford. (Full Story)

In other news, Howlin Wolf and others are featured on the "The American Folk-Blues Festival: The British Tours" DVD reviewed by the LA Times.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Friday Roundup

Gold suit? Black sideburns? Must be Elvis Fest time. Elvis Fest in Tupelo.

From New Jersey's Courier Post: Mississippi native Steve Forbert, meanwhile, is touring in support of his soon-to-be released album, "Strange Names & New Sensations," which includes a new version of his biggest hit, 1980's "Romeo's Tune." "After all these years, it's still my signature song and I still like to sing it," Forbert said recently, adding that for the remake "we didn't try to repeat the original. The song has magic which made it a hit, and you can't get that out of a bottle," he said. "It stands on its own, so we just changed it a little, slowed it down a bit. It's the same song, only different."