Category: Blues (Page 1 of 4)

‘Live from the Mississippi Delta’ provides a front row seat

By DeMatt Harkins. Special to the Clarion-Ledger Sunday print edition (October 15)

No matter how well one may know Mississippi, more layers, subcultures, and haunts appear. They prove endlessly fascinating from a historical, literary, culinary, or musical perspective. In her first book, Live from the Mississippi Delta (University Press of Mississippi), photographer Panny Flautt Mayfield shares her snapshots encapsulating all of these in the greater Clarksdale area.

live from the ms deltaWhile the Coahoma County seat may not be a booming metropolis, the camera-wielding Mayfield frequently found herself in the right place at the right time, during culturally significant events and times over the past 30 years. Her casual stream-of-consciousness photo journal lets the reader in on the energy, with the perspective only a local could provide.

Clarksdale functions as one of the more important blues towns in a state filled with many. Famous native sons include John Lee Hooker, Son House, Ike Turner, and Sam Cooke.And Muddy Waters, W.C. Handy, and Robert Johnson lived there as well. On those shoulders stands a world-renowned musical legacy that supports an enduring local music scene and pilgrimage destination.

This is what Mayfield documents. She exhibits the role Clarksdale and surrounding radius palys in blues past and present–intertwining people, events, and locations, decades and miles apart.

Two excellent sources of material prove to be the town’s Sunflower Blues Festival and King Biscuit Blues Festival in neighboring Helena, Arkansas. Mayfield’s tome displays excellent shots of stalwarts Bobby Bland, Albert King, Little Milton, Denise LaSalle, Jessie Mae Hemphill, Charlie Musselwhite, Otis Rush, Koko Taylor, Pinetop Perkins, Junior Kimbrough, and Honeyboy Edwards–each pictured in the throes of performance.

But Mayfield has also witnessed another level of visitor to the vicinity. She covered John Fogerty and Pop Staples attending Charley Patton’s headstone dedication in Holly Ridge. When famed Smithsonian archivist Alan Lomax returned to Clarksdale after years and years, Mayfield captured him sitting down to hear a picker. She was also on hand for sitting President Clinton’s walking tour of downtown Clarksdale. ZZ Top invited the national press to Mississippi. They were kicking off a million-dollar campaign for the Delta Blues Museum. Guess who was front and center?

Perhaps most stunning of all is Mayfield’s friendship with Robert Plant. The Led Zeppelin frontman’s academic fascination with blues music has manifested in a series of trips to Clarksdale. Throughout the book, Plant pops up, letting the golden locks hang low in practical anonymity. His rapport with Mayfield eventually landed her at his band’s 2007 London reunion concert, depicted in the concert film Celebration Day.

While undeniably interesting, global luminaries are not the appeal of Live from the Mississippi Delta. As Mayfield demonstrates, the magic is in the local mainstays. As the first black disk jockey in Mississippi, Early Wright’s Soul Man Show on WROX–replete with impromptu ads and PSAs–endeared listeners for decades. When he wasn’t opening NAACP chapters across the state, WAde Walton cut multiple generation’s hair. Mrs. Z L Hill ran the Henderson Hotel boarding house for 53 years and even hosted John F. Kennedy. The after-school blues students of Johnnie Billington flew to Washington, D.C. to play at the White House.

However, Mayfield provides more neon than neoclassical. She places the reader in the middle of Clarksdale’s finest music venues. From the dance floor, one can observe the likes of The Jellyroll Kings, Super Chikan, or Bilbo Walker playing Smitty’s Red Top Lounge, Margaret’s Blue Diamond, or the Bobo Grocery. And as the photos make clear, the stars of the evening are not always on stage.

In Live from the Mississippi Delta, Mayfield serves as her own acoustiguide. Sometimes the narrative explains the picture, other times the photo illustrates a point. Regardless she delivers an engaging look into multidimensional Clarksdale and the pleasure it holds.

DeMatt Harkins of Jackson enjoys flipping pancakes and records with his wife and daughter.

Panny Flautt Mayfield will be Lemuria on Wednesday, November 1, at 5:00 to promote her book, Live from the Mississippi Delta.

Author Q & A with Panny Mayfield

Interview by Jana Hoops. Special to the Clarion-Ledger Sunday print edition (September 3)

Panny Flautt Mayfield

Panny Flautt Mayfield

As an award-winning journalist and lifelong Mississippi Delta native, Panny Mayfield of Tutwiler has captured decades of blues and gospel music history through her camera lens–and her debut book, Live From the Mississippi Delta (University Press of Mississippi), tells that unique story through her unique, up-close perspective.

The recipient of more than 30 awards granted by the Mississippi Press Association, the Associated Press, the Mississippi Film Commission, and the College Public Relations Association of Mississippi, Mayfield’s work has been exhibited in museums across the U.S. and in Europe.

In Live from the Mississippi Delta, she shares more than 200 photos of Delta performers and their musicians, fans, friends, and families, taken at churches, clubs, festivals, and iconic juke joints, alongside her own detailed accounts of the lives and fortunes of dozens of familiar blues and gospel performers–including those who were Delta natives as well as international superstars who traveled from around the world to pay homage to the legends who influenced their own music.

Tell me about your childhood in Tutwiler and how you came to be a noted Mississippi Delta photographer.

Growing up in Tutwiler, a busy railroad town south of Clarksdale, I enjoyed small town life watching Randolph Scott movies at the Tutrovansum Theatre (a [portmanteau] for the Mississippi communities it served: Tutwiler, Rome, Vance, and Sumner), playing kick the can, and catching lightning bugs in Mason jars. I was aware of places like Lula Mae’s Sunrise Cafe where infectious music spilled out on the street, but it was totally off limits to me until I became an adult.

Photography fascinated me at about the age of 12. I began taking pictures and writing about cross-country family trips, became newspaper editor in high school and at Ole Miss, and began a lifelong career as a journalist and photographer.

I began taking blues photographs in the late 70s when Sid Graves founded Clarksdale’s Delta Blues Museum. Bluesman Wesley Jefferson needed a portfolio and asked me to photograph his Southern Soul Band playing at Margaret’s Blue Diamond Blues Club on the railroad tracks in Clarksdale’s New World District. I organized a folder for James “Super Chikan” Johnson who needed to get serious booking gigs.

It was Mae, Michael James’ lady, who began teaching me to dance to blues music in her kitchen. Decades later, I’m still working on my dancing and sharing the drama of the passionate music that is the Mississippi Delta blues.

After a career as a newspaper journalist and a public relations director for a community college, Live from the Mississippi Delta is your first book. How did this book come about?

My careers with newspapers, magazines, and Coahoma Community College were incredibly busy. Although I considered a book somwhere down the line, I was busy making a living and meeting ever-present deadlines until I retired in 2013. I was encouraged to put a book together by Molly Porter of Vermont, who scanned many of my photographs. Initially it was a book of photographs until Craig Gill, University Press of Mississippi’s director, urged me to include stories and text about many of the images, musicians, and events. The book itself is half text, half photos.

Explain what the blues, as a music genre, means to the Mississippi Delta.

I’m not sure if I can explain how much blues means to the Mississippi Delta. They are inseparable, conjoined. When the eminent folklorist and musician Alan Lomax returned to Clarksdale in 1994, he emphasized the similar, unique qualities of Coahoma County blues to the original rhythmic music of Senegal in Africa, and he encouraged a cultural revival in the Delta.

You helped launch Clarksdale’s Sunflower River Blues and Gospel Festival in 1988. Are you still involved in it?

Jim O’Neal, co-founder of Living Blues magazine, and research director of Mississippi’s Blues Trail, co-founded the Sunflower River Blues Association, and he was here last month for the festival’s 30th anniversary. In 1988, we were considered an avant-garde bunch, but we followed Jim’s lead, staging a free music festival showcasing local musicians as well as well-known artists.

I asked Jim at that time what he thought of today’s Sunflower (festival), and he said he was glad it continued to be a unique, grassroots event where people felt comfortable and at home. This year, we had people from New Zealand, Italy, Germany, Paris, and Bangkok, Thailand.

I’m still publicist for the festival and I love our multiracial, diverse membership. I believe this contributes to the success of our festival.

Your book includes sections on Delta landscapes, “homegrown” and international blues musicians, Delta festivals, juke joints, and more, and your career as a photographer has given you front-row access to scores of musically influential events and people. What have you enjoyed the most and what have you found to be the most challenging?

My book begins with my own beginning in Tutwiler–also the birthplace of blues. it’s where W.C. Handy first head a guitar being played with a kitchen knife in 1903, and where the charismatic Robert Plant paid tribute in 2009 to the music that influenced his own phenomenal career.

I have been one incredibly person to have this background and to fine-tune it in Clarksdale, center of the blues universe. My books “homegrown icons”–radio broadcaster Early Wright, who invited me to his birthday dinners every February 10; and barber Wade Walton with his stuffed monkey Flukie–are just as important to me as international celebrities ZZ Top, James Brown, and Garth Brooks.

Describe Clarksdale’s association with its “sister city,” Notodden, Norway.

Clarksdale’s sister city relationship with Notodden, Norway, began in 1996 with initial visits by Norwegian journalists, musicians, and then city offiicials interested in researching blues history to enhance their own international festival and its connection with the Sunflower River Blues and Gospel Festival.

Norwegian officials dined on catfish; were entertained at the Rivermount Lounge, a local club favored by Little Milton, Ike Turner, and Bobby Rush; and were taken to a Marvin Sease blues show at the City Auditorium that went on until 2 a.m. The next morning, they attended a service at Friendship Missionary Baptist Church at Friar’s Point, where members lined up to shake every Norwegian’s hand. Overnight, we became “cousins,” and exchanges between the two cities have flourished.

Tell me about the cover of your book.

live from the mississippi deltaI get emotional about the cover of my book. The musician–Arthneice Jones–is one of the most talented and articulate bluesmen I have known. A harmonica master and singer/songwriter, Arthneice was leader of The Stone Gas Band–a talented and popular bunch who played all over north Mississippi and Memphis before his untimely death. A musician who worked in concrete, Arthneice intrigued, charmed, and connected intimately with Sunflower acoustic audiences each summer with sidewalk philosophy mixed with music.

My initial choice for the book cover was a juke joint scene from Shelby’s Dew Drop Inn. But when University Press of Mississippi emailed, unannounced, the image of Arthneice imposed on raw Delta cotton fields, i cried. It was so perfect.

Do you have any plans for more books?

As a journalist trained to condense news and feature articles into brief, interesting opening lines with zero personal commentary, writing a book was a new experience. Fortunately, Craig Gill and the UPM staff were patient and encouraging. Helpful also were remembrances of my mother’s storytelling traditions.

A future book about 25 years of celebrating America’s great playwright with the Mississippi Delta Tennessee Williams Festival is a possibility.

Collecting the Blues

Fans of the blues can take their love one step further by collecting books on the subject. From beautiful coffee table picture books to long-reading books, there’s something for every blues lover.

blues from the deltaTo start at the very roots of the blues, “Slave Songs of the United States” published in 1867 by William Francis Allen is the foundation for a serious blues collector—but incredibly rare. Other works on African American song like “Negro Workaday Songs” were also published in the 1920s from small university presses. Moving into the mid to late 20th century there are several titles which can still be found in first edition, but perhaps even more importantly, they are still in print in paperback: country blues“The Country Blues” by Samuel B. Charters (1959) documents country bluesmen like Robert Johnson and Blind Lemon Jefferson; “Blues People” by Amiri Baraka (1963) written under the name Leroi Jones was the first modern blues book written by an African American; and “Blues from the Delta” written by Mississippian William Ferris (1978) includes full documentation of a Clarksdale House Party with Wallace “Pine Top” Johnson.

southern soul bluesMusic scholars and field workers have been documenting the blues for many years but recently some exceptional books have been released based on this research. William Ferris published “Give My Poor Heart Ease” (2009) which documents the blues in the Mississippi Delta in the 1960s and ’70s, and George Mitchell released “Mississippi Hill Country Blues 1967” (2013) with a showing and signing at the Mississippi Museum of Art. Another gem is Birney Imes’ “Juke Joint” (1990) which was released in a signed limited edition in slipcase with a Foreword by Richard Ford. The variety of blues covered in modern scholarship today is admirable, from “Southern Soul Blues” by David Whiteis (2014), which includes chapters on Ms. Jody and our own Bobby Rush, to a new classic from the late and great American collector of folk music Alan Lomax—“The Southern Journey of Alan Lomax,” (2012) with newly published photos and an essay by Tom Piazza.

give my poor heart easeBlues books are not the easiest type of book to collect because they do not have a wide readership and publishers print in small batches. Not only is it hard to get a first edition, if you wait too long, the book may already be out of print. If your blues collection is filled with first editions all the better, but just having these wonderful books in any form is a treasure for your home library.

 

Originally published in the Clarion-Ledger

We Are the Music Makers

About a dozen years ago, my book pal Katherine Walton introduced me to the fine work of Tim Duffy. His first book, Music Makers, was nearing publication and she wanted us to become friends. I loved Tim’s first book so much that Lemuria kept it in our blues section until it went out of print. The effort in that first book was special; and it was my introduction to the music of Willie King of Macon, MS. Willie’s music is inspiring to me personally, and fortunately I was able to develop a friendship with him before he passed in 2009.

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We Are the Music Makers is Tim’s new effort, put together with his lovely wife Denise, to celebrate the last 20 years of the Music Maker Relief Foundation and it’s work. Together they have helped over 300 musicians, arranged over 9.693 grants for artists, and have promoted 4,384 performances. They have produced CD’s and have released 1,996 songs by 365 partner artists. (A companion CD set is included in the new book)

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On October 11 of this year, Music Makers had a fun-filled music weekend in North Caroline to celebrate their 20th year of work. I had the good fortune to attend and hear over 50 Music Makers musicians share their stories and tunes for 2 days.

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Over the years with Music Makers, Tim has helped many Mississippi artists including Othar and Sharde Turner, Jack Owens, Joe Lee Cole, Como Mamas, Ironing Board Sam (of 930 Blues Cafe fame) and Willie King. Music Maker support continues, and two of their new artists are some of my favorites: New Orleans bluesman Ernie Vincent and my pal Willie James Williams, Willie King’s great juke joint drummer.

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Another way Music Makers is celebrating 20 years is in their traveling photo exhibit, which will be stopped at the B.B. King museum in Indianola from October 23 to November 30. I was able to experience this exhibit while in North Carolina and it is reflective of Tim’s amazing contributions to music today.

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On Wednesday, October 14 at 5:00, Tim will be at Lemuria to sign We Are the Music Makers. If you love the blues, come meet Tim and become a friend of Music Makers. I think it would be great fun for Mississippi to have more support for and with this fine organization.

 

We Are the Music Makers: Preserving the Soul of America’s Music                                                               Pictures and stories by Denise and Timothy Duffy                                                                                   Nautilus Press, 2014                                                                                                                                       $38

The “Hemphill Girls” of the Mississippi HIll Country

rosaleehillThese ladies, Rosa Lee Hill, Jessie Mae Hemphill, and Ada Mae Anderson, come from a long line of musicians.  They were all taught to play by their father and or grandfather.  When George Mitchell arrived in Mississippi he was introduced to Rosa Lee and her niece, Jessie Mae at Fred McDowell’s house.  He couldn’t believe he was meeting Rosa Lee Hill and asked if he could record her.  She tells him not tonight but then invites him to her house in a few days and maybe then.

Rosa Lee Hill was born in Panola County in 1911 and her father was Sid Hemphill.  Sid was a popular  jessiemaehemphillbrooksmusician in the Senatobia area.  He played every night to make money for his family and taught all of them to play too.  Rosa Lee began playing guitar at age seven and was  playing parties with other family members by the age of ten.  Jessie Mae was Rosa Lee’s sisters child and as soon as she was old enough was taught to play guitar by her grandfather, Sid.  She soon though started to beat the snare drum with some of the Fife and Drum bands that played at the picnics around the area.  Ada Mae Anderson was the daughter of Sid’s brother, George Hemphill,  she played with the Hemphill clan when she was young but also sang in a female gospel band.  Jessie Mae is probably the most well known of the adamaeanderson“Hemphill Girls” having collaborated on many albums and touring Europe and being featured in the documentary Deep Blues.  There is no doubt that the Hemphill Clan was an important and vital part of the history of the MS Hill Country Music history.

 

 

For your listening pleasure…Rosa Lee Hill singing Bullying Well.  This was recorded in Como, MS in 1967.

 

 

Mississippi Hill Country Blues 1967

In April 1973, a few months before I turned 23 years old, I went to the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival for the first time.  A highlight, of which there were many, was my baptism by the mystic rhythms of Napoleon Strickland and the Como Fife and Drum Corp. Othar and Bernice Turner on the snare drum and R. L. Boyce on the bass drum.  Boyce was a little man who banged the hell out his big drum resting on his stomach with his back flat on the stage floor.

Como Fife and Drum Corp Jazz Fest 1973 by Michael P. Smith

Como Fife and Drum Corp Jazz Fest 1973 by Michael P. Smith

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In 1967, George Mitchell, at the age of 23 years old, traveled from Minnesota to Como, Mississippi.  George stopped at Stuckeys for gas and asked his gas man, if he knew Fred McDowell.  The gas man replied, “Your looking at him”.  Como’s Stuckeys was owned by the father of Bubba O’Keefe, a blues hound and preservationist of the historic WROX radio station in Clarksdale. Bubba, his brother and I visited last weekend at the Sunflower River Blues and Gospel Festival where they told me many stories about Mississippi Fred McDowell.

Mississippi Fred was nice to George and introduced him to his other hill country pals: Othar Turner, R.L. Burnside, Johnny Woods, Joe Callicott, Napoleon Strickland, Jessie Mae Hemphill, Rosa Lee Hill and Ada Mae Anderson.  For two weeks, George photographed and interviewed this unique culture of music within the musicians homes.

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George’s photographs speak for themselves, but his book is not just another photography book.  His text is outstanding and compliments the photos in every way.  The reader feels as if these musicians are talking to you personally about their lives and music.  It’s powerful how insightful George was as a young man.  With his honorable reflections he captured the dignity of each individual.

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As far as people who could be a life inspiration for someone, that would be Rosa Lee Hill.  She was as poor as they come.  There was nothing around her house.  No streets, just hills, in the middle of nowhere.  And there was next-to-nothing in her house.  That someone that poor could be that spirited and that full of life….I just liked her.  As a person, she was one of my favorite people. —George Mitchell

ms hill country bluesGeorge Mitchell will be signing North Mississippi Hill Country Blues 1967 (UPM, 2013) at LEMURIA on Wednesday, August 21, at 5:00 and reading at 5:30.

 George Mitchell will also be at the MISSISSIPPI MUSEUM OF ART on Tuesday, August 20. 

At 5:30 there will be a reception and cash bar; At 6:00 the program will begin; A book signing will follow. Click here for more info.

 

Mississippi Fred McDowell

fredmcdowellWhile Fred McDowell was born in Tennessee, he lived most of his life in Como, Mississippi.  He is considered one of the ‘elder statesmen’ of the Hill Country and during the 60’s was the most well known outside of the area.  He began playing guitar at a young age for picnics and house parties and in 1959 Alan Lomax recorded him.  While he did play an electric guitar, McDowell always insisted that “I do not play no rock n’ roll.”  He passed away in 1972 just a few years after meeting George Mitchell.

When George Mitchell decided to make the trip to MS he called some friends for some leads to go about finding these “unknown” blues musicians.  He was given Fred McDowell’s name and told that he lived somewhere around Como.  He and his wife, Cathy, headed south hit I-55 and took Exit 52 and pulled into a Stuckeys to get some gas. George decides to ask the attendant if he knows McDowell and he says yes….

Do you know where I can find him? I ask.

You’re looking at him.

I’m taken aback. The first man we meet in Mississippi is Fred McDowell?! Damn! And he works in a service station?!

Mitchell tells McDowell what they are doing in MS, that they want to interview and record some unkown blues musicians from the area and Fred says that shouldn’t be a problem.  He then invites them to his house where he promises to have some folks for them to meet.  The rest as they say is history.

Mississippi Fred McDowell—Going Down to the River

We Juke Up in Here!

About eight years ago I started going to Clarksdale to hear as much music as possible. On my first trip north I found Roger Stolle’s fine store Cat Head. Cat Head is my favorite store in Mississippi. It is funky in a 100% blues way and Roger shares his knowledge freely which makes a visit to Cat Head a 100 percent blues learning experience. Roger’s inventory is about blues books, blues music, blues arts with live blues inside or outside. This institution is about 10 years old. I caught Roger’s attention because I became a good customer and avid spokesman on his behalf of his work. If you haven’t been to Roger’s store, treat yourself. Go and support his efforts with your purchases.

Cat Head Delta Blues & Folk Art, Inc.

I also found Red’s Lounge run by Red Peden. Big Jack Johnson was playing his marvelous blues in this blues mecca and I was baptized into Red’s style of Jukin’.

Language of the Blues by Debra DeSalvo explains the origins of the word juke:

“A juke or juke joint  is a funky little bar (and sometimes brothel) that provides dance music whether from a piano player, a band, or a juke box. The word juke has been traced to the Gullah (Georgia Sea Islands) word joog, meaning disorderly. Joog has been traced in turn to the Bambara tribe’s word dzugu, which means ‘wicked.’ There’s also the Wolof word  dzug which means to misbehave or lead a wild life, and the Bantu juka, which means to rise up and do your own thing. In From Juba to Jive: A Dictionary of African-American Slang, Clarence Major wrote that  ‘jook’ is an ‘African word meaning to jab or poke–as in sexual intercourse, and was also used in the Caribbean.”

For me, a white guy, jook means good music and lots of fun.

As my friendship with Clarksdale and Roger developed I met Jeff Konkel and began stocking Jeff’s fine broke and hungry recordings. Roger and Jeff’s new collaboration is We Juke Up in Here! The DVD is the story of Red, his lounge and the shape of the Delta Jukin’ in the present. Viewing this fine work is a Delta Blues fan’s must.

As my son Austin and his pal Richard became fans of Clarksdale, they also realized the specialness of Roger’s Cat Head Store and its efforts. Austin and Richard were driven to launch their dreams of creating the first legal distillery in Mississippi. They believe in live music and wanted to donate part of their proceeds in support of musician causes. They were tumbling around name brands and took their business proposal to Roger to get his take. Roger was taken back but gave the idea a chance. After a while, Roger graced their project by voicing no objection and Cathead Vodka was born.

Lemuria is very happy to be a part of the Jackson area “We Juke Up in Here” release party.

Jackson’s screening will be held at Cathead Vodka Distillery.

Everyone is welcome!

Join filmmakers Damien Blaylock, Jeff Konkel and Roger Stolle for a screening of their latest film “We Juke Up in Here” at the Cathead Vodka Distillery in Gluckstadt, Mississippi.

Friday, October 26

Food & Drink at 7:00

Screening of “We Juke Up in Here” at 8:00

644 Church Rd Suite 1, Madison, Mississippi 39110

Click here for a map on the Facebook Event Page.

“We Juke Up in Here” is available in a deluxe two-disc collection (DVD with CD soundtrack) at Lemuria. You can purchase in store or order on our website for $29.99 + shipping.

Roger Stolle will also be at Lemuria to sign his book Hidden History of the Mississippi Blues at 5:00. Click here for more info.

We Juke Up in Here!

(Clarksdale, MS) – Since its world premiere in April, the new blues documentary “We Juke Up in Here” has earned rave reviews from audiences and critics alike. In the coming weeks, the film will enjoy an even higher profile as its filmmakers and featured musicians embark on a series of high-profile screenings and public performances in the United States and abroad. “We Juke Up in Here” tells the story of Mississippi’s once-thriving culture of down-home blues clubs known as juke joints. It is available in a deluxe two-disc collection (DVD with CD soundtrack). “We Juke Up in Here” is a joint production of Broke & Hungry Records and Cat Head Delta Blues & Folk Art.

“We Juke Up In Here” follows music producers Konkel and Stolle as they explore what remains of Mississippi’s once-thriving juke joint culture. The film is told largely from the vantage point of Red Paden, proprietor of the legendary Red’s Lounge in historic Clarksdale, Mississippi. Featured artists include Terry “Harmonica” Bean, Big George Brock, Hezekiah Early, Jimmy “Duck” Holmes, Anthony “Big A” Sherrod, Robert Lee “Lil’ Poochie” Watson, Elmo Williams and Louis “Gearshifter” Youngblood.

“We Juke Up in Here” is a follow-up to the award-winning film “M For Mississippi.” The new movie reunites Konkel and Stolle with Damien Blaylock, their cinematographer and co-producer from the earlier film. Joining the production team for “We Juke Up in Here” was cinematographer and co-producer Lou Bopp.

Jackson’s screening will be held at Cathead Vodka Distillery.

Join filmmakers Damien Blaylock, Jeff Konkel and Roger Stolle for a screening of their latest film “We Juke Up in Here” at the Cathead Vodka Distillery in Gluckstadt, Mississippi on Friday, October 26!

Food & Drink at 7:00

Screening of “We Juke Up in Here” at 8:00

644 Church Rd Suite 1, Madison, Mississippi 39110

Click here for a map on the Facebook Event Page.

“We Juke Up in Here” is available in a deluxe two-disc collection (DVD with CD soundtrack) at Lemuria. You can purchase in store or order on our website for $29.99 + shipping.

Time for Mississippi Blues

Roger Stolle talking about his book and the state of Mississippi blues, May 2011. (Photo: Lou Bopp)

Roger’s concise to the point Hidden History of Mississippi Blues is condensed in a way that’s appealing to the blues fan and the novice. Interesting facts presented with Lou Bopp‘s fine photos are just enough for this little book. Most importantly Roger’s interviews with current Delta Blues musicians prove that this art form isn’t dying but thriving.

More living proof exists in Clarksdale this weekend when the crossroads celebrates the 24th Sunflower Blues Festival. It’s a favorite I try to make every year. Performers from Roger’s book will be playing as you can get authentic in the Delta heat. Porchin’ at Ground Zero, sweatin’ in Red’s (we will miss Big Jack) and attendin’ Cathead’s Mini Fest on Sunday are all treats. I always learn about some new music makers on Sunflower weekends.

Johnny Rawls, Sunflower Blues Fest

Get your folding chairs and head up to Clarksdale. It will be hot so plan on a cool beverage and street grilled meat, smoking over sidewalk blues.

Read Roger’s book, check out blues markers (MS Blues Trail) and hear the real stuff that’s alive today. Roger’s Cathead Music Store and Shelly’s Delta Blues Museum are Mississippi institutions.

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For those who don’t know yet, our Pal Roger is working on a new DVD about saving the Juke Joint experience called We Juke Up in Here! Surely a great effort to support. Check out his project here and see if you want to join in and help with his efforts.

M for Mississippi DVDs and CDs are excellent examples if you want to know about his work first hand.

 

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