Tag Archives: Elmore James

Bridging the Blues Festival

photo by Voghtlanderr2, Flickr
photo by Voghtlanderr2, Flickr

If you are a blues lover, this is THE place to be for the annual Bridging the Blues Festival. Sponsored by three states– Mississippi, Arkansas, and Tennessee–the series of events celebrates the rich music and culture of the region.

There are numerous blues-themed events–many free of charge–that take place at museums, juke joints, casinos, and town squares. Even the buskers are great! Beale Street clubs in Memphis are celebrating the blues, of course, but find time to leave the city for some downhome music from area artists. Destination highlights include the King Biscuit Blues Festival in Helena, Arkansas, The Mighty Mississippi Music Festival in Greenville, Mississippi, and the popular Pinetop Perkins Homecoming at the Hopson Plantation near Clarksdale, Mississippi.

Bridging the Blues Festival

The festival runs from September 27th to October 13th so there is plenty of time to see your favorite musicians from the Delta. Here’s a sample from one of this year’s many headliners, Robert ‘Bilbo’ Walker:

Take a Blues Road Trip!

If you have a car, especially a big old Buick, you can also make the ultimate blues pilgrimage: tracking down gravesites of blues legends (including Robert Johnson) and exploring the 175 historic markers along the Mississippi Blues Trail.

photo by Reed Turley, Flickr
photo by Reed Turley, Flickr

A stunning number of blues artists–past and present–have roots in the Delta. In fact, more blues singers have come from the state of Mississippi than anywhere else! There must be something in the soil that fostered talent like Albert King, Charley Patton, Bukka White, Denise LaSalle, Elmore James, Honeboy Edwards, Johnny Winter, Pinetop Perkins, Howlin’ Wolf, James Cotton, Jessie Mae Hemphill, John Lee Hooker, Memphis Minnie, and many more.

photo by Victoria, Flickr
photo by Amy and Turgay, Flickr

Mississippi Blues Trail – MDA Tourism
P.O. Box 849, Jackson, MS 39205
Phone: (601) 359-3449

Along the Mississippi Blues Trail, the impressive B.B. King Museum in Indianola, MS is a shrine for blues lovers. The museum guides you through King’s remarkable career, from poor sharecropper, to WDIA disc jockey, to hard-working hitmaker and international star. Playing professionally since the 1940s, he still makes bending the notes on Lucille look so effortless.

B.B. King Museum and Delta Interpretive Center
400 Second Street, Indianola, MS 38751


Memphis Music and Heritage Festival 2014

photo by memphissamiam1, Flickr
photo by memphissamiam1, Flickr

Held over the Labor Day weekend, this colorful festival takes place on Main Street in downtown Memphis. It’s the best block party you’ll attend all year! For two days a wide variety of cultures take to the streets with people enjoying local music of every kind along with cooking demonstrations, storytelling, folk art, and dance shows throughout the day. This year, five stages will feature back-to-back entertainment from Elmo & the Shades (blues), Sonny Burgess (rockabilly), Susan Marshall (soul), Moments of Joy (gospel), Ray Harper (country), Los Contradores (Latin), and many more talented regional artists.

photo by http://www.reverbnation.com/elmoandtheshades
photo by http://www.reverbnation.com/elmoandtheshades

Always entertaining, blues/soul/funk singer Bobby Rush is in the spotlight this year with a headlining concert on Saturday and an on-stage feature interview.  Originally from Homer, LA, Bobby Rush has been on stage since the early fifties when he put together a band that included slide player Elmore James. Over the decades, Rush has recorded over two dozen albums and has received a shelf full of awards, including “Best Male Soul Blues Artist” at the annual Blues Music Awards. Known for his double entendres and energetic performances, Rush is always a crowd-pleaser.

This free festival is sponsored by the Center for Southern Folklore which proudly celebrates the culture of Memphis and the Delta region.

The Center for Southern Folklore

123 South Main Street, Memphis, TN 38103
Phone: (901) 525-3655