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Blues

Bentonia Blues Festival 2016

44th Anniversary Bentonia Blues Festival Recap The 44th-anniversary Bentonia Blues Festival was well attended. The crowd came from all over the United States and from across the globe to celebrate the unique Bentonia style of blues that can still be heard at the Blue Front Cafe in Bentonia, Mississippi, and on the Holmes farm on the 3rd Saturday each June. The week full of events included an album release party for Jimmy “Duck” Holmes new album, released by Blue Front Records, titled “It Is What It Is.” Musicians came from New York, Minnesota, Missouri, and New Orleans, to name a few, just to be able to perform for and jam with Yazoo’s own Jimmy “Duck” Holmes at the Blue Front Cafe. The line-up for the festival on the Holmes farm north of Bentonia was equally as impressive, with performances by Sean Ardoin + Zydekool, Ms. Pleschette, Roosevelt Roberts Jr., Bill Abel & Cadillac

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Yazoo County’s Blue Front Cafe and Glenwood Cemetery Make Top 40 List of Places to Visit in the Mississippi Delta!

Two Yazoo County attractions included in the recently published “Top 40 Places to Visit in the Mississippi Delta” The Blue Front Cafe in Bentonia, Mississippi, opened in 1948, making it the oldest juke joint in Mississippi that is still in operation. The site draws thousands of blues fans from all over the world each year to the tiny town of Bentonia to hear the ‘real-deal blues’ from owner and operator Jimmy “Duck” Holmes, the last of the Bentonia blues men. Yazoo City’s Glenwood Cemetery, a favorite stop for visitors to the area of all ages, includes the grave of the infamous “Witch of Yazoo,” as well as a mass Confederate grave. The Cemetery took home the title of runner-up in a 2012 poll on HuffPost Travel of the “Spookiest Cemetery in the US.” Perhaps most significant, Glenwood is the final resting place of the famed Mississippi author whose tales of

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This is THE Place for Music & Meetings!

The Editors of ConventionSouth magazine, a national multimedia resource for planning events that are held within the South, have officially announced their 2014 list of the “South’s Top Cities For Music & Meetings.” This inaugural list was compiled by ConventionSouth’s editorial team in order to showcase to meeting planners some of the best cities in the South to hold their events-all while experiencing a vibrant music scene. A total of 20 cities from 15 states in the U.S. South were selected – and the Mississippi Delta Region, including Yazoo County, is one of them!  Y’all come see us! “Meeting Planners and event organizers from across the country look for unique destinations in the South to hold their meetings and events, and ConventionSouth’s 2014 list of the ‘South’s Top Cities For Music & Meetings’ provides these planners with interesting insight on some of the South’s most alluring cities for musical fun,” said

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Yazoo Blues Trail Map

Use this map to easily locate the Mississippi Blues Trail markers in Yazoo County, OR download the iPhone app from iTunes! View Yazoo County Blues Trail in a larger map

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Tommy McClennan

Tommy McClennan Physical, intense Mississippi blues. Underrated guitar player.  Born on a farm in April, 1908, and grew up in nearby Yazoo City, Mississippi. Played across the South Delta in towns like Greenwood, Indianola and Itta Bena during the 1920s and through the 1930s, sometimes with his only local rival, and stylistic “sound-a-like”, Robert Petway. Reportedly, McClennan was a very nervous and slightly built man, but he must have really rocked in those Mississippi juke joints. There’s been a lot of negative writing about McClennan in the past, but Big Tony is telling you: this is one of the great Delta artists. He’s a powerful and convincing vocalist, and his playing has both impact and nuance; this is one of the Big Guys. Lester Melrose arranged his first recording session, for Bluebird in November, 1939; and around 1940 Tommy moved to Chicago. His first recordings sold rather well, and he

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“Gatemouth” Moore

“Gatemouth” Moore Arnold Dwight “Gatemouth” Moore, a lesser-known blues icon is recognized for some of his blues compositions – “Did You Ever Love A Woman”, “I Ain’t Mad at You, Pretty Baby”, “Somebody’s Got To Go”. Blues greats such as B.B. King, Rufus Thomas, and Jimmy Witherspoon also recorded some of his tunes. In 1930 Moore moved from Memphis to Kansas City, where he worked with several jazz bands during1930s and 40s. manicsquirrel.com/etherion/st/ cash in check Most of Moore’s later recordings were in the gospel vein, however, in 1977 Moore made his final album, Great R&B Oldies, revisiting the blues. Moore retired to Yazoo City many years before his death in 2004. He was honored\ by a resolution from the Mississippi state legislature, commending him for his illustrious career in blues and gospel.

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Skip James

Nehemiah “Skip” James James grew up in Bentonia and is said to have learned the Bentonia Blues style from Henry Stuckey.  Highly emotive, often strange, James was one of a half-dozen virtuosos of Delta blues. He stood out from other artists not only because of his skill, but because of his courage in pursuing his creative vision when it went contrary to popular taste. With dark themes and sophisticated finger-picking, James helped redefine what could be done with three-chord music. Added to that was his superior vocal phrasing and wild piano playing. Whether because of religious background or personal hardships, his music usually reflected a dire outlook on life. One writer said it always seemed like night when Skippy sang the blues. The son of a minister, James for a while tried to find his life purpose preaching and singing in a choir, but he eventually returned to secular music.

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Jack Owens

Jack Owens Jack Owens was born L. F. Nelson, and lived and worked in Bentonia. Owens was never a professional recording artist, but he farmed, bootlegged and ran a weekend juke joint in Bentonia for most of his life. He was not recorded until the blues revival of the 1960s. Owens was rediscovered by David Evans in 1966, who was led to him by either Skip James or Cornelius Bright. Evans recorded Owen’s first album Goin’ Up the Country that same year and It Must Have Been the Devil (with Bud Spires) in 1970. He made other recordings (some by Alan Lomax) in the 1960s and 1970s, and performed at several music festivals in the United States and Europe until his death in 1997.  Owens shared many elements of his guitar style and repertoire with fellow Bentonian Skip James. He was often accompanied on harmonica by his friend Bud Spires.

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Blue Front Cafe

Blue Front Cafe 107 East Railroad Avenue Bentonia, Mississippi 662-763-5306 An authentic Mississippi Delta “juke joint” where the world-famous original Bentonia Blues was born and can still be heard. The Blue Front Cafe is considered the oldest active juke joint in Mississippi. The Blue Front Café opened in 1948 under the ownership of Carey and Mary Holmes, an African American couple from Bentonia. In its heyday the Blue Front was famed for its buffalo fish, blues, and moonshine whiskey. One of the couple’s sons, Jimmy Holmes took over the Café in 1970. During the 1980s the Blue Front Café began to attract tourists in search of authentic blues in a rustic setting. In its early years, the Café was a local gathering spot for crowds of workers from the Yazoo County cotton fields. Carey and Mary Holmes raised their ten children and three nephews and sent most of them to

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Bentonia Blues Festival

Bentonia Blues Festival Saturday, June 17, 2017 BACK at the Holmes Farm 313 Wilson-Holmes Road, Bentonia, Mississippi Related events leading up to the Bentonia Blues Festival with live music at the Blue Front Cafe, the oldest juke joint in Mississippi, every evening from June 12-16. Get here early in the week to enjoy the live performance in the authentic and intimate juke joint setting at the Blue Front Cafe including Tito Deler, Mike Munson, Dave Hundrieser 19th Street Red, and others! Stay up-to-date with the latest announcements!  “Like” the Bentonia Blues Festival page on Facebook! The 2017 Bentonia Blues Festival will take place all day Saturday, June 17, at the Holmes family farm, 313 Wilson-Holmes Road just north of Bentonia, Mississippi on Highway 49 North. The event will feature food and arts & crafts vendors, RV and tent camping (fees may apply), live music, and more. The Bentonia Blues Festival is a

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Yazoo County CVB

Yazoo County Convention & Visitors Bureau
P.O. Box 186
110 N Jerry Clower Blvd, Suite S
Yazoo City, Mississippi 39194
Toll Free: (800) 381-0662
Phone: (662) 746-1815
Fax: (662) 746-1816

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