(ST. LOUIS) – In April 2006, Jeff Konkel made the nearly 500-mile drive from his home in St. Louis, to the tiny town of Bentonia, Mississippi. There he set up a card table outside of the rural juke joint owned by blues musician Jimmy “Duck” Holmes. Konkel stacked the table high with copies of Back To Bentonia, the debut CD by Holmes and the inaugural release from Konkel’s Broke & Hungry Records. Although the entire town of Bentonia showed up that evening for the CD release party, sales were light. At the end of the event, Konkel tallied up the transactions: Four CDs sold.
It was an inauspicious label launch, but somehow Konkel and his humble operation have managed to persevere for another five years. With a half decade under its belt, Broke & Hungry Records is celebrating the milestone with the release of Mistakes Were Made: Five Years of Raw Blues, Damaged Livers & Questionable Business Decisions, a two-CD retrospective that features 30 tracks from some of the best traditional blues artists living in Mississippi today. Included are 14 never-before-released recordings along with popular favorites from the label’s back catalogue.
In addition to Holmes, the compilation features contributions from T-Model Ford, Odell Harris, Wesley “Junebug” Jefferson, Terry “Big T” Williams, Pat Thomas, The Mississippi Marvel, L.C. Ulmer, Terry “Harmonica” Bean and Bill Abel.
The collection will be available through the label’s web site (www.brokeandhungryrecords.com) beginning Tuesday, March 29, 2011. It will be released in stores and through online retailers worldwide beginning Tuesday, April 19, 2011.
“Honestly, there was never a real ‘game plan’ for Broke & Hungry Records,” Konkel confesses. “I had never owned a business before and I knew nothing about music production. I just felt very passionately that some of these great artists needed to be recorded while they were still among us, so I jumped in with both feet. Somehow, despite my inexperience, the label has managed to capture some incredible music. I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished over the past five years.”
For more information on this release or on Broke & Hungry Records, contact the label at firstname.lastname@example.org