47th Bentonia Blues Festival Begins Today

Today, Monday, June 10th, is Day 1 of the 47th Bentonia Blues Festival.

343
2019 Harpdog Brown A 728×90
Today, Monday, June 10th, is day one of the 47th Bentonia Blues Festival. Held at the historic Blue Front Cafe in Bentonia, Mississippi, this 6-day event is FREE to the public!

The festival celebrates one of the most unique forms of blues ever conceived, the haunting Bentonia Blues. The father of the Bentonia Blues, Henry “Son” Stuckey, taught Skip James, Jack Owens, Jimmy “Duck” Holmes and a dozen other blues musicians in Bentonia.

The festival itself began in 1972 on a farm, just up the road from the world-famous Blue Front Cafe, on land owned by the Holmes family. It was a tiny event with only one D.J. and Walter “Big Daddy” Hood (“500 lbs. of Blues”) performing a capella. The location of the festival was moved into downtown Bentonia, Mississippi in 2006. Since that time, the festival has grown from an attendance of a couple hundred to ten thousand in recent years, prompting the festival to be moved back to the original location on the Holmes farm. The festival has attracted blues performers and fans from far and wide.

“When I started this festival in 1972, it was to help preserve the Bentonia style of blues, which is unique to this area. I knew then that it would be a great event, but I never knew it would be as big as it is now,” says Holmes, owner of the Blue Front Cafe and creator of the Bentonia Blues Festival. “The fact that so many people have become aware of this music and want to celebrate it every year with us here in Bentonia really warms my heart. Every year we have people here from a different country or state that’s never been before. The Bentonia blues is still alive, and it’s right here.”

The Bentonia Blues Festival is a unique down-home style festival that runs on juke joint time. Times and order of performances are bound to change a bit. Relax and have a great time as we help to keep the Bentonia blues alive!

The Bentonia Blues Festival takes place at the Blue Front Cafe in Bentonia, Mississippi. Photo by Jeff Konkel
The Bentonia Blues Festival takes place at the Blue Front Cafe in Bentonia, Mississippi. Photo by Jeff Konkel

Here’s the rundown of artists scheduled to appear this week.

Monday, June 10 at the Blue Front Café (7PM)
o McKinney Williams
 
Tuesday, June 11 at the Blue Front Café (7PM)
o Jimmy “Duck” Holmes
o Arion Baby Bell
 
Wednesday, June 12 at the Blue Front Café (7PM)
o Jimmy “Duck” Holmes
o Roosevelt Roberts Jr.
 
Thursday, June 13 at the Blue Front Café (7PM)
o Brother Tito Deler
o Nicholas Wade
o Ryan Lee Crosby
 
Friday, June 14 at the Blue Front Café (7PM)
o Jimmy “Duck” Holmes
o Mike Munson
o RL Boyce
 
Saturday, June 15 at Holmes Farm (1PM – 10PM)
o Eric Deaton Trio
o Jimmy “Duck” Holmes
o RL Boyce
o Terry “Harmonica” Bean
o Brother Tito Deler
o David Evans
o Lil Joe Ayers
o Pat Thomas

For more information, visit the festival’s event page on Facebook.

*Feature image Steve Likens