(Bentonia, MS) – The last surviving performer of the unique Bentonia style blues, Jimmy “Duck” Holmes, and owner of the oldest surviving juke joint in Mississippi, the Blue Front Café, presents the oldest blues festival in the country, the 45th Bentonia Blues Festival, June 17, 2017. The festival takes place at Holmes Farm (313 Wilson-Holmes Rd.) on a wide grass lawn next to a pond surrounded by a grove of cypress trees just north of Bentonia, Mississippi on U.S. 49.
The special lineup of favorites to help celebrate this anniversary includes Leo Bud Welch, Terry “Harmonica” Bean, Jimmy “Duck” Holmes, Bill Abel, Cadillac John Noland, Tito “Harlem Slim” Deler, Ms. Pleshette, Randy “19th Street Red” Cohen, Wes Lee Music, Mike Munson and special guests – the Bolivia Bentonia Blues Band. Authentic blues from Noon-10pm Saturday.
The festival also features food, arts and crafts, RV and tent camping (fees may apply), and more. In conjunction, enjoy live blues through June 16 at the Blue Front Cafe.
Started in 1972, the Bentonia Blues Festival is world-famous for being a refreshingly authentic blues experience that attracts people from all over the world.
The Festival is also working closely with the Mt. Zion Memorial Fund to raise money to purchase a headstone for bluesmen Belton Sutherland. Little is known about the mysterious bluesman featured in the Alan Lomax film, ‘The Land Where the Blues Began’. He was buried in an unmarked grave, but his memory lives on in his music which has captured the attention of a new generation of fans.
Also, to celebrate Mississippi’s Bi-Centennial, the US Postal Service is holding a special Stamp Dedication ceremony at the Festival starting at 11:30am on Saturday, June 17th, showcasing the new Mississippi stamp. The stamp features a photograph of Bentonia Blues legend Jimmy “Duck” Holmes taken by photographer Lou Bopp. The Postal Service will be offering two unique stamp cancellations and First Day Covers that will only be available at the Festival!
Bentonia, Mississippi is where the Bentonia School of Delta Blues originated and is the location of the world famous Blue Front Café.