BENTONIA, MS – The 2015 Bentonia Blues Festival is just around the corner. This authentic country blues festival will be held on June 20th at the Blue Front Cafe in downtown Bentonia, Mississippi. The festival will feature arts & crafts, food vendors, and live music from 9 a.m. til 9 p.m. Jimmy “Duck” Holmes, the owner of the Blue Front Cafe and the last remaining performer of the unique and haunting Bentonia style of country blues, has added several days of live music inside the Blue Front Cafe leading up to the festival. Head to Yazoo County on June 15th, and plan to spend the week engulfed in the unique style of blues made famous by Skip James.
If you are looking for an authentic blues experience, Bentonia has it. The open mic events start June 15th with live blues inside the Blue Front Cafe every night. Blues artists from far and wide will share their talents with the public inside the oldest juke joint still in daily operation in the state of Mississippi. And, the Yazoo County Convention & Visitors Bureau has teamed up with Mr. Holmes to provide live music and free food, while it lasts, on Friday night, June 19th.
The Bentonia style of blues was made famous in the 1960s by Bentonia native Skip James, who learned the style from Henry Stuckey. Mr. Holmes learned to play the Bentonia style blues from Mr. Jack Owens, a contemporary of James, who was featured in a Levi’s 501 jeans commercial in the 1990s. The Bentonia Blues Festival has a 43-year history of helping to keep this unique style alive.
The list of performers for this year’s festival and related events is filled with knowns and unknowns in the world of blues. Certainly, all blues lovers will delight in the sounds and the authenticity found only at the Bentonia Blues Festival. Performers include: L.C. Ulmer, Roosevelt Roberts Jr., David Raye, Miss Plashette, Heffin Brothers, Arion “Baby” Bell, Chris Bradshaw, Smooth Funk, Bill Abel, McKinney Williams, Deebs Blues, 19th Street Red and many more.
In spite of all these fabulous artists, perhaps most exciting are the performances of Mr. Holmes himself, alongside his nephew Eric. At 11-years-old, Eric is showing great talent and promise in carrying on his uncle’s legacy. Mr. Holmes is, indeed, helping to keep the blues alive, and to preserve this unique style which has brought so many from so far to Yazoo County, Mississippi.
For updates on line-up and more fun events leading up to the festival, be sure to follow the Bentonia Blues Festival on Facebook, and on Twitter. This event is sponsored in part by the Yazoo County Convention and Visitors Bureau. Learn more about Yazoo County events and tourism at www.visityazoo.org.