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"Over 10 years of real-deal blues!"


April 2, 2013                                            Clarksdale, Mississippi


HI Y'ALL... WELCOME TO THE "CAT HEAD UPDATE"... ALL THE BLUES THAT'S FIT TO PRINT!  (Click "View as web page" above to see this entire e-newsletter; note this email version is clipped short.)

(PHOTO by yours truly with the "Ladies' Man" T-Model Ford and me, hanging out at Red's juke joint late last year.)


MyNewsletterBuilder, cuts off the bottom half of my... uh... "lengthy" e-newsletters. To view entire newsletter on-line, click here:


Hello from Cat Head Delta Blues & Folk Art -- coming up on 11 years at America's Blues Crossroads -- Clarksdale, Mississippi.  Please check our our "Music Calendar", "Clarksdale" guide, "Cat Head Story" and more at


Happy (late) Easter and (late) April Fool's Day!


I know.  I know.  It's been a loooong time since that last Cat Head Update e-newsletter.  Sorry for that.  I've been doing daily Blues/Mississippi/Cat Head updates on Facebook in the meantime, though.  (Sorry, it's just sooo much quicker and easier.)  Please Facebook Friend me at "Roger Stolle", and you'll keep up with our 7-night-a-week of blues, multiple blues festivals, exciting new recording projects and so much more... from the Land Where Blues Began.  Or, just click here:


In this edition of the Cat Head Update, you'll find a recap of our busy blues scene here and learn about Clarksdale's upcoming Juke Joint Festival as well as the newest blues "film" projects that my co-consipirator-in-blues Jeff Konkel (Broke & Hungry Records) and I are working on with friends - Moonshine & Mojo Hands... the first-ever blues reality show.


Btw, a happy birthday goes out to several friends with special days this month (including me!) as well as my big sister, Karen, who has a birthday today, April 2nd.  (Uh... THIS is pretty much your gift, sis.  Enjoy!)


THANKS as always, Roger Stolle and my faithful blues pug Sadie


Cat Head Delta Blues & Folk Art

252 Delta Avenue

Clarksdale, Mississippi 38614

662-624-5992 •


Check out our latest projects:

- Hidden History of Mississippi Blues book

- We Juke Up In Here blues film

- M For Mississippi blues film

- Juke Joint Festival & Clarksdale Film Festival


Shop Cat Head on-line 24/7 at:



MOONSHINE & MOJO HANDS ... the first-ever MISSISSIPPI BLUES REALITY WEB TV SHOW is coming to computer or smartphone this Fall.  Preview now at and please SUPPORT US ON KICKSTARTER today!



The award-winning creators of M for Mississippi and We Juke Up in Here return in 2013 with MOONSHINE & MOJO HANDS: THE MISSISSIPPI BLUES SERIES — the first-ever blues music reality show!  Ride shotgun with Roger Stolle and Jeff Konkel as they travel Mississippi's back roads in search of juke joints, house parties, moonshine and the musicians who keep this uniquely American art form alive. Weekly webisodes of Moonshine & Mojo Hands will stream FREE on the show's web site this fall.


BUT to make this show a reality, the producers need your help!  Please check out our new video trailer on our KICKSTARTER fundraising web page at and consider making a contribution.  (We'll offer y'all some cool "thank you" premiums, of course.  Plus, you'll know you did your part to document and promote Mississippi's deep blues culture.)  We set a goal for the $$, but please know that this will only fund a portion of the show.  We truly need to raise much more.  THANK YOU SO MUCH for everyone who had helped Kickstart the show so far.


ALSO, organizations and individuals interested in becoming marketing sponsors can contact the producers at and  As with our past film and recording projects, we take care of our sponsors.  Ask what we can do for you.


MOONSHINE & MOJO HANDS is a joint production of Broke & Hungry Records and Cat Head Delta Blues & Folk Art.  Produced in partnership with Tangent Mind and Lou Bopp.  (Thanks to Lou, Jon Ryan, Jacob and the rest of the crew so far… plus the wonderful musicians, juke owners and other Delta characters we've only started to involve in this brand-new project.  It's gonna be awesome, y'all!)





2013 JUKE JOINT FESTIVAL & RELATED EVENTS... coming to Clarksdale, Miss... Thurs-Sun, April 11-14 !!
















Cat Head Delta Blues & Folk Art in Clarksdale, Mississippi.

(Cat Head Mini Fest in Clarksdale. Photo by Kim Welsh.)


Free Free Free



Clarksdale • Miss.

SUN • APRIL 14, 2013 • 10AM TILL


Starring: Elmo Williams, Hezekiah Early, Lil Poochie, Rev Peyton, Big George Brock, Bilbo Walker, Lightnin' Malcolm, Big A & more

Cat Head Store • 252 Delta Ave •




THE CLARK HOUSE RESIDENTIAL INN -- AFFORDABLE COMFORT AND CONVENIENCE IN CLARKSDALE, MISSISSIPPI. The Clark House is your comfortable alternative to motels. Located in the beautiful residential section of the Clarksdale Historic District -- just three blocks from the center of downtown's government, business and entertainment center. Rooms from $75, each with private bath, desk and sitting area, including internet access and continental breakfast. Originally constructed in 1859 by Clarksdale founder John Clark. It was the first home built in Clarksdale, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Clark House has just been extensively refurbished and beautifully redecorated as a residential inn. Reservations can be made online at or by calling the Innkeeper at 662-621-1632.



BLUES NEWS —  from the pages of FACEBOOK... keep up to date by FB FRIEND-ING "Roger Stolle"...


Yeah, I know.  We all SAY we "hate Facebook," BUT the truth is... it's an awfully simple way to keep folks updated on really important stuff like old blues guys at juke joints and, say... my dog's birthday.


Below, you can see some of my favorite Facebook images of the past 6 months.  Yeah, Cat Head gets around.  To find out the stories behind the snapshots below and keep up with blues and Mississippi, please Friend my "Roger Stolle" FB page at




VERY SPECIAL THANKS to our friends and partners at the Rootsway Roots & Blues Association as well as the wonderful folks at the Geneva Art Festival for bringing our WE JUKE UP IN HERE caravan to Geneva late last year!  See the video ad for the tour at:  It was an awesome trip full of great music, lovely people and good times.


FESTIVAL ORGANIZERS TAKE NOTE:  Jeff Konkel and I (Roger Stolle) can bring WE JUKE UP IN HERE and/or M FOR MISSISSIPPI to your event along with a caravan of real-deal Mississippi bluesmen from either film.  Just drop us a line at or  (In Europe, feel free to contact Rootsway via


CHECK OUT LOU BOPP'S PHOTOS below... for a sampling of how Geneva juked up in there!  Jeff and I brought along Lou and Damien Blaylock to document the trip... along with our amazing movie musicians Terry "Harmonica" Bean, Jimmy "Duck" Holmes (on his first international trip!) and Louis "Gearshifter" Youngblood.  For movie info:



(PHOTO by Lou Bopp)  As many of you may know, the infamous 92-year-old Delta blues legend James “T-Model” Ford suffered a series of mini strokes in 2012 and has been in and out of the hospital ever since.  Currently he is at home (note new address below).  He can no longer work/play, his medical bills have added up and the family was forced to move into a different home in late January after their other house was condemned... so... T-Model and his family are in need of donations. Please consider supporting the Indiegogo campaign below OR sending the “Ladies’ Man” a donation or card of support.  He is scheduled to meet/greet fans during Juke Fest in Clarksdale, but it's health permitting, so we'll have to see (Sat afternoon at Rock & Blues Museum; Sun afternoon at Cat Head.) 


James Ford

Routing# 084205708

Account# 4700445890

Planters Bank

424 Washington Ave

Greenville, MS 38701

PH: 662-335-5258; FX: 662-378-4429



James Ford, 216 North Delta Street Greenville MS 38703







HIDDEN HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI BLUES book reviews continue to come in.... thanks, y'all!


Along with The History Press, photographer Lou Bopp, contributor Jeff Konkel and myself... we'd like to say "THANKS" to the magazines, blogs and newsletters that keep reviewing our Hidden History of Mississippi Blues book.  Buy it now at




INFO AT WWW.BLUES.ORG ... on blues music's biggest night of the entire year...


(CAT HEAD NOTE: Thanks to all our friends, fans and family who voted — literally or in spirit — for Cat Head/Broke & Hungry Records' "We Juke Up In Here" in the DVD category.  Win or lose, we truly appreciate y'all's support... especially up against acts like Muddy Waters and some band called The Rolling Stones!  ALSO... apologies in advance to the table next to us at the awards.  We'll have our film crew, some lovely ladies, juke joint owner Red Paden & his guest and a generous alcohol budget on hand.  So... please just remember, there is no real reason to call the police.)


34th Blues Music Awards coming May 9th to Cook Convention Center in Memphis:


Wednesday, May 8

- 6:00pm Hall of Fame Reception, Dinner and Induction presented by the Charter Members Marriott


Thursday, May 9

- 5:30pm The Party Begins reception featuring performances by 2012 Blues Music Award nominees. Grand Lobby, Convention Center

- 7:00pm-1:00am -- Dinner, Awards & Nominee performances Ballroom, Convention Center


Blues Music Awards Nominees

2013 - 34th Blues Music Awards

Acoustic Album

Billy Boy Arnold Sings Big Bill Broonzy - Billy Boy Arnold

Blues on Solid Ground - John Primer

Deeper In The Well - Eric Bibb

Not Alone - Ann Rabson w/ Bob Margolin

Talking Guitar - Paul Rishell

Acoustic Artist

Carolina Chocolate Drops

Doug MacLeod

Eric Bibb

Harrison Kennedy

Paul Rishell


And Still I Rise - Heritage Blues Orchestra

Double Dynamite - The Mannish Boys

Show of Strength - Michael Burks

Son of the Seventh Son - Mud Morganfield

Stronger For It - Janiva Magness

B.B King Entertainer

Curtis Salgado

Janiva Magness

Joe Louis Walker

John Nemeth

Rick Estrin


Lil' Ed & the Blues Imperials

Phantom Blues Band

Rick Estrin & the Nightcats

Tedeschi Trucks Band

The Mannish Boys

Best New Artist Debut

24 Hour Blues - Charles "CD" Davis

They Call Me Big Llou - Big LLou Johnson

Turning On the Naughty - Paula Harris

Uphill From Anywhere - Brad Hatfield

Wanna Feel Somethin' - Mary Bridget Davies

Contemporary Blues Album

Blak & Blu - Gary Clark, Jr.

Blues Live - John Nemeth

Candy Store Kid - Ian Siegal & The Mississippi Mudbloods

Hellfire - Joe Louis Walker

Show of Strength - Michael Burks

Stronger For It - Janiva Magness

Contemporary Blues Female Artist

Bettye LaVette

Janiva Magness

Shakura S'Aida

Shemekia Copeland

Susan Tedeschi

Contemporary Blues Male Artist

Gary Clark, Jr.

Joe Louis Walker

Michael Burks

Robert Cray

Tab Benoit

DVD Category

Blackbird Music/55 Arts Club - The Lucky Peterson Band feat.Tamara Peterson Live at the 55 Arts Club Berlin

Cat Head Delta Blues & Folk Art/Broke & Hungry Records - We Juke Up in Here: Mississippi's Juke Joint Culture at the Crossroads

Delta Groove Records - That's My Thing: Elvin Bishop Live In Concert

Eagle Rock Entertainment - Muddy Waters & Rolling Stones, Live at Checkerboard Lounge

J & R Adventures - Beacon Theatre - Joe Bonamassa Live From New York




Gibson Guitar

Derek Trucks

Joe Bonamassa

Joe Louis Walker

Kid Andersen

Michael Burks


Bill Stuve

Bob Stroger

Patrick Rynn

Richard Cousins

Scot Sutherland

Willie J. Campbell


Cedric Burnside

Cody Dickinson

Jimi Bott

Kenny Smith

Tony Braunagel


Billy Boy Arnold

Bob Corritore

John Nemeth

Kim Wilson

Mark Hummel

Rick Estrin


Al Basile

Big James Montgomery

Eddie Shaw

Sax Gordon

Terry Hanck

Koko Taylor Award (Traditional Blues Female)

Diunna Greenleaf

Jewel Brown

Maria Muldaur

Ruthie Foster

Tracy Nelson

Pinetop Perkins Piano Player

Barrelhouse Chuck

Chuck Leavell

David Maxwell

Deanna Bogart

Mike Finnigan

Victor Wainwright

Rock Blues Album

Blues For The Modern Daze - Walter Trout

Driving Towards The Daylight - Joe Bonamassa

Everybody's Talkin' - Tedeschi Trucks Band

Here I Am - Nick Moss

Royal Southern Brotherhood - Royal Southern Brotherhood


"I Wont Cry" written by Janiva Magness & Dave Darling - Stronger For It (Janiva Magness)

"Lemon Pie" written by John Hahn & Oliver Wood - 33 1/3 (Shemekia Copeland)

"She Didn't Cut Me Loose" written by Curtis Salgado, Marlon McClain & Dave Duncan - Soul Shot (Curtis Salgado)

"The Devil Ain't Got No Music" written by Matthew Skoller - The Devil Ain't Got No Music (Lurrie Bell)

"Too Much Jesus (Not Enough Whiskey" written by Sam McClain & Pat Herlehy - Too Much Jesus (Not Enough Whiskey) (Mighty Sam McClain)

Soul Blues Album

Blues Heart - Dorothy Moore

Soul Live - John Nemeth

Soul Shot - Curtis Salgado

Soul Survivor - Johnny Rawls

Too Much Jesus (Not Enough Whiskey) - Mighty Sam McClain

Soul Blues Female Artist

Barbara Carr

Denise LaSalle

Dorothy Moore

Irma Thomas

Sista' Monica

Soul Blues Male Artist

Bobby Rush

Curtis Salgado

John Nemeth

Johnny Rawls

Mighty Sam McClain

Traditional Blues Album

And Still I Rise - Heritage Blues Orchestra

Double Dynamite - The Mannish Boys

Milton Hopkins with Jewel Brown - Milton Hopkins with Jewel Brown

Son of the Seventh Son - Mud Morganfield

Spider Eating Preacher - Eddie C. Campbell

Traditional Blues Male Artist

Bob Margolin

John Primer

Lil' Ed

Magic Slim

Mud Morganfield

BLUES FESTIVAL GUIDE MAGAZINE -- This the THE blues festival bible and a heck of a good e-newsletter...









THE DELTA BOHEMIAN -- newsletter, blog & more!

SUBSCRIBE TO THE DELTA BOHEMIAN... Billy and Madge of provide multimedia coverage of all things Delta and most things bohemian.  Check out their web site full of blogs, photos, info and more.  You can subscribe to their email list for free.



Several recent stories about the Delta, blues and more at



Juke Fest rooms available from the Delta Bohemians at




Visit the DB's super cool shop on Sunflower Avenue during Juke Fest, y'all!










(PHOTO of DB owners Madge & Billy -- courtesy of the Clarksdale Press Register.)

BLUES REVUE MAGAZINE now both a print AND web edition..... subscribe today to keep up with the blues!

All subscribers of Blues Revue will receive access to the digital edition as part of their member benefits. If you’re not a subscriber to Blues Revue please enjoy this complimentary issue and if you dig the blues or live music, then become a print or digital subscriber by clicking . The digital edition is available for delivery anywhere around the globe. You will receive an issue every other month and a digital Blues Music CD sampler three times a year.


Read a sample issue for FREE on-line at:


ALSO, here is the first half of my Down in the Delta column from a recent issue of BR:


DELTA BLUES MUSEUM in Clarksdale, Mississippi... special festival week events... check out new addition...



For more information contact the Delta Blues Museum 662-627-6820 The Delta Blues Museum is located at #1 Blues Alley in downtown Clarksdale.


DELTA BLUES MUSEUM STAGE features amazing homegrown student performers all day long for Juke Joint Festival, Sat., April 13th!







Robert Plant walks into Clarksdale and wows huge crowd

August 12, 2012.  By: Jerry Tucker


Robert Plant plays the Sunflower River Blues and Gospel Festival in Clarksdale, Mississippi on August 11, 2012.Robert Plant plays the Sunflower River Blues and Gospel Festival in Clarksdale, Mississippi on August 11, 2012.Robert Plant plays the Sunflower River Blues and Gospel Festival in Clarksdale, Mississippi on August 11, 2012.


Robert Plant proved to Clarksdale, Mississippi that he is a master of the blues. Saturday, August 11, 2012 was a beautiful night in Clarksdale as Plant, along with his band the Sensational Space Shifters, headlined the Sunflower River Blues and Gospel Festival. He hit the stage about 10:15. During the show he talked about how much the Delta Blues meant to him and he showed it in his setlist, covering a couple Howlin’ Wolf songs, “44” and “Spoonful,” and the old John Mayall song “I’m Your Witchdoctor.”


Plant may be a legend, but he’s not afraid to step aside and let his band mates shine too. Patty Griffin sang a couple songs and West African acoustic virtuoso Juldeh Camara played some amazing music for the crowd that packed the park and left many watching from the road.

View slideshow: Robert Plant, Clarksdale, Mississippi, 8/11/12


Of course, Plant satisfied his Led Zeppelin fans with a few songs from Led Zeppelin’s third album, “Friends,” “The Bron-Yr-Aur Stomp” and the show encore, “Gallow’s Pole.” The crowd favorite was his more subdued version of the classic “Black Dog.” The show ended with a medley of “Who Do You Love,” “Whole Lotta Love,” “Steal Away” and “Bury My Body.”


Before the encore, Robert Plant was honored with an award for his dedication to the festival and the music of Clarksdale, Mississippi. This was the first of only two shows Plant will be playing in the United States this year.




Robert Plant ‘Walking Into Clarksdale’ on Saturday to headline festival in Miss. town

By Associated Press, Published: August 9


Former Led Zeppelin frontman Robert Plant is heading to Mississippi to headline a festival in the historic Delta blues town he recorded a song about in 1999.


Plant recorded “Walking Into Clarksdale” with former Zeppelin bandmate Jimmy Page and has visited the town numerous times. The rock star is returning to Clarksdale this weekend to headline the Sunflower River Blues and Gospel Festival’s 25th anniversary celebration with his new roots-music band, the Sensational Space Shifters.


On Saturday, Plant will take the stage with Grammy-winning vocalist Patty Griffin, West African virtuoso musician Juldeh Camara, guitarists Justin Adams and Bill Fuller, keyboardist John Baggott and drummer Dave Smith.


The performance is being hailed “one of the single biggest things to happen to Clarksdale,” said resident and Cat Head music store owner Roger Stolle.


“Robert Plant can do anything in the world he wants to do but chooses to come here and pay homage to the land of the blues. It really means a lot that he wants to do this, to give back to this community in that way, and I hope he enjoys it,” said Stolle, who added that Plant was in his store a few months ago and bought CDs by Mississippi bluesmen Slim Harpo and Skip James.


The festival, which is free, runs Friday through Sunday. More than 40 acts are lined up to perform, including Grammy-nominated bluesman Charlie Musselwhite and blues great Bobby Rush.


“People travel from all over the world to the Mississippi Delta to connect to the blues, to the roots of the music,” said Malcolm White, director of the Mississippi Arts Commission and chairman of the Mississippi Blues Commission. “It’s a holy pilgrimage to people who are interested in the Mississippi story we have to tell through music.”


Clarksdale and Coahoma County were the homes of early bluesmen W. C. Handy, Son House, Robert Johnson and Charley Patton. The area also was the stomping grounds of Muddy Waters, Sonny Boy Williamson, Sam Cooke, John Lee Hooker, Ike and Tina Turner, and Big Jack Johnson.


The town is home to the Delta Blues Museum, which occupies an old train depot and includes the remains of the cabin from Stovall Farms, where Muddy Waters lived during his days as a sharecropper and tractor driver. It also includes a large collection of musical instruments, recordings, sheet music and photographs from B.B. King, Son Thomas, Jimmy Burns and John Lee Hooker.


Plant, who could not be reached for comment, has been a Clarksdale supporter for years. He gave the museum a custom-designed plaque composed of miniature Led Zeppelin album covers and an engraved tribute to Delta blues musicians who influenced the band. He has also made donations to the Mississippi Heritage Blues Trail, a collection of historical markers honoring people, places and events in Delta blues history.


On Friday, a marker commemorating the 25th anniversary of the Sunflower blues festival will be dedicated. It joins more than 100 others set up across Mississippi. On Aug. 22, a marker will be dedicated in Kilmichael, Miss., where B.B. King was raised, White said.


The first Sunflower festival was held in 1988 on the banks of the Sunflower River. Headliners that year were Otis Rush and Son Thomas.


The festival has always been free.


Organizers expect more than 20,000 people from across the globe to attend this year’s festival.


Sunflower River Blues and Gospel Festival:

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.




The ROCK & BLUES MUSEUM in downtown Clarksdale, Mississippi, at 113 E. 2nd Street, is packed full of music memorabilia from the 1920’s through the 1970‘s.  Follow the evolution of America’s music from blues, R&B, and rockabilly to rock ‘n roll and soul and see how it influenced people all over the globe. Visit them on-line at


Juke Joint Festival "Related Events" at the Museum:


Friday, April 12, 2013 from 5 to 7 pm

Reception for the new exhibit

“Clarksdale Images” by Liz Mandeville


Saturday, April 13, 2013

1 pm - Book Signing DELTA BLUE by Woodrow Wilkins

5 pm - Theo D’s BLUE BOOGIE CD Release Party. Also during the CD Release Party:



PLUS, LIVE BLUES ALL DAY LONG ON THE OFFICIAL "JUKE JOINT FESTIVAL" STAGE in front of the Rock & Blues Museum on Saturday, April 13th.  And the 2nd Street Blues Party on Sunday!







Hey y'all...  Before your next visit to Clarksdale or the Mississippi Delta, please be sure to check out our constantly updated web guides to people, places, things... and MUSIC (from jukes to festivals!)... at .  We've got a great growing roster of restaurants, clubs and hotel accommodations in (mostly downtown) Clarksdale, so don't miss out.  Check 'em out early, and max out your blues stay in the land of the Crossroads.


You can also shop Cat Head's web store on-line, of course, as well as subscribe to this very e-newsletter (in case you are reading someone else's copy right now). We've also got "Cat Head Story," "Press" and "Links" web pages, etc.


OH, AND... if you have a business, band, album or festival to promote, join the list of sponsors by leasing web banner space on our super-popular Music Calendar page (see the examples at ).  THANKS to our current sponsors.  We aim to promote y'all... and appreciate the support.


BILL WAX OF BB KING'S BLUESVILLE ON XM/SIRIUS RADIO CALLS CAT HEAD ON THURSDAYS TO TALK BLUES... Have XM or Sirius Radio (or know a friend with it)?  Then, please tune in most Thursday afternoons (4pm Central/5pm Eastern) for the Cat Head Delta Blues report with Roger Stolle and Bill Wax.  Bill basically calls me at Cat Head most Thursdays, and we chat about blues shows, characters and related activities coming up... down in the Delta.  Mississippi blues news you can use!  Keep up to date on your favorite Mississippi blues players, juke joints, music festivals and so much more.  Don't have satellite radio yet?  Check it out at this link:   Sirius / XM Radio (click)





(CAT HEAD NOTE:  My buddy Jeff Konkel of Broke & Hungry Records and I have been working with the fabulously fine folks at WXPN for the better part of a year to deliver Mississippi blues favorites like Duck Holmes, Terry "Harmonica" Bean, Big George Brock, Anthony "Big A" Sherrod, Robert "Wolfman" Belfour and Bilbo Walker to XPN's Philly doorstep.  XPN also screened "We Juke Up in Here" last year and is screening "M for Mississippi" the same day as Juke Joint Festival in Mississippi -- April 13th.  Thanks to Bruce Warren, everyone at WXPN and their supports/sponsors.  It's been an amazing series so far!)


The Mississippi Blues Project (MBP) is a concert series and online interactive initiative that showcases the Mississippi blues as a vibrant folk art form.  Through a series of four concert performances between August 2012 and May 2013, the Mississippi Blues Project will bring live music to audiences in the Greater Philadelphia area, and be available virtually to listeners around the nation.


A Memorable Afternoon of Mississippi Blues with Robert Belfour, Anthony “Big A” Sherrod, & Robert “Bilbo” Walker (Feb. 15, 2013) – by Jonny Meister


Listen to the concert with Robert “Wolfman” Belfour - to the concert featuring Anthony “Big A” Sherrod with Robert “Bilbo” Walker -


REVIEW (edited for space) BY DJ JONNY MEISTER OF WXPN -- The concert was made even more special by the fact that it was the first time any of them have played anywhere in this vicinity. Belfour opened with a solo set. His deep, earthy tone made his performance enthralling and compelling, a tone far more affecting than on his two fine albums. Belfour often plays chord-melody accompaniment, that is, plays the melody lines along with harmonizing chords all at once.

Belfour played some of his originals such as “Pushin’ My Luck” and some hill country favorites like “Old Black Mattie,” as well as the ever-popular “Catfish Blues” and a couple of John Lee Hooker songs, including “Boogie Chillen,” done his own distinct way. At 74 he remains a passionate blues communicator. Robert Belfour presented an imposing presence while seated in a chair, but Robert “Bilbo” Walker and Anthony “Big A” Sherrod covered the real estate on stage with fancy footwork as they split a set together. Sherrod, 29, who is Walker’s son-in-law, started on guitar with Walker on bass, with energetic versions of some blues favorites such as “Crosscut Saw” and “Hoochie Coochie Man” as well as the title song for the film “We Juke Up In Here” (which he wrote) that came out last year. After four songs, they switched instruments and “Bilbo” Walker played guitar and sang lead offering his own, highly personalized interpretations of some blues standards such as “It Hurts Me Too” and “Cut You Loose.” Walker never does a note-for-note or word-for-word cover of any song, and offers blistering, rough-hewn renditions of well-traveled songs that have become a bit tired in just about anyone else’s hands at this point. Walker looks younger than his 76 years (a wig helps him in that regard as well), and he has all kinds of tricks up his sleeve, including an uncanny ability to really play his guitar while it looks like he is just holding it by the neck with one hand. After two hours the audience seemed happy to stay for more, following their bracing closer “Hip Shakin’ Mama.” Walker says he usually plays for over two hours and often over three, but the artists had a plane to catch – which they missed! Giving credit where it is due: to The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage and The Philadelphia Music Project, for the funding without which this show would not have happened, and to Roger Stolle of Cat Head Delta Blues and Folk Art in Clarksdale MS for logistical and every other kind of support, and to photographer Mike Lynch in Philadelphia whose pictures you see here.


Robert Belfour in concert Febraury 15, 2013


Robert "Bilbo" Walker in concert February 15, 2013

Robert “Bilbo” Walker in concert, playing guitar one-handed, February 15, 2013, photo courtesy of Mike Lynch.


Robert "Bilbo" Walker and Anthony "Big A" Sherrod in concert February 15, 2013





Live outside of the area but love to keep up on the blues action, local personalities and downtown revitalization?  Want to support a hardworking, smalltown newspaper?  Then, subscribe to the on-line edition today.  No matter where you live, you can read about the town and state you love -- 24/7!  Go to to subscribe today.


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Delta Blues Museum a finalist for Museum of the Year Award

By JESSE Wright The Press Register | Posted: Thursday, February 21, 2013 8:21 am

The Delta Blues Museum is a finalist for the Institute of Museum and Library Services National Medal, the nation’s top award for museums and libraries. The IMLS named 33 libraries and museums as finalists, although the blues museum is the only library or museum in Mississippi to be considered for the award this year.  Delta Blues Museum director Shelley Ritter said she felt honored that the museum is a finalist. “We’re very excited and pleased to be in the company of the other museums,” she said. Susan Hildreth, the director of the IMLS, said the award recognizes 10 museums and libraries each year that serves its community particularly well.

“We’re interested in looking for museums that are making a difference in their communities,” Hildreth said.


Melville Tillis honored at city meeting

By PANNY MAYFIELD Sunflower PR | Posted: Tuesday, March 12, 2013 8:54 am

Stage renamed in his memory

The memory of Melville Charles Tillis, longtime co-chairman of the Sunflower River Blues and Gospel Festival, who died Feb. 28, was honored by Clarksdale Mayor Henry Espy and the City Board of Commissioners Monday with a proclamation honoring his contributions to the city and the dedication of Clarksdale’s Blues Museum Stage renamed the Melville Charles Tillis Sr. Delta Blues Stage. The stage hosts the annual Sunflower River Blues and Gospel Festival Main Stage in downtown Clarksdale. 


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April & Spring usher in festival season: Fun found everywhere


Shelley Ricker Doin's from the Delta | Posted: Tuesday, April 2, 2013 8:35 am


Festival season has arrived and there are plenty from which to choose.


Of course, Clarksdale’s own Juke Joint Festival, April 13, is at the top of local lists this time of the year! The events schedule online looks like many days of good fun and great music!  Check it out at And check back often as events are added frequently!


For over 30 years, Belzoni, MS has hosted the Catfish Festival, so they are doing all the right things to keep a festival fun! This year’s event is April 6 from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. with music, a catfish eating contest, Miss Catfish Pageant, arts and crafts, a 10 km and 5 km run and lots and lots of catfish and all the trimmings to purchase to eat!, (662) 247-4338.


Cleveland’s Crosstie Festival is April 20 on the Boliver County Courthouse lawn on South Court Street. They will have a juried art show as well as quality handcrafted items for sale along with a variety of food selections, a kid’s area and music on two stages. You can find out more about this one day event at and by phone at (662) 719-1239.


We often overlook the importance of Earth Day, April 22, as we enjoy all the activities and events in our area during April. In 1970, the first Earth Day event was promoted to raise awareness about the need to “take care of our Earth”. Recycling and reusing grew to be household words in many parts of the world.  The B. B. King Museum in Indianola will host an Earth Day Festival from 1-3 p.m. at the Museum, 400 Second Street. There will be a recycling campaign, litter pickup project and volunteers will prepare community gardens. There will be speakers, music, and an arts and crafts sale throughout the day.


Southaven’s 33rd Springfest is April 25-27 at Snowden Grove, 6208 Getwell Rd. A sanctioned BBQ Championship Cook-off is just one of many events set for the weekend.  Call (662) 280-2489 x283 or more details.


The Oxford Convention and Visitors Bureau ( sponsors the acclaimed Double Decker festival, April 26-27. In addition to arts of all media for sale at the event, the food will be provided by all local establishments, basically a “Taste of Oxford” since outside vendors will not be allowed to participate this year. Saturday’s music begins at 10 a.m. and winds up at 11 p.m. All events are on the Courthouse Square. The Double Decker Festival has been praised by the American Bus Association, the International Festivals and Events Association, Mississippi Magazine, Southeast Tourism Society and Mississippi Tourism. Details are available by calling (662) 232-2367.


And, music abounds throughout the month of April!


In Helena, Arkansas, the Live on the Levee series continues with Wet Willie at the Malco Theatre, 7 p.m., April 6. Tickets are just $10. (870) 572-5223.


Steve Azar will perform “An Evening of Delta Soul” at the Bologna Performing Arts Center in Cleveland April 11 at 7:30 p.m. Call (662) 846-4626 to reserve tickets ranging from $25 to $37.


April 27 is a big day for live performances in the area. “The King”, 87 year old B.B. King will sing the blues at Gold Strike Casino in Robinsonville,, (662) 357-1111 while Delbert McClinton will also be bluzin’ in Helena, Arkansas at the Wild Hog Festival. He will take the stage at 8 p.m. Check out the entire line up of  music and events,  includeing a Motorcycle show and rally at The Dave Matthews Band will entertain at Snowden Grove Amphitheatre in Southaven. (662) 892-2660.


The various music school departments at Delta State University have performances during April to showcase the talents of their students. These events are usually very entertaining and are free. They are in the various performance venues at the Bologna Performing Arts Center on west Sunflower Avenue in Cleveland. This year’s schedule includes Percussion Ensemble and Steel Drums, April 16; Brass Ensemble, April 18; Woodwinds, April 22 and the Jazz Ensemble, April 23. All begin at 7:30 p.m. The DSU Symphony and Wind Ensemble will showcase their talents on Sunday April 21 at 3 p.m. in the Bologna PAC. Check them out!


If you are in the Memphis area on a Sunday in April, there is a Food Truck Rodeo from 11 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. at Shelby Farm Parks, located in the heart of Shelby County at 500 N. Pine Lake Drive. Sounds like good eats! (901) 767-PARK.


© 2012 Clarksdale Press Register. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


R.I.P. — FRANK "RAT" RATLIFF OF THE MOST BLUES-HISTORIC HOTEL IN THE WORLD... and one-heck-of-a-wonderful-guy. Mr. Rat, you touched more people's lives than you'll ever know. Thank you so much. You won't be forgotten.




Funeral arrangement for Frank "Rat" Ratliff are below:

Saturday, April 6, 2013

12:00 Noon

First Baptist Church

115 Martin Luther King Drive

Clarksdale, MS 38614


The viewing and wake will take place at First Baptist Church on Friday, April 5, 2013 from 5-7 pm in church downstairs annex. All are welcome!


Flowers can be sent to the funeral home below:

Tutwiler Funeral Home

220 Hancock Street

Tutwiler, MS 38963

(662) 345-8361 office

(662) 902-3590 after hours

(662) 624-6286 fax


In lieu of flowers, the family has established a memorial fund to honor and celebrate the life and contribution of their father to the Mississippi Blues. Donations can be made to the "Riverside Hotel Historical Memorial Fund at any Regions bank or branch office. Checks or money orders should be made payable to Zelena Ratliff or Sonya Gates and mailed to:

Attn: Zelena Ratliff

Riverside Hotel

615 Sunflower Avenue

Clarksdale, MS 38614


"MISS SARAH AWARD" TO BE PRESENTED TO FAMILY AT JUKE FEST KICK-OFF... We don't normally announce either of the two winners of Juke Joint Festival's annual Miss Sarah Awards, but since Rat will not be with us to celebrate, we are making an exception.  Please join the festival organizer's and the Ratliff family and friends for the official presentation inside the Delta Cinema lobby (11 Third St., downtown Clarksdale) on Thursday, April 11th at 6pm.  "MISS SARAH AWARDS are presented to two individuals per year (one past and one present) making notable contributions towards blues music, Mississippi tourism and the city of Clarksdale.  Named in honor of the late, blues kitchen owner and local inspiration Miss Sarah Moore."  (NOTE:  Rat was supposed to recieve the "present" award in-person, of course; we're so sorry he won't be there in more than spirit to receive his much-deserved honor.)


CAT HEAD NOTE:  I honestly don't think that I'll believe Rat is gone for some time to come.  Whenever I drive by his place, I smile.  He's been such a fixture of the Clarksdale blues scene since I've known about Clarksdale, that it's just hard to fathom.  That said, his daughter Zee has been helping him run the Riverside Hotel for some time now, so I know the torch has been passed.  His (and his mother's) beloved, iconic hotel is in excellent hands.


PHOTO by Lou Bopp. ARTICLE below by Roger Stolle, courtesy of Blues Festival Guide magazine.




Where Bessie Smith died and Ike Turner lived.





How much history can a building hold? To get an idea, visit 615 Sunflower Avenue in Clarksdale, Mississippi. That’s the address of the Riverside Hotel. If the walls could talk, they’d probably say some of the same things as the hotel’s current proprietor, Frank “Rat” Ratliff.


Ratliff has lived in Clarksdale all of his 70 years. His mother, Mrs. Z.L. Hill, turned an aging, African-American hospital into a hotel called the Riverside in 1944. After she passed away in 1997, Ratliff took over the business full time. He takes good care of the building, his guests and the location’s connection to Mississippi blues history.


“This was the only black hotel [here] in the ’40s and the ’50s. You didn’t have no choice. All those black singers didn’t have nowhere else to stay back then,” said Ratliff. “They would get a room. Get dressed. Then go and perform and come back. They would eat in here,” he noted, pointing to a cozy room just off the hotel lobby. “Mother had the café in here. Mother was a heck of a cook. I learned how to cook from her. If my wife come home with some Jiffy [baking mix], I’d throw that stuff away. No Jiffy come in my house!”


The Riverside Hotel guest register reads like a blues who’s who. Among the hundreds of musicians, people like Sonny Boy Williamson II, John Lee Hooker, Pop Staples, Sam Cooke, the Original Blind Boys, Peck Curtis and many others stayed here through the years. But Mrs. Hill’s love of the blues goes back even further than that.


“My mother was a fan of Bessie Smith. She was a blues fan,” said Ratliff. “Any time Bessie came to town within a hundred mile radius, my mother would go to her shows.” Before his mother started the Riverside Hotel, the building was forever put on the map as the hospital where the so-called “Empress of the Blues” bled to death in 1937 after a car wreck on the outskirts of Clarksdale. Born in 1940, Ratliff reminds visitors that he wasn’t born yet when this fateful accident occurred. But he is quick to talk about another musical giant whom he does remember fondly. “Ike Turner came here around ’50,” according to Ratliff. “He was about 17 years old. He was living here with some of his band members. Ike moved over here [from his family’s house] because he got too grown and was getting into this band thing. Eugene Fox lived right here on the corner. Jackie Brenston lived in the Brickyard across town.”




“My mother, her word was just like gold. When they needed instruments for the band, she’d tell them to ‘go pick them out and tell Mr. Levine to call me’,” Ratliff said. Levine’s music store was a source of both musical instruments and recorded music for many up-and-coming blues players of the time. It was located at the corner of Martin Luther King and Sunflower Avenue where Red’s juke joint currently resides. “They practiced and rehearsed in the basement. The Rocket 88 demo was cut down there. The demo was cut before they went to Memphis and recorded,” said Ratliff of Ike and his Kings of Rhythm. (Rocket 88 with Jackie Brenston on lead vocals is often cited by music historians as the first rock ‘n’ roll song. Is it true, or was it one by Bill Haley, Elvis Presley or Chuck Berry? It doesn’t really matter. The point is that it was a pivotal record in the evolution of blues and rock ‘n roll. The demo has been lost to time, but based on this information, one could make a case for Clarksdale being the real “Birthplace of Rock ‘n Roll” – instead of Memphis.)


After that legendary trip to Sam Phillips’ recording studio in Memphis, Ratliff reports that, “They were all excited. I was small. About 10, 11 or 12 during that time. I remember when Rocket 88 was a hit because Mother [also a seamstress] did the neckties, dresses and things for the band. They would go down to Indianola and different places and play, but this is where they stayed.”


Another blues legend who called the Riverside Hotel his home was slide guitar legend Robert Nighthawk – a popular recording artist, WROX radio star and father to blues drummer Sam Carr. “Robert Nighthawk lived here about four or five years in the ’50s,” according to Ratliff. When Nighthawk left to go north with his band, Ratliff remembers, “He had to leave a suitcase because he didn’t have room enough to put all of the instruments and musicians in the car. So he left his suitcase here with me. I still have the suitcase. He came back looking for it, but Mother had put it in storage. I found it later next door underneath the house. There was clothes in there but they had gotten old. I just threw the clothes away. I wish I hadn’t now. You want to know the truth? A lot of stuff we didn’t put value on.”


Ratliff also remembers Alec Rice Miller a.k.a. Sonny Boy Williamson II, saying he was both interesting and funny. “He carried on with a lot of foolishness. All the King Biscuit boys stayed here. They couldn’t go back to Helena if they played in Clarksdale at night. They had to stay here and then catch the ferry back across the river the next day to the 12 o’clock radio show in Helena, Arkansas,” he recalled. “In the 50s, everybody listened to King Biscuit Time at 12 o’clock. That’s when the men would come home, turn their radio on and have their lunches.”


As a long-time resident at the epicenter of the Mississippi Delta, Ratliff is also able to paint a vivid picture of the other African-American people and places that supported 1940’s and ‘50’s blues culture.


“You had the old Roxy Theater [beside the site of the recently reopened New Roxy Theater on Issaquena Avenue, downtown]. It was the biggest. Different musicians would come in to play,” he says. “They had two shows. They had an early show where parents could bring their kids with blues and comedy, like a fellow dressed up with paint all over his face. Then they had a late show for adults only. We had a 12 o’clock curfew during that time. This town here, at 12 o’clock, baby, you had to be off the streets. If you didn’t have a job, you’d go to jail... if you were black. That’s how strict it was,” he stressed, looking and sounding very serious.




Ratliff also recalls some of the personalities surrounding the blues world of the time. “Hardface was a big time gambler in Tunica,” remembered Ratliff. “Hardface was a professional. He played poker, dice and all that. He had a juke house in Tunica. They juked in the front and gambled in the back. A lot of people from here used to go there. There was also a big club in Winstonville [called the Harlem Inn]. That’s where all the stars used to go – Little Milton, Ike Turner and them.”


Since blues was the pop music of that generation, juke joints and clubs were more common to the Delta landscape then.


“How many clubs were there in this town? About 40 in the ’40s and ’50s,” he boasted with a chuckle. “Around here you had so many musicians back then. You’d go to this place tonight to hear a band. Tomorrow night you go to another place and hear a band. That’s the way it was.”


Ratliff still recalled the names of several blues clubs – The Green Spot, Day & Night Club, Big House, Leroy’s Place – plus many other jukes with names lost to history. Most, he says, were situated between Issaquena and Yazoo Avenue on the African-American side of the tracks. Many doubled as cafes and at least one as a rooming house. “Big House was on Fourth Street. It had a blues club in it, and the lady rented rooms on the top floor,” he said.


Before Ratliff was born, Clarksdale was even more of a blues town. “In the 30s, this town used to be wide open. This is where all the juke joints were,” he noted. “There was a liquor store on every corner. On this corner there was a liquor store and on the next corner was a church. That’s how it was.”


By the time Ratliff was growing up, regional blues bands were more common than the traveling street performers of the Robert Johnson era. “No, they didn’t never play on the streets. You had to go to New Orleans to see musicians play on the street. The only somebody you ever saw play on the street was under the viaduct over there on Issaquena. There was a blind man who had a cup and a nickel, and he was shaking it. If you walk up and reach for it, suddenly he wasn’t deaf, blind or nothing!” he said with a hearty laugh. “Everybody had a hustle. If you didn’t have a hustle, you not going to make it,” he explained, returning to his serious look.




While Ratliff’s mother was certainly not a hustler, she was in his words “a very independent lady.” “My mother only had one [outside] job in her life,” according to Ratliff. “She worked half a day.” His mother cooked and cleaned at this employer’s home just a single day, he said, “Until the white lady said to clean up behind the cat.” That sent Mrs. Hill on her way. Besides the hotel, his mother eventually owned a flower shop and a professional seamstress business. “She tied me out on Fourth Street on a rope. People used to pass by there, ‘Miss Hill you ought to be ashamed of yourself to have that boy tied out there.’ Mother never stopped a beat because she had to pedal that sewing machine.” Later, Hill’s was one of the few African-American households to have both a car and a TV in this small, segregated Delta town. “She was a business-wise person. That’s why I’m a business-wise person,” he explained.


Like his mother, Ratliff was never afraid of hard work, but he wanted to do it on his own terms. “When people was going to the fields to chop cotton in summertime, I didn’t chop cotton. I went out and caught roaches at night and sold them for a penny apiece for fishing. I made $15 or $20 a day, and you don’t get but $2 a day chopping cotton for 8 hours, 10 hours.”


These days, Ratliff spends most of his time hosting visitors from all over the United States and the world. The Netherlands, France, England, Italy, Germany, Australia, Japan. You name the country, and Ratliff has been here to greet them. “This is a hotel, they say. But many call it a home-away-from-home. I give them the keys. They go and they come. And if they want to come in here and sit down and play music, they’re welcome,” said Ratliff with a smile. One such visitor is a guitar-playing Japanese gentleman who goes by the name Gypsy. He has left his guitar at the Riverside since his first visit in 2002 and returns yearly to soak up the history and hospitality – and play a few tunes. Other musicians like James “T-Model” Ford of Greenville, have been known to drop by for a tune as well. Other visitors of note include the late John F. Kennedy, Jr., who spent a weekend at the Riverside Hotel in 1991.


According to Ratliff, “I’m here to stay in this business. I was born and brought up in this thing. And I know it. My mother has written a book. I just need to finish it.”


BIG BLUES LOSS FOR THE PAST AND FUTURE OF DELTA BLUES… According to his family (via Nathan Duff), legendary Mississippi bluesman and teacher "Mr. Johnnie" Billington of Lambert, Mississippi, passed away Monday evening, April 1st.  He suffered a heart attack recently and sadly did not recover.  For those who don't know, many of Clarksdale's new generation of blues players learned from Mr. JB, including Terry "Big T" Williams, Anthony "Big A" Sherrod, Lee Williams and many, many others.  A true giant in his field.  A huge loss.


FUNERAL ARRANGEMENTS are to come.  (Please watch my "Roger Stolle" Facebook page for updates.)




CAT HEAD NOTE:  I simply can't believe Mr. Johnnie is gone.  He was a cornerstone of the blues scene here for decades.  Some of my happiest nights were spent watching JB play with John Ruskey, Dr. Mike, Anthony Sherrod and Lee Williams at Miss Sarah's (original) Kitchen back in the late '90s and early '00s, just footsteps away from where I now live.  He was a TOUGH teacher, though!  I went to see him teach once in Lambert, MS, and he scared the heck out of ME!  No telling how much he frightened the blues into his students that day!  He was awesome, though, and I am not exaggerating -- not even slightly -- when I say that the blues scene in Clarksdale is strong today in large part to the efforts of Mr. Johnnie.  Lots of us talk about "keeping the blues alive," but he really did it... just when it needed it.  His students will keep things running for decades in this deep blues part of the universe.  "Thank you," Mr. Johnnie.


PHOTO SHOWN by Lou Bopp.


Ok, y'all.  This is important.  IF you live in Mississippi, PLEASE get a Mississippi Blues Trail car tag for your favorite blues mobile.  It looks cool, but more importantly, it helps to make a difference in the Mississippi blues world.  Seriously.  To date, almost all of the funds raised from these car tags has gone to help sick or otherwise in-need Mississippi blues musicians.  (For example, 92-year-old blues legend James "T-Model" Ford received an extremely helpful check right when he needed it, coming out of the hospital after his recent stroke.)  Just click this link for info:  Oh, and did I mention they look cool?  I've got mine -- number 47 -- and proud of it.  Thanks, Roger at Cat Head


SOUNDS AROUND TOWN in Clarksdale, Mississippi....







Thurs., 4/11 - JJ Fest "Saturday night wristband" & merchandise sales, 10am-5pm.




DELTA CINEMA (lobby & theater stage - 11 Third St.)

Thurs., 4/11 - Annual Juke Joint Festival Kickoff Party w/merchandise sales, Cristen Barnard poster signing, Miss Sarah Awards, Dancing Divas of the Delta, All Night Long Blues Band, Griot Arts and Eden Brent. FREE entertainment, 5pm-8:30pm.



Thurs., 4/11 - DBM MS Blues Trail marker dedication & reception w/DBM Band, 5pm


RED'S LOUNGE (395 Sunflower Ave.)

Fri., 4/5 - Terry "Harmonica" Bean, 9pm

Sat., 4/6 - Tribute to "Mr. Johnnie" Billington & Frank "Rat" Ratliff w/Big A & friends, 9pm

Sun., 4/7 - Anthony "Big A" Sherrod & Blues Allstars, 7pm

Thurs., 4/11 - Carlos Elliot Jr. & Cornlickers CD Release Party, 8:30pm



Fri., 4/5 - Dexter Allen Blues Band, 9pm

Sat., 4/6 - Closed (private party), 9pm

Wed., 4/10 - Heavy Suga & SweeTones, 8pm

Thursdays - Blues Jam w/Phillip Carter, 8pm


DELTA BLUES ROOM (220 Sunflower Ave.)

Wed., 4/10 - Space Cowboy & Blues Posse, 8pm


BLUESBERRY CAFE (235 Yazoo Ave.)

Mondays - Sean "Bad" Apple, 7pm

Wed., 4/10 - Sean "Bad" Apple, 7pm

Thurs., 4/11 - Dicky James & the Blue Flames, 9pm


CAT HEAD STORE (252 Delta Ave.)

Thurs., 4/11 - SUPERBAD String Band w/MS Millie, 1pm


ROCK & BLUES MUSEUM (113 E. 2nd St.)Sat., 4/6 - SUPERBAD String Band, 2pm

Thurs., 4/11 - SUPERBAD String Band w/MS Millie, 3pm; Theo D "Boogieman, 4pm; Carlos Elliot Jr., 5pm.


NEW ROXY (Issaquena Ave.)

Thurs., 4/11 - MS Gabe Carter, 6pm; Lucious Spiller, 8pm


HOPSON COMMISSARY (001 Commissary Circle)

Mondays - Marshall Drew, 6pmSat., 4/6 - Overdrive, 9pm

Thurs., 4/11 - Jimbo Mathus & Tristate Coalition, 9pm


HAMBONE GALLERY (111 E. 2nd St.)

Tues., 4/9 - Ray Cashman, 8pm


RUST RESTAURANT (218 Delta Ave.)

Fri, 4/5 - Walt Busby, 7:30pm

Thurs., 4/11 - Deering & Down, 7pm


STONE PONY (226 Delta Ave.)

Fridays - live music weekly, 7:30pm

Thurs., 4/11 - Haggard Collins, 7pm



Thurs., 4/11 - live music TBA, 9pm



Fri., 4/5 - Viewing for Riverside Hotel owner Frank "Rat" Ratliff, 5-7pm

Sat., 4/6 - Funeral for Frank "Rat" Ratliff, 12 noon


COMING SOON: April 11-14 - Juke Joint Festival & Related Events -





ALSO... Kick off the Spring with the B.B. King Museum's “Music on the Lawn,” a free series of outdoor concerts offered every Friday evening in April and May from 6-8 p.m. right on the grass.

Bands will perform on the stage of the cotton gin, so bring your lawn chairs, blankets, food and drinks, and enjoy the sounds of Mississippi Delta artists.

 Full Line-up:

 April 5- Mickey Rogers and the Soul Blues Band

April 12- Southern Halo

April 19- Sean "Bad" Apple

April 26- Mark "Muleman" Massey

May 3- Billy Smiley and the Young Guns

May 10- Bill Abel

May 17- Dr. Alphonso Sanders

May 24- Russell Baxter and the 21st Century Band

May 31- Yellow Dog Junction















PLUS... The 2nd annual BLUE BISCUIT FESTIVAL is Saturday, June 1st. (Free daytime outside; cover charge once it moves inside.) The Blue Biscuit is located at 501 Second St. in historic Indianola, MS... across from the world-famous BB King Museum. Details and lineup to come. MORE INFORMATION at or by emailing Also on Facebook. 



FINALLY, a special announcement:

Mr. King is coming home! The 2013 B.B. King Homecoming Festival is coming July 3rd at the B.B. King Museum!

Please or their Facebook page and monthly newsletters for updates on the festival as they become available.




2013 Juke Joint Festival & Related Events- Clarksdale... 4/11-4/14, 2013...

10th annual Juke Fest on Sat; related Thurs night thru Sun.; THIS IS THE BIG “REAL DEAL” DELTA BLUES FEST YOU’VE HEARD ABOUT! On Sat... a dozen daytime stages... 20+ nighttime juke venues... 100 blues acts in the heard of the Mississippi Delta... CLARKSDALE, MISSISSIPPI!

2013 Cat Head Mini Blues Fest I - 4/14, 2013

Sunday of Juke Fest, Clarksdale. 10am till -- FREE in street ("please tip musicians").

2013 Clarksdale Caravan Music Fest - 7th annual 5/11/2013

... always the Sat after the BMAs in Memphis. 10am till in Clarksdale, MS.

2013 Sunflower River Blues & Gospel Festival - FREE festival, downtown Clarksdale, 8/9-11, 20


2013 Cat Head Mini Blues Fest II - 8/11, 2013

Sunday of Sunflower, Clarksdale. 10am till -- FREE in street ("please tip musicians").

2013 King Biscuit Blues Festivalnearby Helena, AR) - 10/10-12, 20


2013 “King Biscuit Call & Response Forum”(Helena, AR) - Sat., 10/12, 2013


2013 Cat Head Mini Blues Fest III - Sunday of King Biscuit Fest... 9am till -- FREE in street ("please tip musicians"), 10/13, 2013.

2013 Pinetop Perkins Homecomingat Hopson in Clarksdale (in afternoon Sunday of AR fest) - 10/13, 2013.

2013 Hambone Festival

- Free live music fest near Hambone Gallery; Halloween weekend (Sat) each year in Clarksdale.

2014 Clarksdale Film Festival - January 23-26, 2014

in Clarksdale - Mississippi movies, blues docs, history tours, live music & more!

2014 Juke Joint Festival & Related Events- Clarksdale... 4/10-4/13, 2014... 11th annual Juke Fest on Sat; related Thurs night thru Sun.


Cat Head Delta Blues and Folk Art • 252 Delta Avenue • Clarksdale • MS • 38614
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