Monday, December 15, 2008

Great Christmas Gift Idea!

Surprise the blues fan in your life with the gift of a Mississippi Blues Trail License Plate!  The information and order forms are on this website’s homepage.  The MS Blues Foundation currently has 75 orders.  They need 200 orders for the plates to go into production.  You can still be one of those who make this project happen.  It is not too late to be a Trailblazer!


IBC Bound!

5th Annual Mississippi Delta Regional Blues Challenge Winners



1st – L.C. Ulmer & Chase Holifield - Laurel, MS

2nd – Terry “Harmonica” Bean-Pontotoc, MS



1st – Gary Champion Revue-Canton, MS

2nd Place – Dexter Allen-Jackson, MS



1st Place Winners will represent the Mississippi Delta Blues Society of Indianola at the 25th Annual International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN.  For more details about the IBC see



Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Blues on Walnut Street-Greenville, MS

Walnut Street Blues Bar


Wednesday, Nov. 12

Billy Smiley & Band          

8:30-midnight  ($5)


Thursday-Friday, Nov. 13-14

Billy Smiley & Band 

9:30pm-2am   ($5)


Saturday, Nov.15

Mickey Rogers & the Soul Master Band

9:30pm-2am  ($5) 


Thursday, November 6, 2008

Delta Music Institute hosts second Electroacoustic Juke Joint Music Festival

Delta Music Institute hosts second Electroacoustic Juke Joint Music Festival


CLEVELAND―The Delta Music Institute at Delta State University will host the second annual Electroacoustic Juke Joint Music Festival (EAJJ) beginning Thursday Nov. 13, at 8 p.m., in the Recital Hall of the Bologna Performing Arts Center on campus.


Dr. Mark Snyder, Assistant Professor of Music Production and Technology, in the DMI created the EAJJ festival. He also created and directed the critically acclaimed Imagine II Electronic Music Festival in Memphis.


Compositions from over 50 national and international composers of electroacoustic music have been selected for this year’s festival, including pieces by Kyong Mee Choi, a Guggenheim winner, and Asha Srinivasan and Kirtsen Volness, the 2006 and 2007 BMI Women’s Music Commission composers, respectively. “Thanks to a generous donation of an eight channel diffusion system from the Peavey Electronics Corporation, this year’s festival performances will be greatly enhanced,” notes festival director Dr. Snyder.


Concerts of original electroacoustic compositions will be held on Friday, Nov 14, at 11 a.m., 2 p.m., 3:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. in the Bologna Performing Arts Center Recital Hall and in the new DMI Studio A.


Also on Friday, an improvisational jam session will be held at 10 p.m. at Po’ Monkey’s Lounge in Merigold, one of the last remaining rural juke joints in Mississippi. Featured improv artists include Jeff Herriott, Eric Sheffield, Trevor Saint, Dave Lisik, Tom Link, and Mark Snyder, among others. There is a $5 charge for this event.


The EAJJ festival will conclude with a series of concerts on Saturday, Nov. 15, at 11 a.m., 2 p.m., 3:30 p.m. and 8 p.m., in the Bologna Performing Arts Center Recital Hall and in the new DMI Studio A.


Details of composers and compositions to be performed may be found on the festival website at
All concerts are free and the public is cordially
invited to attend. 
For more festival information, please call the DMI office at (662) 846-4579 or visit the festival website at

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Dexter Allen Performing a Horizon Casino - Vicksburg, MS

Dexter Allen
W/ Special Guest Patrice Moncell
Horizon Casino
Saturday, November 8, 2008
Free admission

Dexter Allen is entered in the Band Category of the 5th Annual MS Delta
Regional Blues Challenge. See "Challenge Info" tab for more information.

Bill Abel on "Mississippi Arts Hour" this weekend

Bill Abel Blues musician and producer

Bill Abel will be featured in interview with Larry Morrisey on Mississippi Public Broadcasting’s Radio Network.  Airtime is Sunday, November 9 at 3p.m.  Bill is a solo artist in the 5th Annual MS Delta Regional Blues Challenge line-up.  He was the Indianola blues society’s 2006 Blues Artist of the Year.  


Larry Morrisey

Grants Programs Director

Mississippi Arts Commission

501 North West Street

Suite 1101A, Woolfolk Building

Jackson, MS 39201

(601) 359-6036

(601) 359-6008 (fax)

The Mississippi Arts Commission celebrates 40 years of supporting Mississippi 's Creative Spirit.

1968 - 2008



Announcing 5th Annual Mississippi Delta Regional Blues Challenge Line-up

Click here for details on each performer.

Solo/ Duo

L.C. Ulmer & Chase Holifield – Laurel, MS

Lane Rodgers – Greenville, MS

Bill AbelDuncan, MS

Terry “Harmonica” Bean – Pontotoc, MS


Walter Cooper & Ruff Ryder – Sallis, MS

Dexter Allen – Jackson, MS

The Grady Champion Revue – Canton, MS

R.L. Boyce & Como Breakdown – Como, MS

The winner from each category will represent the Mississippi Delta Blues Society of Indianola at the 25th Annual International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN - February 4-7, 2009.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Club Ebony News

 “Gina’s 1st Happy Hour”


Club Ebony

404 Hanna Street    Indianola, MS

Friday, October 24, 2008



Free Food - Drinks Half-Priced

It could become a regular Friday night happening!


Contact:  Betty Fowler 662.887.5436

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Live from the birthplace of the Blues


Live from the birthplace of the Blues


CLEVELAND ―In 2007, The History Channel provided funding for the Heritage Lighthouse project at the D. M. Smith Middle School in Cleveland, Mississippi.   The funding allowed students to interview six Delta Bluesmen about their lives and their music.  It also allowed the Delta State University College of Education to develop five detailed lesson plans that focus on the Blues and African American history.


This project has now resulted in the publication of a magazine-style booklet titled "Live from the Birthplace of America's Music."  The booklet includes short segments of the interviews with Bluesmen, together with material about the Blues, including a map of important Blues sites in the Mississippi Delta.   It also includes an abbreviated lesson plan, and refers readers to the new web site  This web site includes not only the complete transcriptions of all interviews, but also the five complete lesson plans, with their appendices.  It also has sound clips of the Blue performers singing and talking about their lives.  The booklet and web site are designed to help people understand the Blues, and especially to use the Mississippi Blues Heritage Trail as a resource to learn about the State's history. 


Copies of the booklet can be obtained for the cost of mailing from the DSU Delta Center for Culture and Learning, or can be printed directly from the web site.


This project was funded by The History Channel as part of their Save Our History national grants program.  The original grant was for $10,000, but the program was awarded another $2,500 because it was judged to be especially successful.  Four students and two adults associated with the Heritage Lighthouse were also given a trip to Washington, D.C., where the toured historic sites as part of the project.


Save Our History is an Emmy Award-winning strategic philanthropic initiative of The History Channel that launched in 1998, designed to further historic preservation and history education.  The program supplements the teaching of history in America's classrooms, educates the public on the importance of historical preservation and motivates communities across the country to help save endangered local historic treasures.  The Save Our History campaign includes original documentaries, special teachers' materials, national promotion on The History Channel, broadband activities in schools, and has worked with The Smithsonian Institution, National Park Service, National Trust for Historic Preservation, National World War II Memorial, American Rivers and The White House 200th Anniversary. 


Additional information about the grassroots Save Our History program, including a comprehensive school manual containing suggested lesson plans for grades two through 12 and details about working with local preservation organizations can also be found at  


For more information about the Heritage Lighthouse program or the DSU Delta Center for Culture and Learning contact the Center at (662)846-4311 or visit its web sites at and





Sunday, September 21, 2008

Thursday, September 18, 2008

European travel writers and radio show hosts tour the Delta

European travel writers and radio show hosts tour the Delta


CLEVELAND―Twenty eight travel writers and radio show hosts from Spain, England, Ireland, France, Italy and Germany recently toured the Delta for five days courtesy of Mississippi Tourism and our local Chambers of Commerce. 


They came for the grand opening of the B.B. King Museum in Indianola on Saturday, September 13.  The group was met in Tunica by Dr. Luther Brown and Lee Aylward of the Delta Center for Culture and Learning at Delta State University and escorted throughout the Delta on a heritage tour that concluded with the unveiling of the museum in Indianola. 


Among other things, the group explored the Tunica River Park Museum and followed Highway 61 to Clarksdale where they were met at the Crossroads by “Super Chikan” playing the blues, followed by barbecue at Hopson Commissary.  They rode  the Blues Highway as they came south with stops in Mound Bayou, Dockery, the Highway 61 Blues Museum in Leland, and a night of live Blues featuring Terry “Harmonica” Bean and Pat Thomas at Po Monkey’s Lounge. 


They visited several stops on the Mississippi Blues Heritage Trail, and witnessed the dedication of the Trail marker at B.B. King’s birthplace in Berclair.  They spent two nights in Cleveland, and ate dinner at The Senator’s Place and Airport Grocery. 


These writers have a combined audience of over 15 million European readers and listeners.   The opening of the B.B. King Museum was also covered by the local and national press, including a writer from Rolling Stone Magazine. 


Photo:  Travel writers and radio show host pose in front Po Monkey’s Lounge. 








Gloria Enriquez, Senior Secretary

Communications and Marketing

Delta State University

P.O. Box D-3
1003 West Sunflower Road

Cleveland, Miss. 38733

Office: 662.846.4675

Fax: 662.846.4679



Thursday, September 11, 2008

MS Blues Trail License Plate will be made when 200 are purchased...

 The Mississippi Blues Foundation has recently taken on the project of getting this new “specialty” car tag into production and available.  Because the deadline is so soon (October 15), the internet and “word-of-mouth” is how this news is being spread.  An application can be printed from .

Map to Berclair Marker unveiling!

Marker unveiling of BB King’s Birthplace – Berclair, MS

Thursday, September 11, 2008     


Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Lil' Bill Wallace in April-2008

Lil' Bill passed away this summer on August 10th. He is seen here at Mary
Shepard's Retirement Party in April with Mary and Skeeter Provis.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Mississippi Blues Trail License Plate





The Mississippi Blues Commission has designed a Mississippi Blues Trail license plate. We need commitments before we can proceed with the license plate process. Please let me know if you would be interested in the Mississippi Blues Trail license plate for your automobile.




Leigh Portwood

Heritage Trails Program

Mississippi Development Authority

Tourism Division

Post Office Box 849

Jackson, Mississippi 39205

Phone: 601.359.3061

Fax: 601.359.5757


Thursday, July 31, 2008

THIS SATURDAY NIGHT-2006 MS Delta Regional Blues Challenge Band Winner-Bill "Howl-N-Madd" Perry plays in Greenwood

Blue Parrot Café

Saturday August 2

Starts at 7 pm


Bill "Howl-N-Madd" Perry


222 Howard Street – Historic Downtown Greenwood

Please call 451-9430 for reservations or to be placed on our email notification list

Bluesman Bill Perry will perform at the Blue Parrot Cafe Saturday Night as part of Bikes, Blues & Bayous weekend.

Bill "Howl-N-Madd" Perry will be appearing at the Blue Parrot Saturday night in Greenwood, MS. Two weeks from this Saturday night Perry will return for a special Tribute to Robert Johnson. Perry is a well-known musician and singer from the Oxford area who plays throughout the Delta. He has recently starred alongside Cuba Gooding, Jr. in the soon-to-be-released film – The Way of War.

Perry is the 2006 MS Delta Regional Blues Challenge Band Winner and represented the MS Delta Blues Society of Indianola at the 22nd Annual International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN.



Friday, August 8 - Our Jazz Trio (piano, bass & drums)

Saturday, August 16 - Bill "Howl-N-Madd" Perry - A Tribute to Robert Johnson

NEW BOOKING - Friday, August 22 - Moe Hubbard (fine pianist)

Saturday, August 30 - Ben Wiley Payton (classic blues and soul)

This Saturday's performance kicks off the three-day Tallahatchie Flats Summer Music Festival

- Rhythm On The River -

which continues at the Tallahatchie Flats on Sunday

with a Gospel Music event ($5 per person)

and continues with a full day of blues, jazz and country music

on Labor Day ($15 per person)

Monday, June 16, 2008

Review: Pay Me No Mind by The Homemade Jamz' Blues Band




The Homemade Jamz Blues Band

Northern Blues Music,


Combine youth, talent and enthusiasm with top-notch songs and you have the recipe for success.  In the blues music genre that result is embodied in the new CD Pay Me No Mind by The Homemade Jamz’ Blues Band.  These three young Perry siblings from Tupelo, Mississippi, present their fresh, original sound on their fantastic debut album from Northern Blues Music. 


These youngsters have been wowing blues fans all over the country for the past several years.  They broke onto the blues scene with an impressive first appearance at the famed Ground Zero Blues Club in Clarksdale, Mississippi, and followed up with bookings at festivals, a blues cruise, and a segment on the CBS Sunday Morning Show.  The band won second place in the band category at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis in 2007 to then sign with Northern Blues Music.  They are the youngest blues band in history to sign with a major recording label.


Ryan, fifteen, handles guitar and vocals, with Kyle, thirteen, on bass and sister Taya, nine, on drums.  But don’t let their age fool you.  The group has the polish and professionalism that usually only comes after years of experience.  Ryan’s wailing guitar work on songs like “Time for a Change” has the flavor of some of the best known artists in the field.


Pay Me No Mind includes  eleven tracks:


1.  Who Your Real Friends Are

2.  Voodoo Woman

3.  The World’s Been Good to You

4.  Right Thang Wrong Woman

5.  Penny Waiting on Change

6.  Blues Concerto

7.  Time for Change

8.  Pay Me No Mind

9.  Jealous

10. Shake Rag

11. Boom Boom


Other than John Lee Hooker’s Shake Rag, their father, Renaud, who joins in with his harmonica on four of the tracks, writes all the songs.  Producer Miles Wilkerson adds rhythm guitar to four of the numbers as well. 


Ranging from upbeat songs like “Jealous” and “Blues Concerto” to traditional down home country blues like “Penny Waiting on Change” The Homemade Jamz’ Blues Band have cooked up some sweet Mississippi hill country sounds.  Pay Me No Mind is solid blues’ gold.  


The Homemade Jamz' Blues Band will be appearing at the Strand Theater on June 19, 2008.  For information:


For more information about The Homemade Jamz’ Blues Band, please visit their website, .

-- Shannon Riley


This review is also available on


Please feel free to share with your friends.


Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Delta State’s ‘Delta Photo Road Shows’ goes on tour

Delta State's 'Delta Photo Road Show' goes on tour


CLEVELAND ─The Delta State University Archives and Museum in association with the Delta Center for Culture and Learning will be hosting their last "Delta Photo Road Show" tour in two Delta locations in June.


The first stop is scheduled to be held in Greenwood on Saturday, June 14 from 10 a.m. � 4 p.m. in the Three Deuces Building (Veronica's Bakery and Blue Parrot Café) located at 222 Howard Street


The second stop will be held in Indianola on Saturday, June 21 from 10 a.m. � 4 p.m. at the Sunflower County Public Library located at 201 Cypress Drive


You are invited to bring historic photographs of family, friends, places, events etcetera and share the stories or any information you may have about the images.  Photo documentarians, archivists, local historians and oral historians will be on hand to review your photographs with you and offer any preservation advice on how to best care for your images. 


Your images will be digitally scanned while you wait and your original images will be returned to you. 


The Delta Photo Road Show is made possible through a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.


Both events are free and open to the public.  For more information, contact the DSU Archives at (662) 846-4670.




Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Indianola, Leland, and Holly Ridge are Singing the Blues This Weekend

Friday, June 6, B.B. King is coming home for his 19th Annual Homecoming Festival in Indianola. More details and information can be found in some previous “Blues News Now” articles on this site.

Leland is having its 9th Annual Highway 61 Blues Festival on Saturday, June 7. The location is Railroad Park in downtown Leland. The festival this year is honoring David “Honeyboy” Edwards who will perform at 7:30pm. Artist Cristen Barnard won the poster contest commemorating the festival. Posters can be purchased at the festival or at the Highway 61 Blues Museum in its new location! Many Delta blues musicians will be performing as well as Homemade Jamz Blues Band, L.C. Ulmer, the Jakeleg Stompers, Lil’ Dave Thompson, Willie King & the Liberators to name a few. The festival hours: NOON until 11:30pm. There are two stages: Main Stage and Scratch-Ankle Stage

The Leland Blues Project and the Mississippi Delta Blues Society of Indianola are excited to announce that despite the closing of the Holly Ridge Country Store, Billy Johnson has made sure the Holly Ridge Jam tradition is going to continue this year! Cicero’s Restaurant is catering barbeque platters-ribs or pulled pork. Also, this year boiled shrimp has been added to the menu! Budweiser and Pepsi have come in as sponsors. It will be a JAMMIN’ good time of Delta musicians and some of the line-up from the HWY 61 Fest. Admission is free, 2pm-5pm, bring a lawn chair, no coolers. After this JAM, the “live music” continues in Indianola at the Historic Club Ebony which is located at 404 Hanna Street.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Rest In Peace Bo Diddley, 1928-2008

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) -- Bo Diddley, a founding father of rock 'n' roll whose distinctive "shave and a haircut, two bits" rhythm and innovative guitar effects inspired legions of other musicians, died Monday after months of ill health. He was 79.

Diddley died of heart failure at his home in Archer, Fla., spokeswoman Susan Clary said. He had suffered a heart attack in August, three months after suffering a stroke while touring in Iowa. Doctors said the stroke affected his ability to speak, and he had returned to Florida to continue rehabilitation.

The legendary singer and performer, known for his homemade square guitar, dark glasses and black hat, was an inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, had a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame, and received a lifetime achievement award in 1999 at the Grammy Awards. In recent years he also played for the elder President Bush and President Clinton.

November 2, 2007 Bo Diddley was honored with a Mississippi Blues Trail Marker, in McComb Mississippi.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

B.B. King 19th Homecoming Festival is Friday, June 6

B.B. King returns home to Indianola to perform at Fletcher Park.  The gates will open at 4pm.  The music will begin at 5pm.  Admission is $10 in advance and $15 at the gate.  The line-up includes Petticoat Junkies – Hattiesburg, Mickey Rogers and the Soul Master Band – Greenville, and Homemade Jamz Blues Band – Tupelo

Come enjoy the music and the fireworks.  Bring a lawn chair.  No coolers.  For more information:  or call:  662-887-4454




Petticoat Junkies Will Open Indianola's BBKing Homecoming

Petticoat Junkies is the collaborative effort of four incredibly diverse musicians from Hattiesburg, MS that formed in January of 2008.  Primary songwriter and vocalist, Brian Nobles, provides an edgy styling, while Cody Ruth, Davis Townsend, and Stephen Scott add a wide range of musical influences to create the sound that the Junkies have become known for.  The Petticoat Junkies will be recording a full scale independent album project with twang legend Will Ray of the Hellecasters at Sunset Studios in Asheville, NC this summer.  You can hear them at the B.B. King Homecoming Festival starting at 5 p.m.



Mickey Rogers and the Soul Master Band

Mickey Rogers and the Soul Master Band will be performing at the B.B. King Homecoming Festival.  Mickey Rogers is one of Mississippi’s “real deal” blues musicians.  He was born in Panther Burn in 1944.  His family moved to Chicago when Mickey was young; however, he spent his summers returning to the delta.  As a teenager Mickey began playing in bars in Chicago.  He has performed with Howlin’ Wolf, Gladys Knight & the Pips, the Temptations, the Chi-Lites, Tyrone Davis, and Bobby Rush.


Mickey and his band won the 4th MS Delta Regional Blues Challenge at Club Ebony in November of 2007.  In January 2008 Mickey Rogers and the Soul Master Band represented the Mississippi Delta Blues Society of Indianola at the 24th International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN.


Mickey Rogers and the Soul Master Band will perform again at the Historic Club Ebony later that night opening for B.B. King.

For more info:  662-887-5436

Homemade Jamz Blues Band


Homemade Jamz Blues Band is performing at Fletcher Park this Friday, June 6 at the 19th Annual B.B. King Homecoming Festival.  The band consists of the Perry siblings Ryan (16) vocals and guitar, Kyle (13) bass, and sister Taya (9) drums.  This family is from Tupelo, MS and they are the youngest blues band to sign with a major record label, NorthernBlues Music.  Homemade Jamz won the 3rd MS Delta Regional Blues Challenge in Indianola two years ago when they were even younger!  They represented the Mississippi Delta Blues Society of Indianola at the 23rd International Blues Challenge in a field of 157 blues bands from all over the world.  Homemade Jamz Blues Band won 2nd Place in the Band Competition.  Those present will never forget the standing ovation they received during the finals. 


The band has since appeared on national TV, been featured in numerous blues publications, performed on the Legendary Blues Cruise and is booked on a second cruise, plus they are very much in demand on the festival circuit.  The band is scheduled to tour parts of Europe this year.  Not only are these young musicians very talented, they possess a stage presence that captivates their audience.   


Homemade Jamz first CD is named Pay Me No Mind.  It has been described as “they blend Chicago and Mississippi juke joint blues, copping the gritty slickness of the former and the dirty soul of the latter…..never betraying its authors’ age.  The trio exudes nothing but confidence and attitude as they sing of betrayal, love, hard times and other bad things gone down as if they’ve lived a life rich in strife.  They are, to be sure, a veritable blues explosion poised to make a big sound.”


Homemade Jamz Blues Band will, also, be performing at the Highway 61 Blues Festival in Leland on Saturday, June 7.

More festival info:     

Friday, May 30, 2008

June Blues Trail Marker Unveilings

The Mississippi Development Authority Tourism Division’s Heritage Trails Program has announced the June Mississippi Blues Trail Marker unveilings.  Updates will follow on the website.


Jimmy Reed Marker

June 19, 2008 at 4:00 PM

Dunleith, MS



Big Walter Horton Marker

June 20, 2008 at 10:30 AM

Horn Lake, MS


Mississippi Blues Trail Wins Award

The Mississippi Blues Trail was honored with another award this week. On
Wednesday, May 21, 2008 the Tunica Convention & Visitors Bureau and the
Tunica Chamber of Commerce presented the award to Alex Thomas on behalf of
the MS Blues Commission at the 7th Annual Salute to Tourism & Business 2008
Awards Luncheon. The Mississippi Blues Trail was honored in the Heritage
Tourism Award Category.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Delta State's Delta Center host Heritage Tour


Delta State’s Delta Center host Heritage Tour



CLEVELAND―-As part of the ongoing celebration of The Year of Delta Heritage, Delta State University’s Delta Center for Culture and Learning offered a heritage tour to those attending the Blues Awards at the Grand Casino in Tunica last week. 


The Blues pilgrims visited Dockery Farms, the birthplace of the Blues as well as cultural sites along Highways 61, 8, and 49 and enjoyed lunch in Cleveland at The Senator’s Place.  Participants came from Ireland, Canada and a dozen states including California and New York.  Blues Diva Dorothy Moore, from Jackson, also took the tour.


Some 1700 Blues enthusiasts attended the awards, which were presented in Mississippi for the very first time. 


For more information about the heritage of the Delta or the DSU Year of Delta Heritage, contact the Delta Center at (662) 846-4311.






Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Delta Center hosts book signing for 'Highway 61'


Delta Center hosts book signing for ‘Highway 61’


CLEVELAND— Randy Norris (at left), editor of “Highway 61,” and Dr. Luther Brown, director of the Delta Center for Culture and Learning, look over a copy of the book at a book signing event held for Norris.


Norris signed copies of his latest volume “Highway 61” which is a collection of stories and essays written by Delta residents, and illustrated with numerous photographs from the Delta.  Morgan Freeman wrote the introduction. The book was published by the University of Tennessee Press


The Delta State University Delta Center for Culture and Learning, in conjunction with the Year of Delta Heritage, hosted the book signing which was held in the lobby of Ewing Hall on the campus.