Monday, November 21, 2011

Please spread the word- free concert!

Luther Brown

Delta Center for Culture and Learning

Box 3152 Delta State University

Cleveland, MS 38733



Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Sean "Bad" Apple and Martin "Big Boy" Grant Win - Reed Smith takes 2nd Place

The Clarksdale duo Sean “Bad” Apple and Martin “Big Boy” Grant won top prize at Indianola’s Mississippi Delta Regional Blues Challenge on Sunday, October 23rd at the Blue Biscuit.  They will represent the society in Memphis at the International Challenge.  Seventeen year old, Reed Smith, from Clinton won 2nd Place.  The Indianola blues society is sending Smith to IBC Youth Showcase which will take place on Friday afternoon, February 3, 2012.  Six solo/duo acts competed:  $Daddy Rich$ and David Dunavent (Clarksdale & Sumner), Terry Swilley (Greenwood-Dermott), Ming Donkey One Man Band (Starkville), Poboy King (Ellisville).  The judges for this challenge were Roger Stolle-Cat Head Blues & Folk Art, Charley Abraham-DSU Delta Music Institute, Dina Bennett-B.B. King Museum, and Burton Doss-Malaco Records.  

Sola Porch Wins Indianola Band Challenge

Solar Porch from Cleveland won the band competition at the 8th Annual Mississippi Delta Regional Blues Challenge in Indianola.  The band members, Sid Barger, Marlowe Dorrough, and Craig Collins, will represent the Indianola Blues Society in Memphis at the 28th Annual International Blues Challenge - February 1-4, 2012.  David Dunavent and the Evol Love Band from Sumner took 2nd Place.  The competition was Sunday, October 16th at da’ House of Khafre.  Eight bands from across the State came to compete.

“This was the best talent top to bottom of any local challenge I’ve ever seen.  Every act was one I would feel comfortable seeing for a four-hour club date.  The challenge was run at least as well as any venue at the International Blues Challenge finals,” said judge Ricky Stevens, chairman of the Blues Foundation’s IBC committee.

Judges for the band competition were Tricia Walker, Jesse Robinson, Shelley Ritter, and Ricky Stevens.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Grady Champion at The Blue Biscuit

The Indianola Blues Society and The Blue Biscuit announce Grady Champion is coming to perform THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 15TH.  Champion is the 2009 Winner of the Mississippi Delta Regional Blues Challenge and 2010 International Blues Challenge Winner.  Showtime:  8 – 11 pm   Cover $5   No Cover - Indianola Blues Society Members

Monday, August 15, 2011

Delta Center provides heritage tour for Sam Houston State students

CLEVELANDDelta State University’s Delta Center for Culture and Learning recently provided a heritage tour for a class from Sam Houston State University. The class was taught by Dr. John B. Strait, who brings a group through the Delta every summer on a week-long field trip. This year, he was accompanied by Dr. Alan Marcus from Towson University, near Baltimore. Dr. Marcus plans to bring his own college class to the Delta next summer and also wants to explore student exchanges between Delta State and Towson. The Delta Center's Lee Aylward led the tour. 



Friday, August 12, 2011

Festival News from Highway 61 Radio - Scott Barretta

Dorothy Moore, Johnny Rawls, and more-Sunflower River Blues & Gospel Festival!

Listing of Clarksdale’s events this weekend-August 12-14:



Tommy Johnson family gains access to his gravesite....

Wednesday, August 10th the Copiah County Board of Supervisors decided to build and maintain a road to the Warm Springs Cemetery, just north of Crystal Springs, where Tommy Johnson is buried. A gravestone was dedicated in his honor in 2001, but it couldn't be placed because of legal issues concerning cemetery access, which have now been resolved.  Press release:




Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Upcoming MS Blues/Country Trail Markers


Please mark your calendars for these upcoming marker ceremonies around the state:

July 19, 2011 Sunnyland Slim * Lambert, MS - 10:00 AM - July 27, 2011 Magic Slim * Grenada, MS – 10:00 AM - August 10, 2011 King Edward Hotel *Jackson, MS 10:00 AM - August 26, 2011 Hot Tamales * Rosedale, MS 11:00 AM

August 18, 2011 Tammy Wynette * Tremont, MS 1:00 PM

Hope you can join us,
Alex T. Thomas
Associate Manager Senior, Music Trails
Sales and Promotions Bureau

Mississippi Development Authority / Tourism Division
P.O. Box 849
Jackson, MS 39205
office: 601.359.2593
fax: 601.359.5757
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Monday, June 20, 2011

Robertson Scholars makes second visit to Delta State

CLEVELAND - The Delta Center for Culture and Learning at Delta State University, is again hosting Robertson Scholars from Duke and the University of North Carolina this summer. The Scholars will live in the Delta for two months and work with various Delta charities and non-profits.  They also participated in heritage tours of the Delta. They visited the Delta Blues Museum in Clarksdale led by Lee Aylward of the Delta Center.

Photo Identification: Robertson Scholars, from left to right, Erika Ferguson, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Bolivar County Community Action Agency; Jakob Blomqvist, Duke University, Greenville Renaissance Scholars; Katherine Zhang, Duke University, St. Gabriel Mercy Center; Deo Fagnisse, Duke University, St. Gabriel Mercy Center; Sam Halle, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Greenville Renaissance Scholars; Blake O'Connor, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Sunflower County Freedom Project; John Guzek, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Delta Center for Culture and Learning; Daniel Strunk, Duke University, St. Gabriel Mercy Center; Margaret Brown, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Sunflower County Freedom Project and Jacob Robinson, Duke University, Sunflower County Freedom Project.


Monday, June 13, 2011

Indianola Blues Society Welcomes TFA TEACHERS!

Welcome Back!  ClevelandDelta State volunteer Elsie Lynn Ervin (right) provides directions for Teach For America corps members arriving Sunday to the Delta State campus.  Over 100 Delta State and Cleveland-Bolivar County Chamber of Commerce volunteers braved the heat to welcome participants as they arrived.  About 550 new corps members arrived Sunday, bringing the total of Teach For America students and staff at Delta State to over 1,000, an increase of over 200 participants over last year. The Teach For America corps members and staff will be at Delta State and the Delta until mid-July.  Around 300 Teach For America students will remain in the Delta region for the next two years to teach in public schools.

Friday, June 3, 2011


The B.B. King Museum & Delta Interpretive Center announces LIVE music every Saturday from 12 noon – 3 pm.  This event is free to the public and will feature Mississippi blues musicians.

308 Blues Club - Indianola

TONIGHT!  (Friday, June 03, 2011) The Back Porch Blues Society of Norway Musicians’ Jam Featuring Indianola’s Casey Roberts are performing at 9 pm      No Cover   More info:


Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Faculty and staff from Florida school explore sites in the Delta

CLEVELAND - Students and faculty from the St. Stephen's Episcopal School of Bradenton, Florida, visited the Delta all of last week. They explored the roots of the Blues at Dockery Farms, participated in the unveiling of the Fannie Lou Hamer Freedom Trail marker, toured the Emmett Till Memorial Trail, enjoyed lots of Delta catfish and barbecue, and spent the week talking with Delta people and visiting museums and historic sites. Their leader, William Southerland, was a participant in a workshop presented by the Delta State Delta Center for Culture and Learning two summers ago.  Seniors at St. Stevens can choose among trips to Paris, London, and the Mississippi Delta.



Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Reception & Panel Discussion at the BBK Museum


Blues Artist of the Year

On April 3rd drummer Frank Vick of Greenville, MS was awarded the 2010 Blues Artist of the Year Award by the Indianola Blues Society.  This year the surprise presentation happened at the 4th Annual Mary Shepard Day at da’ House of Khafre in downtown Indianola -  Vick was a part of the Club Ebony house band for many years playing with David Lee Durham, Bobby Whalen, David Burchfield, and Mickey Rogers.  He represented the blues society twice at the International Blues Challenge.  In 2005 he played with David Lee Durham & the Ladies Choice Band.  In 2008, Vick played with Mickey Rogers and the Soul Master Band.

Highway 61 Blues Festival Cancelled

The Highway 61 Blues Festival and the Holly Ridge Jam have been cancelled due to the current flooding disaster in the Delta.  The festival dates were June 4 & 5. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Friday, February 18, 2011

Students from St. Andrews Episcopal School in Jackson tour the Mississippi Delta

Students from St. Andrews Episcopal School in Jackson tour the Mississippi Delta

CLEVELAND - The Delta State University Delta Center for Culture and Learning recently provided a heritage tour to a group of students from Scotland, Japan, and Mississippi, all of whom are studying at the St. Andrews Episcopal School in Jackson. The group was organized by Chris Harth, of St. Andrews (far left), and guided by Delta State’s Luther Brown (far right). St. Andrews promotes "Glocal" approaches to learning. Glocal is a word that combines globalism and localism, and it means to think locally and act globally. 

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Mississippi Blues Trail & The Grammy Awards

Mississippi blues, country, gospel, soul and rock 'n' roll artists are at the center of American popular music and that legacy is apparent in the number of Mississippians who have been recognized by The Recording Academy® with GRAMMY® Awards, GRAMMY Hall Of Fame inductions and Lifetime Achievement Awards. On Thursday, February 10, this year’s “Mississippi Music Celebration at the GRAMMY Museum” at L.A. Live in downtown Los Angeles will celebrate that unparalleled musical legacy and specifically honor Mississippi’s pivotal role in the establishment of blues music and that genre’s influence across the music industry. The event is part of GRAMMY Week, a preamble to the GRAMMY Awards ceremony scheduled on Sunday, February 13.
On February 10 at 5 p.m., a Mississippi Blues Trail Marker will be unveiled at the GRAMMY Museum and L.A. Live sidewalk.



Wednesday, January 19, 2011




Big Blue and Baby Blue tickets have been mailed out to domestic purchasers this week.  Purchasers from outside the U.S. can pick them up in Memphis. The FedEx International Showcase participants have been announced to kick off IBC week on Tuesday, February 1 at the New Daisy Theater: Isaiah B Brunt, Sydney Blues Society (Australia); Sweet Felicia and the Honeytones, Melbourne Blues Appreciation Society (Australia); Mud Dog, White Rock Blues Society (British Columbia, Canada); Harrison "Sweet Taste" Kennedy & David Rotundo Band, Canal Bank Shuffle (Ontario, Canada); Erin McCallum, Bruce County Blues Society (Ontario, Canada); Michael Jerome Browne, Montreal Blues Society (Quebec, Canada); Robert Johnson's Backbone, Croatian Blues Forces (Croatia); Jo' Buddy & Down Home King III, Finnish Blues Society (Finland); AWEK & Mountain Men, Blues Sur Seine (France); Georg Schroeter & Marc Breitfelder,    Baltic Blues (Germany); The Sons of Moriah, Israel Blues Society (Israel); Marco Pandolfi,  Mojo Station (Italy); Daniele Tenca & Blues for the Working Class, DeltaBlues (Italy); King Mo & Ralph de Jongh, Dutch Blues Foundation (Netherlands); The Urban Blues Band & Rita Engedalen Blues Duo, Norsk Blues Union (Norway); Kajetan Drozd Acoustic Trio,   T.B. King Blues Club (Poland); Fifteen young people between the ages of 11-19 will participate in the first ever Youth Blues Knowledge Bowl at B.B. King’s Friday, February 4 at 2:00pm.  We are working on the format, but this should be fun.  B.B. King’s Bluesville Program Director will share MC duties with Justin Whitmer.  The Orpheum Theater has begun selling individual tickets for the Band finals and for the Solo/Duo finals.  They can be purchased online at:




How the IBC Quarter Finals Work...

The schedule for the 27th International Blues Challenge has been set. While we won't release the schedule with the times and venues until Wednesday, February 2, we can provide the following information. Solo/Duo: The number of acts in any solo/duo venue is either ten or eleven. There are eight venues during the quarterfinals. Four acts will advance from each venue so the semifinals will see 32 acts in four venues. Two acts from each venue will advance to the finals which puts eight acts in the finals on Saturday evening at the Orpheum Theatre.  Band: The number of acts in any band venue is nine or ten. There are eleven venues during the quarterfinals. Four acts will advance from each venue so 44 will advance to the semifinals. They will compete in 8 clubs. One band from each of the eight venues will advance to the finals Saturday. The quarter finals begin between 4:00pm and 5:45pm, depending on the venue. The semifinals follow after the Smokin' Bluz Youth Showcase which begins at 4:00pm so semifinals will either begin at 5:20pm or 6:00pm.









The following discs advance to the final round of judging in the Best Self Produced CD contest. The winner will be crowned February 5, 2011 at the Historic Orpheum Theater on Main and Beale Street.

Boston Blues Society - Delta Generators Hard River to Row, Cascade Blues Association - Joe McMurrian Get Inside This House, Central Mississippi Blues Society - Stevie J The Diversity Project, South Sound Blues Association – Becki Sue and her Big Rockin' Daddies Big Rockin Boogie, The Blues, Jazz and Folk Music Society - Long Tall Deb & the Drifter Kings Diamonds on the Desert FloorThis year a record 55 affiliates around the world submitted entries.



27th IBC News

The 27th International Blues Challenge will consist of: 110 Bands, 83 Solo/Duo & 28 Youth acts - adding up to 709 Musicians - representing 41 States & 13 Countries.  That’s 221 acts in 4 days and 5 nights - over 500 performances within three city blocks - only steps from great hotels and fantastic food.  It can only happen in Downtown Memphis, Tennessee - on World Famous Beale Street.  The Blues Foundation is the only organization in the world that can make it a Blues Party!