Mississippi music, people, and other local stuff

North Mississippi Hill Country Picnic

This wonderful festival started a few years ago, the brainchild of hill country elder Kenny Brown and his wife.  It's held on or around the 4th of July weekend, right out in the middle of a field, and it gets bigger and more comprehensive every year.  If you want to know what is happening right now in the world of Mississippi hill country blues, this is the place to go.  Just be prepared:  it's gonna be hot!  Bring sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses, and plenty of water.

African-American music from the hill country

Bill Steber is acknowledged by many to be the best photographer of Mississippi hill country blues people and their world.  He's a musician of sorts:  he's got the touch, the sound, the vibe.  This website intersperses some of his best known photos with a narrative journey into the heart of the music.

Mississippi Blues Trail Blog

Scott Barretta and Jim O'Neal are former editors of Living Blues magazine, published at the University of Mississippi in Oxford.  They are also the lead researchers charged with creating the text that goes on the signs that are in the process of being installed at several hundred "Blues Trail" locations around Mississippi.  This is a massive project with immense long-term consequences for the way in which the world of the future understands Mississippi's contribution to the blues, and Scott and Jim happen to be extraordinarily well-qualified for the job.  This is their blog. 

Cat Head (Delta Blues and Folk Art)

If you're planning on visiting the Delta in search of the blues, Roger Stolle's shop in Clarksdale is a great place to start.  He's got a broad selection of contemporary and historical Mississippi blues on CD and DVD, plus lots of blues books, magazines, posters, knick-knacks.  He's also got folk-art from local artists, many of them blues performers (James "Super Chikan" Johnson, for example).  If you're adventurous, you'll be grateful for his website:  it's the single best source for information on live blues music in Mississippi.  Something--a gig, a festival, a jam session--is going on every night of the week, seemingly, and Roger will help you find it.

the delta blues

Jason Rewald and his friend have been making an annual blues pilgrimmage to Mississippi.  This blog is a storehouse of amazing photographs and adventures, plus news items you won't find anywhere else.