Bentonia, MS, March 08, 2011 --(PR.com
)-- On Saturday, June 18, 2011, downtown Bentonia, Mississippi, a community with a population of about 500, will swell to an estimated 10,000, all coming to participate in an annual celebration of the unique country style of blues referred to as the Bentonia School. With Free admission, live gospel music starting at 9 a.m., activities and games for families and children, arts & crafts, food and more, this is sure to be an event everyone can enjoy.
The blues stage will kick off at 1 pm, including live performances from Big Joe Shelton, Terry "Harmonica" Bean, Mark "Muleman" Massey, Bentonia's own Jimmy "Duck" Holmes, Kenny Brown Band, Fearless Four, Dexter Allen ft. Tonya Youngblood, the Jarekus Singleton Band, Johnny Rawls, and national recording artist T.K. Soul.
The festival, founded in 1972 by Jimmy "Duck" Holmes, is one of the oldest blues festivals in the state of Mississippi. With Bentonia Blues fans coming from as far away as Japan, England, Norway, Canada, and all corners of the United States, the festival has become a favorite for visitors nationally and internationally.
Jimmy “Duck” Holmes is the last living practitioner of the famed Bentonia blues style made famous by Skip James and Jack Owens. Holmes, who studied directly under Jack Owens, is also the owner of the legendary Blue Front Cafe, Mississippi's oldest juke joint and the location of the annual Bentonia Blues Festival. He will delight audiences once again on the blues stage this June.
“I've never seen anything like it,” says Holmes. “In 2007 we had about 2000 here for the festival, but in the last couple years it has really grown. That's just amazing to me. I'm thrilled to know that my music and this festival is helping to keep the Bentonia style of blues alive.”
Yazoo County Convention & Visitors Bureau is seeking help from the community in being able to continue to provide this incredible event. “This event showcases our southern hospitality as well as our unique Yazoo County culture that brings travelers from across the globe to our little corner of the Mississippi Delta,” says Executive Director of the CVB, Tonja Ray-Smith. “But, it wouldn't be possible without our sponsors and volunteers.”
For those interested in volunteering and/or sponsoring, call the Yazoo County CVB at (662) 746-1815 or visit www.yazoo.org. And, a festival just isn’t a festival without food or arts & crafts vendors. To be considered, contact the Town Hall of Bentonia, MS at (662) 755-2281.
To keep up with the latest developments of the festival, become a fan of the Bentonia Blues Festival on Facebook at www.facebook.com/BentoniaBluesFestival