Blues legend Jimmy “Duck” Holmes is among several Mississippians who recently received Grammy nominations for their musical projects.
The Bentonia native is being recognized for his ninth album “Cypress Grove,” which was nominated for Best Traditional Blues Album. Grammy winners will be announced next month.
Holmes, 73, has traveled the world and brought the unique sound of the Bentonia Blues to the spotlight, influencing other musicians and sharing its haunting melody with music fans, young and old.
And yet, to some, he is simply “Duck.”
Owner of one of the state’s oldest surviving juke joints, the Blue Front Café, he can often be found inside, doing what has made the place survive since the late 1940s when his parents Carey and Mary Holmes opened it. The recipe is simple: cold drinks, an open door and four walls to hold in the raw, genuine sound of the Delta blues.
“It’s important,” Holmes has always said. “It’s blues, so it’s the foundation all American music was built on. I thank God for being blessed enough to be able to have the opportunity to create music that stays true to those old guys who taught me, and that people appreciate it. I’ve never cared for being famous or wealthy. But as long as I live, I’m gonna be on a stage somewhere, singing the old-style country blues.”
The 63rd Grammy Awards will air Sunday, Jan. 31, on CBS.