Bentonia Blues Festival returns

By THE YAZOO HERALD,

The 2019 Bentonia Blues Festival returns with week-long music and the popular festival this weekend.

Music will be performed June 10-14 at 7 p.m. nightly at the historic Blue Front Cafe in Bentonia.

The festival will take place all day Saturday, June 15, at the Holmes family farm just north of Bentonia off Highway 49 North.

The event will feature food and arts and crafts vendors, RV, and tent camping (fees apply), live music, and more.

The 47th Bentonia Blues Festival will be honoring the Father of the Bentonia Blues, Henry “Son” Stuckey. This year’s Festival Poster will feature one of the newly discovered photos of the blues legend who taught Skip James, Jack Owens, Jimmy “Duck” Holmes and a dozen other blues musicians in Bentonia.

The Bentonia Blues Festival began in 1972 on a farm, just up the road from the world-famous Blue Front Cafe, on land owned by the Holmes family. It was a tiny event, with only one D.J. and Walter “Big Daddy” Hood (“500 lbs. of Blues”) performing a capella. The location of the festival was moved into downtown Bentonia in 2006. Since that time, the festival has grown from an attendance of a couple hundred to thousands in recent years, prompting the festival to be moved back to the original location on the Holmes farm. The festival has attracted blues performers and fans from far and wide.

“When I started this festival in 1972, it was to help preserve the Bentonia style of blues, which is unique to this area. I knew then that it would be a great event, but I never knew it would be as big as it is now,” says Jimmy “Duck” Holmes, owner of the Blue Front Cafe and creator of the Bentonia Blues Festival. “The fact that so many people have become aware of this music and want to celebrate it every year with us here in Bentonia really warms my heart. Every year we have people here from a different country or state that’s never been before. The Bentonia blues is still alive, and it’s right here.”