Sunflower River Blues and Gospel Festival

31st Annual Sunflower River Blues Festival

Cool breezes and sizzling hot blues welcomed blues fans celebrating the 31st Annual Sunflower River Blues Festival in Clarksdale Friday night with celebrity performances by 19-year-old music phenom Christone "Kingfish" Blues home from sell-out concerts in San Francisco; Anthony 'Big A' Sherrod who traveled with his guitar off stage to the festival grounds; and James 'Super Chikan' Johnson, a crowd favorite, who alternated playing his handmade instruments with barnyard lyrics.
Christone "Kingfish" Ingram
Anthony 'Big A' Sherrod
James 'Super Chikan' Johnson
Multi-talented musician and Delta Blues Museum Student Band instructor Walt Busby takes the stage early Friday with Heather Crosse: Heavy Suga & the SweetTones.
Following in the footsteps of legendary drummer Sam Carr, Lee Williams claims title as the Delta's best drummer.
Vocalist, bass guitarist Heather Crosse dominates the Friday evening Sunflower stage.
Highlighting the Sunflower River Blues Festival's Saturday night main stage event is its prestigious awards ceremony honoring two of its own special musicians who made significant contributions for many years to the festival and died in the spring of 2018: Josh 'Razorblade' Stewart and C. V. Veal Also honored was Clarksdale super star and international ambassador, James 'Super Chikan' Johnson, who was awarded the festival's top accolade: the Early Wright Award. Family members and Sunflower officers on stage include (from left) Laura Tillis, Saturday emcee; Pepper Von, celebrity fitness guru son of C.V. Veal who flew from Sacramento, Calif, for the event; Maie Smith, Sunflower booking chairman; longtime co-chairman John Sherman; 'Super Chikan', Catherine Clark, Sunflower treasurer; Jermaine Hanfor, Razorblade's son; Melvita Tillis Presley, festival chair; Margaret Walker, vendor chair; LaTrena Hayes, Razorblade's daughter and her son, Randy Stuckey Jr.

Arriving with a dramatic drum and fife march into Ground Zero Blues Club Saturday, are Sharde Thomas and the Rising Star Drum and Fife Band created by her grandfather, Othar Turner of Gravel Springs. Their appearance signals the finale of the Sunflower's acoustic stage and the opening of its main stage for its Saturday night set.

Although the Delta Blues Museum Student Band is a seasoned corp of performers, they gain additional experience before a large audience at the Sunflower River Blues Festival. Keeping the beat is Little Drummer Girl Bonnie, one of the DBM instructors

Simona Ottolenghi, (seated center in black) of Rome, Italy, leader of the Viaggio Fotografico tour group of 11 Italian photographers, take a break from documenting the Sunflower Festival and many blues sites in Clarksdale and the Mississippi Delta for multiple global websites. Ottolenghi has led groups here annually since 2008.

Matador videographer Issac Snow from New York City focuses on the Jonestown Crusaders during Sunday's Sunflower River Gospel Festival in the Clarksdale Civic Auditoriumat Sunday. Segments of the program will be incorporated in a tourism travel video for the State of Mississippi.

Winners of the prestigious 2018 Julius Guy Gospel Heritage Award for outstanding contributions to gospel music presented Sunday at the Sunflower River Gospel Festival in the Civic Auditorium by Maie Smith (left) booking chairman, and Johnny Kinard, gospel chair (far right) are the Rev. Nathaniel Cusic, pastor of Morning Star M. B. Church; and the Rev. Ricky L. Walker, pastor of Locust Grove M. B. Church.

Matador Network video photograpers Issac Show (left) and Blaze Nowara of New York City visit with Sunflower gospel festival buffet chair Madge Harris Sunday during at the 2018 Sunflower River Blues and Gospel Festival. Sunday in the Civic Auditoium. Their footage will become a tourism travel video for the state of Mississippi

Veteran blues musician Terry (Big T) Wiliams excites the large Saturday night crowd surrounding the main stage at the 31st Annual Sunflower River Blues Festival.

Melvita Tillis Presley, Sunflower Festival chair welcomes the Sunflower Festival's primary sponsor Martin Marsh representing HPI, LLP from Houston, Texas, to the 31st annual celebration.

Highlighting the Sunflower River Gospel Festival Sunday in their lively performance in the Civic Auditorium are members of the Clarksdale Mass Choir.

A concert by the Myles Family is a showcase of gospel excellence as the Sunflower finale.

'Where there's dancing.'.......the Sunflower celebrates its laid-back signature

Dec 11, 2018 - 12:15PM
Latin Touch
I added a video to a @YouTube playlist John Fahey - Sunflower River Blues (1974 Version)
Dec 7, 2018 - 2:29PM
Frenchy Burrito
Frenchy Burrito - Sunflower River Blues (John Fahey Cover) #1 via @YouTube
Dec 5, 2018 - 1:16AM
Darkside Johnny
#TheBestBirthdaysInclude going to the Sunflower River Blues and Gospel Festival seeing Super Chikan! Sometimes fest…