04/10/13: North Mississippi AllStars, Bobby Rush to headline Sunflower 26th annual free festival Aug 9-10-11
CLARKSDALE – The acclaimed North Mississippi AllStars and celebrity entertainer Bobby Rush will headline the 26th annual Sunflower River Blues and Gospel Festival in downtown Clarksdale August 9-10-11,
according to co-chairman Margaret Jordan-Walker.
Luther Dickinson, leader of the
North Mississippi AllStars, performs at
an earlier Sunflower Festival
The free 2013 celebration featuring 40 bands performing three days is being dedicated to the late Melville Tillis, longtime blues historian and festival co-chairman.
"We are delighted to present two internationally-renowned and diverse groups heading the Sunflower's festival," says Walker who announced the booking at this week's Blues Association meeting.
Rush is headlining the Friday night stage, and the North Mississippi AllStars will close the Saturday night stage.
Bobby Rush performs at the
2012 Sunflower Festival
The complete lineup will be announced on the festival website.
Clarksdale's Board of Mayor and City Commissioners recently renamed the downtown venue the Melville C. Tillis Sr. Delta Blues Stage in his honor.
At the City Board meeting, Rush, a close friend of the late co-chairman, recalled his friendship, his numerous Sunflower performances and the Rivermount Lounge owned by Tillis.
An educational forum during the festival will revisit the historic Rivermount Lounge that was home base for Rush and many performers including Ike Turner, Little Milton, Clayton Love, O.B. Buchanan.
Sunflower Association members also voiced congratulations to multiple festival headliner Charlie Musselwhite for his performance this week at the White House and to the Delta Blues Museum for its Mississippi Blues Trail Marker.
Panny Mayfield, publicist
Performing at the White House this week are (from left)
Sam Moore, Mavis Staples, Justin Timberlake, Charlie Musselwhite, and Ben Harper.