Sunflower River Blues and Gospel Festival
05/24/13: Extraordinary musician/songwriter Arthneice Jones passes
Services planned Thursday, May 30 at Real Faith Church; visitation, Wednesday at Delta Burial

Arthniece BestCLARKSDALE – One of the most extraordinary blues musician/songwriters in Clarksdale and the Mississippi Delta - Arthneice “Gasman” Jones - died Wednesday, May 22, outside his home in Clarksdale’s Riverton area.

Admired by many including harp celebrity Charlie Musselwhite, Arthniece was an articulate harmonica master and leader of the Stone Gas Band that once performed frequently in north Mississippi and Memphis.

In recent years, he was semi-retired as a musician and concentrated on his contracting business.

However, each summer, his performance with guitarist Terry Williams at the Sunflower River Blues and Gospel Festival’s morning acoustic stage drew large crowds eager for his music and personal commentary.

The connection between the musician and his audience was rare and respectful and ended with entreaties for more and more and more.

Although plagued by respiratory problems, Arthneice “seemed to be improving recently” according to his daughter Mitzi.

“My mother said he came home from work, sat down outside on the top step, and fell over,” she said Friday adding that efforts to revive him at the Medical Center failed.”

Breathing with the aid of oxygen, Arthneice recently attended services for Mr. Johnnie Billington where he and others praised the master blues teacher’s many contributions.

Services will take place at 11 a.m. Thursday, May 30, 2013, at Real Faith Church, a new church located at 600 Yazoo Ave. - following a zig-zag course on Yazoo starting from Martin Luther King Bvd. near Haven United Methodist Church and extending several blocks.

Delta Burial is in charge of arrangements including visitation from 2 to 4 p.m. Wednesday, May 29 at Delta Burial.

--- Photo, obituary by Panny Flautt Mayfield

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