Sunflower River Blues and Gospel Festival
05/15/02: Get Ready for the 15th Annual Sunflower River Blues & Gospel Festival
A trio of classic bluesmen - Bobby Blue Bland, Charlie Musselwhite and
Big Jack Johnson - is headlining the 15th edition of Clarksdale’s free
Sunflower River Blues and Gospel Festival Aug. 9-10.

    Heading the gospel stage are the Jackson Southernaires, inducted this
spring in the 2002 Mississippi Musicians Hall of Fame.

   Although the smoky-pitched vocalist with his signature blues snort is
well known to worldwide blues fans, Bland is making his Sunflower Fest debut
on the Saturday night stage.

   "It’s about time," agreed blues association members, who voted
unanimously to invite the legendary performer and his band to Clarksdale.

Sharing Saturday night headliner status with Bland is multiple Handy Award
winner Charlie Musselwhite, another hands-down favorite who's been invited
so many times, he's hailed a hometown hero, say Nat McMullen and Melville
Tillis, festival co-chairmen.

    The harmonica virtuoso, who calls the Sunflower Festival his favorite
venue and frequently can be viewed mingling with the festival crowds, has
even composed and recorded a song titled "Clarksdale Boogie." He will be
performing solo on the acoustic stage inside the passenger depot Saturday
morning and also with his band Saturday night.

   Starring Friday night will be Clarksdale's own native son and blues
celebrity – Big Jack Johnson.

   "We are really pleased Jack will be home for the festival; he's known
around the world as a premier guitarist and showman, and visitors to
Clarksdale love seeing him play on his hometown stage," commented Yvonne
Stanford, blues association secretary.

   According to McMullen and Tillis, the festival lineup remains a work in
progress as well as the fund-raising drive to raise donations to keep the
festival free.

The co-chairmen report other favorite recording artists already booked to
perform are Eddie Cotton, Jimbo Mathus, and John Mohead, who drew ovations
during the 2001 festival.

    Harmonica artist and vocalist Geneva Red, who appeared earlier this year
at Blues Station and who has recorded with celebrity drummer Sam Carr, also
has been booked and will play with Carr and her band.

   "And we couldn't have the festival without Otha Turner and the Rising
Star Fife and Drum Band who have been with us since we started this
festival," said Catherine Clark, association treasurer and charter member.

   Turner and his family group traditionally close the acoustic stage inside
the depot and lead a procession to the electric main stage next to the Delta
Blues Museum.

   Featured prominently also will be local bands including "Big T" Terry
Williams and his band, the Deep Cuts, Blues Prodigy, and the Delta Blues
Museum students.

   Among the gospel groups who will be performing are James Williams and the
Messengers and the Norman Collins Family.

The festival begins Friday afternoon and closes Saturday night. Following
a pattern set last year, the gospel festival will be held Saturday afternoon
inside the air-conditioned passenger depot, Clarksdale Station, following
the blues acoustic stage performances.

   Staged by an all-volunteer staff with the help of grants, corporate and
individual donations, the festival is a non-profit organization, and
donations are tax-deductible. The Sunflower River Blues Association's
mission is to preserve, promote and enjoy blues where it was born and to
make it accessible to all.





Jul 19, 2019 - 4:11PM
Roger Stolle
Hey y'all, Just got an email from the stellar Lofts at the Five & Dime (one of our many awesome lodging options in… https://t.co/K18VnyLEtv
Jul 19, 2019 - 4:11PM
Roger Stolle
Hey y'all, Just got an email from the stellar Lofts at the Five & Dime (one of our many awesome lodging options in… https://t.co/xAbRzsF6C3
Jul 18, 2019 - 11:35AM
Delta Blues Museum
SUNFLOWER FEST CELEBRATES $4,400 GRANT FROM MISSISSIPPI ARTS COMMISSION Board members of the Sunflower River Blues… https://t.co/MqquBjG75V
Jul 16, 2019 - 6:42PM
lustforlaughs
@ThatEricAlper John Fahey's "Sunflower River Blues" over the end credits of "Dogfight", and all the Aimee Mann songs from "Magnolia."
Jul 15, 2019 - 5:08PM
D.C Cross
Sunflower River Blues - John Fahey - D.C Cross cover https://t.co/TMeFHEFUvQ via @YouTube
Jul 15, 2019 - 2:41PM
Roger Stolle
You can't really get much bluesier than juke joints and Robert Johnson!!! Join us for CAT HEAD's 17th anniversary D… https://t.co/dTdQz3kX5j
Jul 15, 2019 - 12:19PM
Roger Stolle
Lots of great real-deal Mississippi Blues acts coming to Clarksdale, Mississippi's Sunflower River Blues Festival n… https://t.co/VjunrGNF8n
Jul 10, 2019 - 9:45PM
WWPF Radio
♫ #NowPlaying John Fahey - Sunflower River Blues https://t.co/JxqSrYr1Bq F-Channel ♫
Jul 10, 2019 - 5:07PM
WWPF Radio
♫ #NowPlaying John Fahey - Sunflower River Blues https://t.co/JxqSrYr1Bq I-Channel ♫