Sunflower River Blues and Gospel Festival
08/03/15: Sunflower Festival Promises ‘Most Authentic’ Music

Sunflower Festival Promises ‘Most Authentic’ Music

Three-day free celebration kicks off Friday in downtown Clarksdale


CLARKSDALE –The 28th edition of one of America’s Most Authentic blues events – the Sunflower River Blues and Gospel Festival - gets under way here this week in the hometown of musical giants Muddy Waters, Ike Turner, Sam Cooke, and John Lee Hooker.


“Since our ranking among America’s Top 10 places to hear authentic music by USA Weekend, we’re looking forward to international crowds as well as local music fans,” said festival chairman John Sherman.


“Sixteen photographers from Italy alone have been issued media credentials to cover our three-day festival,” he continued.


“We’re one of the world’s few free celebrations and our ‘laid-back’ signature is well-known and welcoming,” he said. Class reunions, annual family gatherings, and even a wedding are among the celebrations scheduled to take place during Sunflower weekends, according to Sherman.


Headlining the Saturday night stage will be soul legend William Bell, one of the pioneers of Stax and the unique Memphis sound recently heralded in the award-winning documentary “Take Me to the River.”


The Blues Queen of Norway and a Grammy winner Rita Engedalen reigns at 7:15 p.m. Saturday following a lineup of veteran entertainers including Super Chikan Johnson, Terry “Big T” Williams, Kenny Brown, Heather Crosse, the phenom guitarist “Kingfish” Ingram, and Lusicous Spiller.

Nathaniel Kimble headlines the Friday night stage preceded by Sweet Angel, Josh “Razorblade” Steward, and David Dunavant.


Following their extraordinary reception at the White House last fall as one of the country’s top After-School programs, the Delta Blues Museum Band will open the festival at 5 p.m. Friday.


Saturday morning’s acoustic stage beneath the VIP Tent will showcase Eddie Cusic, Pat Thomas, Bill Abel & Cadillac John, and a unique educational program –“Women in Blues” presented by Norwegian vocalists Rita Engedalen and Margit Bakken – before Sharde Turner and the Rising Star Fife & Drum Band close this acoustic stage.


A second acoustic stage will feature Jimmy “Duck” Holmes, LC Ulmer, and Terry “Harmonica” Bean in Kremser Plaza on Sunflower Ave. and Third.


Sunday’s Gospel Festival, held inside the air-conditioned Civic Auditorium, begins at 4 p.m. with Sarah Metcalf and includes The Singing Echoes, Divine Angels, The Sons of Wonder, The Myles Family, The New Converted Voices, and headliners Patrick Hollis & United.


Patrons, corporate supporters, and VIPs will be treated to the festival’s famous “Grits, Greens, and Barbecue” supper at 6 p.m. Thursday night. Chefs behind the soul food cuisine are Mrs. Louise Campbell, turnip greens; Abe’s Barbecue; and Charlie Musselwhite’s favorite cheese grits recipe.


Entertaining will be “Daddy” Rich Crisman, Anthony “Big A” Sherrod, and Leo “Bud” Welch.


Sherman says VIP wristbands are available offering special seating at linen-covered tables, beneath an air-cooled tent with unlimited beverages during the weekend.


For additional information, visit www.sunflowerfest.org





Photo of Rita Engedalen and Margiti Bakken

Rita Engedalen and Margiti Bakken....Norwegian vocalists presenting "Women in Blues" program at Sunflower

Photo of William Bell

William Bell, Saturday night headliner







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 ♫