CLARKSDALE – “Comin’ Home'” has become an anthem for Clarksdale’s 17th Sunflower River Blues and Gospel Festival August 13-14.
“We’re elated to be featuring headliners from home as well as Big Bill Morganfield debuting in the hometown of his famous father, Muddy Waters,” Jonathan Masters and Melville Tillis, festival co-chairmen announced this week.
Morganfield will perform Friday night before legendary soul entertainer Latimore closes the Blues Alley main stage following a packed lineup that kicks off at 4 p.m.
Comin’ home from recent global appearances in Germany and Russia to perform on the main stage Saturday night are Big Jack Johnson and the Oilers and Super Chikan Johnson and the Fighting Cocks.
Drummer Sam Carr, who’s been nominated for more W.C. Handy awards than he can count and has been invited to perform with Led Zeppelin and Eric Clapton, will be keeping the beat with Floyd Lee and His Mean Blues Band.
Other hometown super-stars on the agenda include mega-talented Jimbo Mathus, who tours with Buddy Guy and pushes him to the max, and veteran composer/guitarist/vocalist John Mohead, an international circuit favorite in Amsterdam, Africa, and the Caribbean.
The two-day festival in downtown Clarksdale is free, open to the public, and features two acoustic stages, a main stage, and a gospel stage. Local blues clubs offer late night music following the stage finale.
“This is Clarksdale’s largest tourism event of the year,” emphasizes Masters. “Last year 20,000 music fans from 17 countries and 37 states, came and loved being here.”
The festival is produced entirely by volunteer members of the Sunflower River Blues Association, a non-profit 501 c 3 organization, with donations from grant, corporations, organizations, and individuals.
Donations are encouraged, welcome, tax-deductible, and can be sent to Post Office Box 1562, Clarksdale, Miss. 38614, according to Masters and Tillis. For more information and festival news, check www.sunflowerfest.org.
The festival lineup (subject to change) includes:
FRIDAY, AUG. 13, 2004
4 p.m. – Delta Blues Museum students
4:30 p.m. – Jacqueline Nassar Band
5:15 p.m. – Pure Blues Express
6 p.m. – The Deep Cuts
7 p.m. – Vickie Baker
8 p.m. – John Horton & Mississippi Slim
9 p.m. – Big Bill Morganfield
10 p.m. – Latimore
SATURDAY, AUG. 14, 2004
2 p.m. – The Perrys
3 p.m. – The Wesley Jefferson Southern Soul Band
4 p.m. – James Mathus Knockdown Society
5 p.m. – Terry Big T Williams & the Family
6 p.m. – Floyd Lee & His Mean Blues Band featuring Sam Carr
7 p.m. – Big George & the Houserockers
The Early Wright & Julius Guy Award Presentations
8 p.m. – T-Model Ford
9 p.m. – Super Chikan & the Fighting Cocks
10 p.m. – Big Jack Johnson & the Oilers
Acoustic Stage No. 1 – Clarksdale Station (former passenger depot) 9:30 a.m. – Tater Foster, the Music Maker 10 a.m. – William Lee Ellis 10:40 a.m. – Pat Thomas 11:20 a.m. – Louis “Gearshift” Youngblood 12 noon – John Mohead 12:40 p.m. – Eddie Cusic 1:20 p.m. – Shardee & the Rising Star Fife and Drum Band
Acoustic Stage No. 2 – Delta Avenue
1:30 p.m. – Bobby Rutledge
2:10 p.m. – Cadillac John & Bill Abel
2:50 p.m. – Robert Belfour
3:30 p.m. – John Weston
4:10 p.m. – Super Chikan Johnson
4:50 p.m. – Bottleneck Blues Band (from the Sunflower’s sister festival in Quebec, Canada) 5:30 p.m. – Slick, Terry “Harmonica” Bean, and Kinny Kimbrough
Gospel Festival – Civic Auditorium – 506 East Second St.
12 noon – Anna Russell
12:30 p.m. – The Morning Starlights of Cotton Plant, Ark.
1 p.m. – The Smith Singers of Marianna, Ark.
1:30 p.m. -The Delta Big Four of Lambert
2 p.m. – New Tradition of Clarksdale
2:30 p.m. – George McClain & the Memphis Harmonizers
3 p.m. – The True Believers of McComb
3:30 – The Pilgrim Wonders of Toledo, Ohio
4 p.m. – Nelson Larkins & God’s Possey of Chicago