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Fourth annual Blues in the Schools program to feature Mississippi bluesman Jimmy 'Duck' Holmes April 9

March 31, 2010 -- Fourth, fifth, and sixth grade students at Jonesboro Visual and Performing Arts Magnet School will experience a special blues program on Friday, April 9, at 2 p.m. The program, in conjunction with Arkansas State University’s Delta Symposium XVI, will feature blues guitarist and vocalist Jimmy “Duck” Homes. A Jimmy 'Duck' Holmes outside his Blue Front Cafe in Bentonia, Miss. Photo courtesy of Broke and Hungry Records.native of Bentonia, Mississippi, Holmes plays in the distinctive style of local blues legends Skip James and Jack Owens, and he operates one of the oldest “juke joints” in the state, Bentonia’s Blue Front Cafe, the rural juke joint that Holmes and his family have operated since 1948.

Jimmy "Duck" Holmes burst onto the international blues scene in 2006 with his debut CD, “Back to Bentonia,” released on Broke and Hungry Records. That disc was followed by Holmes’ 2007, “Done Got Tired of Tryin’,” (Broke and Hungry Records) which was nominated for a Blues Music Award as Acoustic Album of the Year. He released ”Ain’t it Lonesome” in October 2009 on Broke and Hungry Records. Holmes was also featured in the award-winning film M for Mississippi: A Road Trip through the Birthplace of the Blues. While much of “Ain’t it Lonesome” was recorded at the Blue Front Cafe, additional tracks were recorded at Bill Abel’s Big Toe Studio in Duncan, Miss.

Known for his haunting acoustic original songs (“My Baby’s Gone,” “Nightmare,” and “Done Got Tired of Tryin’”), Holmes has released several searing electrical performances as well, like “All Night Long” and “Tell Me, Woman.” Listen to Jimmy 'Duck' Holmes at MySpace Music. Holmes is listed in the Mississippi Folklife Folk Artist Directory, a project of the Mississippi Arts Commission.

Holmes also works as an educator and will be joined for the Blues in the Schools presentation by Dr. Mike Luster of the Arkansas Folklife Program. Holmes will be inJimmy 'Duck' Holmes performs at the 2007 Chicago Blues Festival. Photo credit: the Mississippi Folklife and Folk Artist Directory. Jonesboro as a part of ASU-Jonesboro’s Delta Symposium XVI: Region and the Politics of Culture. Holmes will  make a public appearance on Saturday, April 10, in the afternoon at Bluegrass Morning/Blues Bash Afternoon, the free  music festival and Delta Symposium XVI’s finale. Bluegrass Morning/Blues Bash Afternoon will be held on the Heritage Plaza lawn on the east side of ASU’s Reng Student Services Center/Student Union, 101 N. Caraway Road, Jonesboro. In case of rain, the festival will move inside to the ASU Student Union Auditorium. Bluegrass Morning/Blues Bash Afternoon will also feature Bill Abel and 'blues harmonica player and vocalist 'Cadillac' John Nolden, as well as bluegrass bands the Tennessee Boltsmokers and 2 Mule Plow.

The program at Jonesboro Visual and Performing Arts Magnet School is part of an on-going effort to bring to bring blues, jazz, bluegrass, and other forms of vernacular music to Arkansas school children. The program is presented under the auspices of the Arkansas Folklife Program, with special support from ASU’s Office of Diversity and the National Endowment for the Arts.

For more information contact Dr. Mike Luster, Arkansas Folklife Program ( or Megan Harrell, Hillcrest Elementary, (870-033-5830).

Photos, from top:
Jimmy 'Duck' Holmes outside the Blue Front Cafe;
photo courtesy of Broke and Hungry Records.

Jimmy 'Duck' Holmes performs at the 2007 Chicago Blues Festival.
Photo credit: Mississippi Folklife and Folk Artist Directory.


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