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Blues Bash Saturday festival planned
for April 4 as part of Delta Blues Symposium
March 6, 2009 --
A blues festival is
planned for this year’s Delta Blues Symposium at Arkansas State
University-Jonesboro. Blues Bash Saturday will feature blues musicians
and an open mike/jam session on Saturday afternoon, April 4, at ASU’s
Heritage Plaza lounge, located within the Reng Student Services
Center/Student Union, 101 North Caraway Road, Jonesboro. The event is
sponsored by the university’s English and Philosophy Department, KASU
91.9 FM, the Arkansas Folklife Program, and the Arkansas Delta Blues
show will begin at 12:30 p.m. with featured performers Valerie June,
Terry ‘Harmonica’ Bean, and the Bluesberry Jam Band. At 2:30 p.m., the
stage will be open for any musicians who want to perform blues tunes in
an open microphone setting. Following this session, an informal jam
session will put the capstone on the annual symposium’s theme of
“Celebrating a Century of Delta Culture.”
blueswoman Valerie June will open the show. She plays the acoustic blues
of early country blues artists and her own compositions. Describing
her style as “organic moonshine roots music,” June has appeared at
numerous events, including the Arkansas Blues and Heritage Festival,
KASU’s Blue Monday concert series, and Memphis’s River Arts Festival.
She has recently appeared and performed on MTV’s Webisode series $5
Cover (online at http://fivedollarcover.com). $5 Cover is a series set
in the clubs, all-night cafes and no-tell motels of present-day Memphis.
It features a cast of young musicians as they work, live, and love, with
all characters playing themselves and performing their own music.
Mississippi blues musician Terry ‘Harmonica’ Bean will take
the stage at 1:15 p.m. A native of Pontotoc, Bean is carrying on the
Delta Blues tradition of his father, noted down-home blues player, Eddie
Bean. He plays solo acts and with his blues band, and Bean has performed
with many well-known Delta artists, including James ‘T-Model’ Ford, Asie
Payton, and Lonnie Pitchford. He is consciously dedicated to “keeping
alive” older styles of blues. “What’s stimulating to me,” he says, “is
people hearing the blues played like they used to hear it.”
The Bluesberry Jam Band, of Jackson, Tenn., will take the stage at 2 p.m.
The popular blues band formed five years ago from jam sessions in the
Jackson area. They play Chicago-style urban blues, rhythm and blues, and
a variety of other styles, and they are emerging as one of the most
popular contemporary blues bands in Tennessee. Following their
performance, they will back any interested singers or musicians
attending the festival.
Blues Bash Saturday will be emceed by Mike Luster, director of ASU’s
Arkansas Folklife Program.
For further information, contact the Department of English and
Philosophy at (870) 972-3043 or visit the Web site www.clt.astate.edu/blues.
All symposium events are free and open to the public.
For details, contact Dr. Gregory Hansen (firstname.lastname@example.org),
at (870) 972-3043.
of Valerie June courtesy of Susan Riddle Duke Photography.
Photo of Terry 'Harmonica' Bean courtesy of Dr. Gregory Hansen.