Barretta's Blues

TheDay - New London, CT, USA

The Sunflower River Blues and Gospel Festival is recognized internationally for its stellar lineups, but many fans head to Clarksdale this weekend to take in the many unofficial events and performances.

Big Jack Johnson, the elder statesman of the Clarksdale blues scene, is booked both nights Aug. 7-8, 2009 at Red's juke joint, located at the intersection of Sunflower Avenue and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. On Friday night Big Jack will be celebrating the release of his new CD, Katrina, and on Saturday fans will gather to celebrate his birthday.

The downhome venue is also hosting screenings of the blues documentary M For Mississippi, which will be projected onto the wall at 3 p.m. both days Its producers and some of the featured artists just returned home from Norway, where the documentary was shown at the Notodden Blues Festival.

It's likely some blues fans will barely leave the premises of Hopson Plantation, where Jimbo Mathus is performing on Aug. 7 and Big George Brock will be tearing up the house on Aug. 8. On Aug. 9 beginning at 2 p.m., Hopson is hosting the third annual "Sam Carr Day" in honor of the veteran local drummer, who has been in poor health recently.

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