Sunflower Fest Features Extraordinary Bonus Events
CLARKSDALE – Matching the hype of
Robert Plant, Charlie Musselwhite, and Bobby Rush headlining
the 25th Sunflower River Blues Festival celebration Aug.
10-12, are two days of extraordinary bonus events, says
festival co-chairman Melville Tillis.
Included are the screening of an
original movie, “True Delta,” two historic and lively
panel discussions, a photography exhibit, Delta Blues
Museum reception, the annual “Grits, Greens, and Barbecue”
VIP supper, and a Mississippi Heritage Blues Trail Marker
On Wednesday, Aug. 8, Lucky Find
Productions, will screen its documentary, “True Delta”
featuring interviews with Mississippi Delta residents
and musicians plus footage filmed at the 2009 Sunflower
Based on an original concept by
Erickson Blakney, “True Delta” is described as a “cinematic
snapshot of the blues tradition that remains vibrant in
and around Clarksdale, Mississippi – the renowned birthplace
of the blues.”
It was written by Lee Quinby with
Daniel Cowen, director of photography; Michael Scanlan,
still photographer; Daniel Cowen and Nick Lerman, editors;
with Blakney and Quinby, producers; Quinby and Cowan,
movie’s director of
photography Daniel Cowen
O’Neal, panel moderator and
co-founder of the festival and
also Living Blues magazine
(famous for her turnip/mustard
greens & cornbread muffins)
Earning positive reviews at an advance
screening in Telluride, “True Delta” will open at 5:30
p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 8, at the Delta Cinema, 11 Third
Street, followed by a “State of the Blues” panel discussion
moderated by Jim O’Neal, co-founder of Living Blues magazine.
Panelists include filmmaker Lee
Quinby and award-winning bluesman James “Super Chikan”
and panelist James “Super Chikan” Johnson.
Following the screening and panel
discussion, the public is invited to a reception and the
opening of a photography exhibit of Michael Scanlan at
the Delta Blues Museum from 7 – 9 p.m., 1 Blues Alley.
Taking center stage at 1 p.m. Thursday,
August 9, at the Delta Blues Museum will be “From the
Archive: Celebrating 25 years of the Sunflower River Blues
and Gospel Festival “ – a panel discussion of the festival
from its origin 25 years ago to current day.”
Sponsored by the Delta Blues Museum,
the panel will be moderated by Jim O’Neal, co-founder
of the Sunflower Festival and Living Blues magazine and
is sponsored by the Mississippi Humanities Council.
Michael Scanlan, still photographer
Opening at 6 p.m. Thursday, Aug.
9, the traditional VIP “Grits, Greens, and Barbecue” supper
will feature a menu starring Chef Louise Campbell’s celebrated
turnip and mustard greens with cornbread muffins, baked
cheese grits laced with garlic and green chilies from
celebrity Charlie Musselwhite’s favorite recipe, and Abe’s
famous hometown barbecue.
The supper originated years ago
to introduce Norwegian cousins from the Sunflower Festival’s
sister city of Notodden, Norway, to Southern soul food.
The 2012 party has outgrown its historic district front
porch and has been moved downtown this year to the VIP
tent near the main stage.
Entertaining will be acoustic musicians:
Bill Abel and Cadillac John; Richard “Big Daddy” Rich
Crisman; Terry “Harmonica” Bean; Lightning’ Malcolm; and
Erickson Blakney, producer
Kicking off bonus events Friday,
Aug. 10, will be the 10 a.m. unveiling of a Mississippi
Heritage Blues Trail marker honoring the Sunflower River
Blues Festival on its 25th anniversary by the Mississippi
Development Authority (MDA) – Tourism Division.
The marker will be located near
the foot of John Lee Hooker Lane near the festival main
stage where the festival has been held for more than 20
years. Produced entirely by volunteers, the free festival
is supported by grants, corporate and individual donations.
In 2008 it was ranked among the
Top 10 Places in America to hear authentic music by USA
The festival officially opens at
4:15 p.m. Friday with the Delta Blues Museum Band. For
lineups and more details, view the festival website: www.sunflowerfest.org