February 27, 2014
up inside the Delta Blues Museum
these days as we work on plans for this year, our
35th anniversary. As Mississippi's
oldest music museum, the first dedicated to the Blues,
and as the premier showcase for the music and its
history, we are privileged to continue to work toward
the preservation of the legacy of the Blues and its
culture. From our beginnings in 1979 in a back room
in the Myrtle Hall Branch of Clarksdale's
Carnegie Library to our move in 1999 to the
Illinois Central freight depot and
the construction of the Muddy Waters Addition
in 2012, we have grown along with the growing interest
in Delta Blues.
Historic Illinois Central Railroad freight depot, now home of the Delta Blues Museum
The new Muddy Waters Addition
The Delta Blues Museum, 2014
is in the news: Thanks to Charlie
Musslewhite for the shout out to the Delta
Blues Museum at the Grammys last month. Congratulations
to Charlie and Ben Harper for winning
the 2014 Grammy Award for Best Blues Album
for their Get Up! (Order
a copy from our Shop).
And congrats to James Cotton who
received a Mississippi Arts Commission Governor's
Award for Excellence in the Arts this month.
We were pleased to see and hear DBM Ambassador
Jimbo Mathus and band as featured entertainment
at the Governor's Awards.
of awards. . . we received a Partnership
Award for continuous support of our programs
of service from the Mississippi Delta Chapter
of The Links, a national association of professional
women of color. Thank you!
more time: we're still proud of the award
we received last year from the Institute of Museum
and Library Services, the National Medal for
Museum and Library Service. We received the
honor from First Lady Michelle Obama
in the East Wing of the White House.
Pictured: Travis Calvin,
a graduate of our Arts and Education Program;
Museum Director Shelley Ritter; First Lady Michelle
Obama. Photo Credit: IMLS.
the foundation of the last 35 years, we're working
on some special projects for this year-new exhibits
and programs, and unique performances, especially
for Juke Joint Festival (April 10
-13) and the Sunflower River Blues and Gospel
Festival (August 8 - 10). Take a look at
the first of our new 35th Anniversary Year exhibits
below and watch for more to come. Keep up with us
through this Newsletter, and on our Facebook
page: join 12,000 of your fellow Museum fans on FB
if you haven't yet.
If you haven't
visited our home page lately, check out our two most
recent Explore and Learn sections,
"The New World" and "Robert
New World District in Clarksdale was the
African American "capital" of the Delta on weekends,
from the 1890s to the 1940s. On Saturdays, Muddy
Waters, Howling Wolf, Pinetop Perkins, David "Honeyboy"
Edwards, and Sonny Boy Williamson played
for farm workers who came to shop, socialize, and
hear the blues. On Sundays, nearby churches were filled
with faithful folks and great gospel music.
As for Robert
Johnson all blues fans know about his singular
musical style, his influence on generations of contemporary
musicians, and yes, the legendary tale of the Crossroads,
where he supposedly "sold his soul" to the Devil to
play so well.
At these and
other Explore and Learn sections
on Muddy Waters, Son House, and Charlie Musselwhite,
you can view biographies, timelines, and photos, guided
by colorful maps. (Note: when you visit the Museum
in Clarksdale, you can walk the New World District,
which is just across the tracks from our galleries.)
These "virtual" exhibits
will be supported by new exhibits in the works. As
a special Museum item for our Deeper Roots fundraising
campaign, we have a Limited Edition Crossroads
Hoodie for sale through our Gift Shop. One
half of the $75 dollar price goes to this campaign.
You can stay warm, look great, and help support our
work by ordering yours here.
online Store for more DBM goods, like our Crossroads coffee cups. Sales support the Museum!
our Deeper Roots Campaign here
to learn how you can help support our mission
to preserve Delta blues culture.
Aykroyd, a real "Blues Brother," stopped
by the Museum for a visit.
late '60s, In Ottawa, I went to Le Hibou [club]
and heard James Cotton, Otis Spann,
Pinetop Perkins, and Muddy Waters.
I actually jammed behind Muddy Waters. S. P.
Leary left the drum kit one night, and Muddy
said, 'Anybody out there play drums? I don't
have a drummer.' I walked on stage and we started
"Little Red Rooster." He said, 'Keep that beat
going, you make Muddy feel good.' And I heard
Howlin' Wolf - many, many times-and
Buddy Guy, Junior Wells, Sonny Terry
and Brownie McGhee" - Dan Aykroyd.
to all you who visit, and to our friends and
supporters. You make our work possible. Come
see us! Starting March 1, our summer
hours begin: we open at 9 am.
Thanks for your continued and future support!
This newsletter is supported in part
by funding from the Mississippi Arts Commission, a state
in part, from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal
We now have
new exhibits on view for Jessie Mae Hemphill,
R.L. Burnside, the North Mississippi Allstars, and
Sugar Blue. Sugar Blue is on the list of
top living harp players. Burnside, Hemphill, and the
Allstars are all associated with hill country blues,
but they are our geographical neighbors and musical
close cousins. The North Mississippi Allstars were
influenced by these hill country artists (their Hill
Country Revue album features Burnside), have headlined
the annual Sunflower River and Gospel Festival last
August, and have donated instruments to the Museum.
Thanks to Ginger Johnson and True
Value for the use of their forklift to move
in the cases.
Photo Credit: Lee Pharr
the Belly of the Blues" is an exhibit of
photographs and a book by Terry Abrahamson,
covering his time in Chicago, Boston, and LA, 1969-1983.
He wrote songs, travelled with, and photographed Muddy
Waters and other blues musicians, and those they influenced,
such as George Thorogood and The Rolling Stones. We
will offer this show for the Juke Joint Festival-watch
for details to come on the opening reception and programming
with Terry. Right: Muddy Waters and Keith Richards.
Photo Credit: Terry Abrahamson
we hosted Mississippi Hill Country Blues 1867:
Photographs by George Mitchell, based on
the book of the same name. You can see the photographs
we exhibited in the book, on sale from our shop.
Hill Country Blues was organized by the Mississippi
Museum of Art and supported with funds provided
by the Museum's statewide Traveling Exhibition
Endowment, a fund made possible through significant
private contributions matched by the National
Endowment for the Arts.
Thanks to all of the above for making this exhibit possible.
of posters that spans the 26 years of the annual Clarksdale
event. Lots of names, lots of color, lots of archival
photos-a lot of blues history in a collection of over
features photos from the book of the same name by
pioneering southern folklorist William Ferris
who toured Mississippi in the 60s and 70s, documenting
African Americans as they spoke about and performed
the diverse musical traditions that form the authentic
roots of the blues. Here are the stories of blues
musicians who represent a wide range of musical traditions--from
one-string instruments, bottle-blowing, and banjo
to spirituals, hymns, and prison work chants. The
book comes with a DVD or rare film
of Delta life in the early '70 and a CD
of music from the same period. You can buy from our
Gift Shop here.
The music photographer
who helped rediscover House in the '60s and who managed
his concerts during that era's blues revival. For
more on House, see our "Follow Son House"
Explore & Learn section of our website:
Greek Musical Instrument Workshop
13th, we hosted a Greek bagpipe exhibition
and workshop led by Yannis Pantazis,
musician, composer, and instrument artisan, presented
by Flute of Culture, to benefit the
"One Stone" Tower Raising Campaign. The presentation
began with an introduction to the history of La Ponta
Santorini, a 13th century Venetian tower, followed
by a musical performance featuring various handmade
Greek wind instruments, to express the harmony, melody
and rhythm of music that is like that of Mississippi's
own cane fife tradition. Attendees learned about the
development of primitive wind instruments, from the
double-flute to the tsabouna (Greek bagpipe). In the
photo above, Pantazis plays a tsabouna which he handcrafted
himself from reeds, goat skin, and cow horn.
Upcoming 2014 Festivals
Juke Joint Festival, April 10 -13
* Sunflower River
Blues and Gospel Festival, August 8 -10
* King Biscuit
Blues Festival, October 8 - 11
We mourn the passing of Willie "Rip" Butler,
former member of the Wesley Jefferson Southern Soul
and Blues Band. Services were held on Saturday,
Feb. 22. Rip will be missed.
DBM Band's second CD, From
Kansas City to Clarksdale, Vol. 2, features
classics like "Big Boss Man," "Born Under a Bad Sign,"
"Key to the Highway," "Stormy Monday," and "Jumper
on the Line." Guest artist Kenny Brown
leads a group workout on "Kenny Brown Jam," and Bill
Abel guides the revival of the diddley bow drone on
"Return of the One String Blues." The CD is available
from the DBM online Store: just $10! Order
The DBM Band was thrilled to be part of
two Christmas parades this year, thanks
to the City of Clarksdale and Town
of Coahoma who invited us to participate. The students
and teachers who make up our Arts & Education Program had
a blast riding on a float in the parades and playing a mixture
of blues and Christmas favorites for the crowds lining the
streets. The kids all had Santa hats and glow sticks to
bring some holiday cheer, and everyone seemed to have a
great time dancing to the music as the band went by! Thanks
to Luckett Properties for the use of their
generator during the parades. (And thanks to the Town of
Jonestown for inviting the band to participate in their
parade-hope to make it next year!) The band also paraded
and played in Clarksdale in the Dr. Martin Luther
King, Jr. Parade, sponsored by Family and
Youth Opportunities Division, Inc.
Photo Credit: Lee Pharr
Christmas Parade, Coahoma
Photo Credit: Lee Pharr
Martin Luther King, Jr. Parade, Clarksdale
Photo Credit: Lee Pharr
donated instruments and equipment to the Arts and
Education program via the good folks at Blue
Green. Thanks Bill!
Photo Credit: Daddy Rich
Bob Long donated
cables to the music class.
Pictured: A&E Program teacher
Walt Busby with Long.
Photo Credit: Lee Pharr
has a variety of great Delta Blues Museum souvenirs
a look! All sales help support our programs.
Monster Guitar Picks
MS Blues Musicians Map
Crossroads Hoodie (b/w), with DBM Logo
Muddy Waters coffee
Long Sleeve Crossroads Tee
Be sure to visit the Delta Blues Museum
Shop for additional items and memorabilia.
|Delta Blues Museum
Board of Directors
Jim Herring, President
Yvonne Stanford, Secretary
Return to the Delta Blues Museum
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