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Delta Blues Press Release

April 14, 2011

Acclaimed Blues Musicians Among Performers;
All Proceeds to Benefit Music Program of Mississippi's Oldest Music Museum


CLARKSDALE, MS (April 14, 2011) - In time for the 2011 Juke Joint Festival in Clarksdale, Mississippi, the Delta Blues Museum will release "From Clarksdale to Kansas City, Vol. 1," the first CD featuring the museum's own student band and several acclaimed blues musicians who serve as mentors for the band, including Charlie Musselwhite, Bill Abel and Daddy Rich. The museum will host performances by the student band beginning at 5 p.m. on Friday, April 15 during the Care Station Fundraiser and again on Saturday, April 16 at 3 p.m. during the Juke Joint Festival. The Delta Blues Museum Band CD will be available for purchase at student band performances throughout the Festival weekend and will also be sold through the museum's gift shop and website.

The Delta Blues Museum Band is part of the museum's educational program and teaches students in the traditional way music has been passed along from musician to musican, from one musical generation to the next. Notable talents like Musselwhite and Abel become guest instructors at the museum, teaching young musicians the rudiments and foundations of blues music and passing on the traditions of this important art form for generations to come. Museum director Shelley Ritter says the CD project came about not for promotional purposes but as a natural progression of the class curriculum, explaining that "in recording the CD, Delta Blues Museum students were given a great opportunity to expand their musical knowledge, beyond the classroom and their instruments, into the music business side-learning from musicians, recording engineers, attorneys, and songwriters, even creating their own CD artwork." The CD project allowed museum instructors the chance to educate students on the history of other blues musicians, such as Robert Johnson and Muddy Waters, and to demonstrate the importance of copyright and licensing-instructors also incorporated Sam Phillips' Memphis Recording Studio and its evolution into Sun Records (thanks to the recording of "Rocket '88" by a group of musicians from Clarksdale).

The 12-track CD, made possible by a grant from the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, showcases blues favorites as well as one original composition on one-string guitars, hand-made by the students under the instruction of Mississippi Artist Roster musician Bill Abel. Musselwhite, also a featured artist on the CD, taught harmonica to the no-age-limit class and offered a lesson not only on technique but also on the skill of listening. The CD was recorded at Vincent Productions in Clarksdale.

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All proceeds from CD sales will benefit the museum's music program. The Delta Blues Museum is dedicated to creating a welcoming place where visitors find meaning, value, and perspective by exploring evolution of the unique American musical art form of the blues. The City of Clarksdale, located at the intersection of Highways 61 and 49 ("the crossroads"), and the surrounding Delta region are known as "the land where the blues began." Since its creation, the Delta Blues Museum has preserved, interpreted, and encouraged a deep interest in the story of the blues.Established in 1979 by the Carnegie Public Library Board of Trustees and re-organized as a stand-alone museum in 1999, the Delta Blues Museum is the state's oldest music museum. The Delta Blues Museum Stage is adjacent to the museum classroom, which hosts a year-round music education program as well as lectures and symposia. The Delta Blues Museum Stage serves as the main venue for local festivals such as the Sunflower River Blues and Gospel Festival in August and the Juke Joint Festival in April.


For more information about the CD, the Delta Museum Band or any of the museum's programs, please call (662) 627-6820, or visit the Museum web site at

Members of the press may contact the Director and/or access the PRESS ROOM for further information, images and materials by registration on the Museum website.

Shelley Ritter, Director