Kent Kimbrough’s Birthday Party at Junior’s Juke Joint #2 in Holly Springs

Bands, Blues, entertainment, events, juke joints, music, Night Clubs, soul, southern soul, venues, videos

010 Beeny Moore011 Benny Moore012 Benny Moore013 Holly Springs Rhythm Section014 Benny Moore015 Holly Springs Rhythm Section016 Benny Moore017 Holly Springs Rhythm Section018 Holly Springs Rhythm Section019 Benny Moore020 Benny Moore021 Holly Springs Rhythm Section022 Holly Springs Rhythm Section023 Benny Moore024 Benny Moore025 Holly Springs Rhythm Section026 Holly Springs Rhythm Section027 Holly Springs Rhythm Section028 Benny Moore029 Benny Moore030 Benny Moore031 Junior's Juke Joint #2
I had been at Duwayne Burnside’s birthday event at the Blues Shack earlier in the evening, and he had mentioned that drummer Kent Kimbrough was also having a birthday party at Junior’s Juke Joint #2 in Holly Springs, so when Duwayne’s event seemed to be calming down, I drove back to Holly Springs to check out the other event. Junior’s Juke Joint was clearly packed to the rafters, and I had trouble finding a place to park. A rather loud argument was going on in the parking lot when I arrived, but I went on inside, where a DJ was spinning blues and southern soul. At one point, a singer named Benny Moore got up to perform, and the club’s house band, known as the Holly Springs Rhythm Section, backed him up. Although I had not heard of him before, he was a decent singer. After his performance, with the DJ providing the music, a woman who said she was one of the late R. L. Burnside’s daughters pulled me onto the dance floor. I’m not a dancer by any means, but it was fun anyway.

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David Kimbrough, Little Joe Ayers and Robert Kimbrough Live at The New Junior’s Juke Joint #2 in Holly Springs

Blues, entertainment, events, music, Night Clubs, videos

084 Junior's Juke Joint #2085 Junior's Juke Joint #2086 Junior's Juke Joint #2087 Junior's Juke Joint #2088 Little Joe Ayers089 Little Joe Ayers090 Little Joe Ayers091 Little Joe Ayers092 Little Joe Ayers094 Junior's Juke Joint #2095 Little Joe Ayers096 Little Joe Ayers097 Junior's Juke Joint #2098 Junior's Juke Joint #2099 Little Joe Ayers100 Junior's Juke Joint #2101 Robert Kimbrough102 Robert Kimbrough103 Robert Kimbrough104 Robert Kimbrough105 Robert Kimbrough106 Robert Kimbrough107 Robert Kimbrough108 Robert Kimbrough109 Robert Kimbrough110 Junior's Juke Joint #2111 Junior's Juke Joint #2112 Robert Kimbrough113 Junior's Juke Joint #2114 Robert Kimbrough115 Robert Kimbrough116 Robert Kimbrough117 Robert Kimbrough118 Robert Kimbrough119 Junior's Juke Joint120 David Kimbrough121 David Kimbrough122 David Kimbrough123 David Kimbrough124 David Kimbrough125 David Kimbrough126 David Kimbrough127 David Kimbrough128 David Kimbrough129 Junior's Juke Joint #2130 David Kimbrough131 Junior's Juke Joint #2132 David Kimbrough133 David Kimbrough134 Junior's Juke Joint #2135 Junior's Juke Joint #2
For many years, Hill Country bluesman Junior Kimbrough had a juke joint in rural Marshall County that was a destination for those in the know. People from all over the world made their way to the spot, where blues continued “All Night Long”, as the song said. The juke moved a couple of times over the years, then burned to the ground, and never reopened. So when I heard that Junior’s son was opening a new juke called Junior’s Juke Joint #2 near Holly Springs, I was thrilled. The new juke is much closer to town than the old ones had been, just north of the Rust College campus along Highway 7. The bright blue building was already abuzz with activity when I arrived, and I saw a number of people that had just come from the blues concert on the square, just as I had. Little Joe Ayers performed first, and as he was on stage Shannon McNally and Garry Burnside came in. Shortly thereafter, Junior Kimbrough’s son Robert Kimbrough got on stage and performed several tunes, and then the man of the evening appears, the juke’s owner himself, David Kimbrough Jr. As he performs a number of the Hill Country blues standards, his dad’s as well as R. L. Burnside’s, the floor fills up with willing dancers. When I left at midnight, things were still going strong. Junior’s Juke Joint #2 will be a must-visit attraction in Holly Springs.

Final Thursday Night Blues on the Square in Holly Springs with Brown Sugar and Shannon McNally @McNally

Bands, Blues, entertainment, events, music, videos

001 Blues on the Square003 Blues on the Square005 Brown Sugar Band006 Brown Sugar Band007 Brown Sugar008 Blues on the Square009 Blues on the Square010 Blues on the Square011 Blues on the Square012 Blues on the Square013 Blues on the Square014 Blues on the Square015 Blues on the Square016 Blues on the Square017 Brown Sugar Band018 Brown Sugar Band019 Blues on the Square020 Blues on the Square021 Blues on the Square024 Blues on the Square026 Brown Sugar Band027 Brown Sugar Band028 Brown Sugar Band029 Brown Sugar Band030 Brown Sugar Band031 Blues on the Square032 Blues on the Square033 Blues on the Square034 Blues on the Square035 Blues on the Square036 Blues on the Square037 Blues on the Square038 Blues on the Square039 Blues on the Square040 Blues on the Square041 Blues on the Square042 Blues on the Square043 Alice Mae's Cafe044 Blues on the Square045 Blues on the Square046 Blues on the Square047 JB's On The Square048 JB's On The Square049 JB's On The Square050 Shannon McNally051 Shannon McNally052 Shannon McNally053 Shannon McNally054 Garry Burnside and Shannon McNally055 Blues on the Square056 Shannon McNally057 Shannon McNally058 Garry Burnside059 Shannon McNally060 Shannon McNally061 Blues on the Square062 Blues on the Square063 Blues on the Square064 Shannon McNally & Garry Burnside065 Shannon McNally066 Shannon McNally067 Garry Burnside068 Garry Burnside069 Blues on the Square070 Blues on the Square071 Blues on the Square072 Blues on the Square073 Blues on the Square075 Blues on the Square076 Blues on the Square077 Blues on the Square078 Blues on the Square079 Blues on the Square080 Blues on the Square081 Blues on the Square082 Blues on the Square083 Blues on the Square
Beginning in July each summer, the town of Holly Springs, Mississippi sponsors Thursday night blues concerts on the courthouse lawn in the town square. While the events do attract tourists, it’s not just a tourist-oriented event, as Marshall County is an important place in Mississippi blues history. Two of the greatest Hill County bluesmen, R. L. Burnside and Junior Kimbrough, were from Marshall County, and made their careers and reputations in the area. The county is also home to the annual North Mississippi Hill Country Picnic, held each summer in Waterford, and the county seat of Holly Springs is the location of Akei Pro’s Record Shop, a virtual blues-lover’s paradise, full of old vinyl records and some compact discs, as well as bluesman Duwayne Burnside’s local club, Alice Mae’s Cafe.
On September 25, I headed down to Holly Springs for the soft opening of a new juke joint, Junior’s Juke Joint #2, being opened north of town by David Kimbrough Jr, son of the late Junior Kimbrough. The opening date was chosen to correspond to the final Thursday night event of the year on the square, so I headed there first, and found a large crowd listening, dancing and enjoying the music of blues singer Brown Sugar and her band. After her performance, I ran across and grabbed a dinner at JB’s on the Square (good food) and then made it back in time to see indie singer Shannon McNally, who was performing with a band that included Garry Burnside (another son of R. L.’s) on guitar. North Center Street was also in a festive mood, with a large crowd outdoors, and good Southern Soul records playing in Alice Mae’s Cafe. In a large parking lot north of Akei Pro’s, there was a crowd of people hanging out and grilling food. After Shannon’s last song, there was a procession of Corvettes that came through the square, and the final Thursday night Blues on the Square event for 2014 came to a close.