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.

Remembering the Legacy of R. L. Burnside at the Blues Shack in Waterford, Mississippi

Blues, entertainment, events, music

437 Duwayne Burnside & Little Joe Ayers438 Burnside Picnic439 Duwayne Burnside, Little Joe Ayers & Kenny Brown440 Burnside Picnic441 Little Joe Ayers442 Burnside Picnic443 Burnside Picnic444 Duwayne Burnside & Son445 Kenny Brown446 Kenny Brown447 Kenny Brown448 Little Joe Ayers449 Little Joe Ayers450 Burnside Picnic451 Burnside Picnic452 Burnside Picnic453 Burnside Picnic454 Kenny Brown & Duwayne Burnside455 Little Joe Ayers456 Kenny Brown & Duwayne Burnside457 Duwayne Burnside458 Kenny Brown, Duwayne Burnside & Little Joe Ayers459 Duwayne Burnside & Little Joe Ayers460 Little Joe Ayers461 Kenny Brown462 Burnside Picnic463 Little Joe Ayers464 Little Joe Ayers465 Duwayne Burnside466 Burnside Picnic467 Kenny Brown468 Burnside Picnic469 Burnside Picnic470 Burnside Picnic471 Little Joe Ayers472 Burnside Picnic473 Bongos475 Little Joe Ayers476 Little Joe Ayers477 Little Joe Ayers478 Little Joe Ayers479 Burnside Picnic480 Harmonica and Drums481 Little Joe Ayers482 Young Drummer483 Little Joe Ayers
On the Friday night of the Labor Day Weekend, I headed down into Marshall County, Mississippi for the first year of what is to be an annual picnic in memory of the late Hill Country blues guitarist R. L. Burnside. The event was being held at a place called the Blues Shack near Malone, Mississippi (although it was advertised as Waterford, Mississippi), which was just off of Highway 310 on the Old Oxford Road, not far from the old Burnside Blues Cafe location. The crowd was smaller than I had expected, perhaps because there was a threat of rain, but the blues was absolutely magnificent, with R.L.’s son Duwayne Burnside playing alongside two other great Hill Country guitarists, Kenny Brown and Little Joe Ayers. The small crowd and the outdoor stage in front of the shack gave the event the feel of a family get-together, and there was barbecue smoking on the oil-barrel grill beside the stage. Younger musicians came and went from the stage, and the music was still going strong when I left at midnight, with thunder and lightning visible to the west.

Cedric Burnside’s Hill Country Blues at Memphis’ @LevittShell

Bands, Blues, Concert Reviews, Concerts, Dance, Drummers, Drums, entertainment, events, music, Parks

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R. L. Burnside was one of the most famous musicians in the blues tradition of the North Mississippi Hill Country, and many of his children and grandchildren have carried on that great tradition, including Cedric Burnside, a grandson of the late R.L. who is accomplished on both the guitar and the drums. After coming to prominence as part of a duo with another Mississippi bluesman, Lightning Malcolm, he more recently has formed a band called the Cedric Burnside Project, which is really just him on drums and Trenton Ayers on guitar (I suspect that Trenton Ayers is kin to the older Marshall County bluesman Little Joe Ayers). On Saturday June 21, Cedric brought his music to the Levitt Shell in Memphis’ Overton Park, and an overflow crowd despite hit and run showers early in the evening. Beginning on acoustic guitar, Burnside soon switched to drums, and performed most of the Hill Country standards, including “Coal Black Mattie”, “Don’t Let My Baby Ride”, and even the late Junior Kimbrough’s “Meet Me In The City.” It was a great evening of great Mississippi blues.

Garry Burnside Continuing the Family Legacy at the Hill Country Picnic

Bands, entertainment, events, music, videos

The legacy of R. L. Burnside was and still is truly amazing. He left not only an important body of recorded music in the Hill Country blues tradition, but a large extended family of descendants who mostly are musicians, as well as several musicians he considered “adopted children” whose subsequent work has also kept alive the music that was his life’s work. Garry Burnside is one of those descendants, and an annual favorite at the Hill Country Picnic. Although his band shows a willingness to incorporate rock and more contemporary styles of blues, Burnside keeps a number of Hill Country standards in his repertoire, from his dad’s “Goin’ Down South” to Junior Kimbrough’s “All Night Long.”

Garry Burnside Band-Goin Down South-Live at Hill Country Picnic 2013

Garry Burnside Band-All Night Long-Live at Hill Country Picnic 2013

Mississippi Bluesman Kenny Brown at the Southern Comfort Blues Shack @BealeStMusicFes #BSMF13

entertainment, events, music

Mississippi bluesman Kenny Brown played in R. L. Burnside’s last band, and the blues legend used to tell people that he had adopted Kenny. But Brown’s interest in blues had begun long before, when he and his family lived in Nesbit near Mississippi Joe Callicott, a blues musician whose best recordings were made at the 1969 Memphis Country Blues Festival at the Overton Park Shell in the last year of his life. With this kind of legacy, Kenny Brown has helped to preserve the Mississippi Hill Country blues tradition, not only as a performer, but also through organizing with his wife the North Mississippi Hill Country Picnics, which are held every year in June in Marshall County, Mississippi and which feature most of the living Hill Country blues musicians, including the heirs of the Burnside and Kimbrough families. Brown’s performance at the Beale Street Music Festival was for some odd reason not included on the schedule, so I was somewhat surprised to see him, but a small crowd stood around the shack enjoying the music.

Blind Mississippi Morris & Frank Moteleone-Old Black Mattie-Live at @Bristerfest @LevittShell @OvertonPark

entertainment, events, music, videos

Clarksdale/Memphis traditional bluesman Blind Mississippi Morris performs at the Levitt Shell in Overton Park during the first day of Bristerfest in Memphis, 4/27/13. Of interest here is to note how the more familiar lyric “Coal Black Mattie” (as performed by R.L. Burnside) is changed by Morris into “Old Black Mattie”, perhaps intentionally, but more likely from oral tradition. Occasionally, another variation, “Poor Black Mattie” is encountered as well from certain singers.

Celebrating 20 Years of @proudlarrys With The North Mississippi Allstars featuring @lightningmalcolm

Concerts, entertainment, events, music, Night Clubs

It was a cold and wet night in Oxford, but it was warm and joyful inside Proud Larrys as the venerable Oxford bar and music venue celebrated their 20th anniversary with an appearance from the North Mississippi Allstars featuring bluesman Lightnin Malcolm. The rain didn’t seem to hold down attendance one bit, and although tables and chairs were cleared out of the way, it was soon standing room only inside the venue. North Mississippi Allstars is the brainchild of Jim Dickinson’s kids Cody and Luther, and they play a form of indie rock that is deeply indebted to the Hill County blues styles of people like Junior Kimbrough and R. L. Burnside, as well as the fife-and-drum music of the Como and Senatobia area. The result is a unique musical sound that could have been forged only in Mississippi.