Sunday, July 12, 2009

2009 Grassroots Blues Festival in Duck Hill, MS

It was HOT yesterday, but the Grassroots Blues Festival in Duck Hill was worth it, every drop of sweat!

I went early to be sure and catch Big Joe Shelton, who was scheduled at an ungodly hot time, and he was worth it, too. There was some great food (wish I'd been hungry enough to sample everyone). There were friends from previous years (that I never see anywhere else), there was community spirit, there was organizer Al White's birthday (that we heard about at every act change). Oh, yeah, Happy Birthday, Al. :-)

I got there in time for M.U.G.A.B.E.E., and enjoyed what I saw/heard, but only got the end of their act.

Things were a little slow (for some excellent acts scheduled in the heat of the day), until it began to cool a little, and crowd attendance jumped then. Either that, or everyone came out from under the shade trees along the edges. :-)

I was thrilled to hear Jesse Robinson's 500 Pounds of Blues Band again (he's another favorite of mine and I just don't hear him and his band enough) his female guitarist is dynamite, wish I knew her name; Venessia Young and the Pure Blues Express Band were great, as usual, and Ben Peyton is such an icon, it goes without saying that in spite of and because of his authenticty, he was a marvel (he's still got IT, in other words). Louis "Gearshifter" Youngblood was here, and I have to say that I think he's one of the most underrated performers I see at these shows.

I wish I had caught the names of all the Mississippi Blues Boys, because there were so many familiar faces in there (I know I've seen them playing in other blues acts), but Little Willie Farmer was definately in the mix, and Big Joe Shelton sat in with them. Most of them came back for Little Willie Farmer (playing sorta of solo), but it was cooler by then, and they'd ratcheted it up several notches, it was even better.

Frankie Keys put in his usual hot keyboards (and the sax guy was hot, too). I wasn't sure about that last act, being pretty sure Bigg Robb and 'da Impostas weren't blues, but decided to stay long enough to get some pictures. I didn't have too much luck because of the excitement of the crowd (somebody sure loves them some Bigg), but I managed to make a fool of myself (and enjoyed it - nothing new about that). Sorry Bigg Robb, didn't mean to step right in your way as you went back out of the audience to the stage via the side steps! Bigg took it in stride, and swept me right along with him, rolling on by me at the steps. Not every day that a white-haired old lady gets to dance with the very large and flamboyantly costumed Bigg Robb (however inadverdently). Bless you for handling it with aplomb, Bigg.

I've posted an album, y'all enjoy (can't wait til next year).

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