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website. Here are a couple of videos from Chris Thomas King and Vasti Jackson to give you a taste of what to expect on Saturday night.
The 424 Blues Cafe' will officially open in a few weeks, so keep an eye on this blog for further info. As we said last week, owner (and fellow FBF'er) Lenard Ingram plans to have live music on Fridays and Saturdays for starters, but hopes to add Thursdays as soon as possible. It's going to be a really cool place for east central Mississippi and west central Alabama blues fans to check out the blues without having to drive a long way to do it.
There are several other events taking place this weekend, too. The state is dedicating a stretch of Interstate 55 near Crystal Springs to Robert Johnson on Friday, designating it as the Robert L. Johnson Memorial Highway. The ceremony will take place at Exit 72 in Copiah County, just off of I-55 southbound. The house where Johnson was born was supposedly located at the site of one of the Interstate exits at Hazlehurst.
Also in Crystal Springs on Friday, the grave of bluesman Tommy Johnson is finally getting a headstone. Chris Thomas King, who played Johnson in the movie, O, Brother Where Art Thou, is slated to appear as part of the ceremony. The headstone dedication is also part of the Tommy Johnson Blues Festival, which also takes place this weekend, with Eden Brent scheduled to headline.
As we sign off for the week, check out a few examples of Mississippi Blues......starting with the legendary Son House, from a 1960's performance.
Hill Country master R.L. Burnside plays his original tune, "See My Jumper On The Line," circa 1978.
Booker T. Washington "Bukka" White recorded in the 30's and later on in the 60's and 70's. A cousin of B.B. King, White's slide work was highly influential, and some of his songs are considered classics today, like "Fixin' To Die Blues," "Parchman Farm Blues," and his version of the standard, "Shake 'em On Down" is considered to be the definitive version. Another favorite is "Aberdeen, Mississippi Blues," as heard below.
And, of course, here's Bukka White's famous cousin from 1974, telling us why he sings the blues.
We'll close out with a look at Grady Champion, one of the younger Mississippi blues artists who is now building a big following here and worldwide, especially after winning the IBC a couple of years ago. Champion is a master showman who appears regularly around the state and frequently in his hometown of Canton, MS and around the Jackson area. This is the video of one of his most recent releases, "Make That Monkey Jump."