FBF friends Roger Stolle and Jeff Konkel announced this week that their long-awaited and much-anticipated blues music reality series Moonshine & Mojo Hands will kick off this spring, with the first episode scheduled to begin streaming online on Thursday, April 21st. The whole 10-episode series will stream online at www.moonshineandmojohands.com.
If you followed Stolle and Konkel in their two award-winning blues documentaries, M for Mississippi: A Road Trip Through the Birthplace of the Blues and We Juke Up In Here: Mississippi's Juke Joint Culture at the Crossroads, you already know that there are a lot of great things to be seen and heard in the Magnolia State. The pair will be visiting juke joints, house parties, sampling lots of BBQ and soul food, and encountering some of the best blues artists Mississippi has to offer, including Super Chikan, Leo "Bud" Welch, Robert "Bilbo" Walker, Jimbo Mathus, Terry "Harmonica" Bean, Louis "Gearshifter" Youngblood, and lots of others.
I, for one, cannot wait for this to get started, and I hope all of you feel the same way. This series has the potential to get the blues out there to not just an excited group of blues fans, but it's also a great opportunity to introduce the blues to a lot of new fans as well. In case you missed it previously, here's the preview clip that was introduced a while back. Be sure and mark April 21st on your calendars.
Keeping things in Mississippi for a little bit longer, don't forget the upcoming Juke Joint Festival in Clarksdale on Saturday, April 16th. There are also related blues activities taking place during the surrounding days, running Thursday, April 14th, through Sunday, April 17th. FBF posted about the 2014 event a couple of years ago. It's a fun day with activities for blues fans, families, musicians, and tourists with great music and food. The events during the day on Saturday are all FREE, with the evening activities on Saturday night (including music in at least 20 area juke joints with free shuttle buses going in-between) only costing $15 in advance and $20 that night. Friends, you can't beat that deal with a stick. For more details, including a list of events for all four days and nights, please visit www.jukejointfestival.com. I hope that I get to attend this year and maybe I'll see some of you there.
On May 4th, the Blues Hall of Fame will induct five performers, two non-performers who were instrumental in the creation and/or development of blues music, five single blues recordings, one blues album, and one publication at the Sheraton Memphis Downtown in Memphis, the night before the Blues Music Awards.
Here are the inductees:
Performers - Elvin Bishop, Eddy Clearwater, Jimmy Johnson, John Mayall, and the Memphis Jug Band
Non-performers - Tommy Couch, Sr. and Wolf Stephenson (Malaco Records)
Singles - "Crazy Blues," by Mamie Smith, "That's All Right," by Jimmy Rogers, "I Wish You Would," by Billy Boy Arnold, "Merry Christmas Baby," by Johnny Moore's Three Blazers (featuring Charles Brown), and "Blues Before Sunrise," by Leroy Carr and Scrapper Blackwell.
Album - Blues in the Mississippi Night, featuring Big Bill Broonzy, Memphis Slim, and Sonny Boy Williamson
Literature - Early Downhome Blues: A Musical and Cultural Analysis, by Jeff Todd Tilon
Wrapping things up.......In the next few weeks, Friday Blues Fix will be highlighting several more new releases, including two or three Ten Questions posts. Be on the lookout for Ten Questions with Guy King, whose brand new Delmark release, Truth, is one of the best I've heard so far this year, and the Brothers Brown, who recently issued their new disc, Dusty Road, another of my favorites this year and one that will please blues and old school R&B fans. I hope to get a couple of others done later this spring, if I can get the time, but you'll be seeing these two for sure.