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Don’t miss a minute of the Memphis Music and Heritage Festival

Bobby Rush

Bobby Rush - one of the Headliners at Memphis Music and Heritage Festival

Every year, I look forward to Labor Day Weekend, because the Saturday and Sunday before Labor Day (September 4 and 5 this year) are filled with one of the country’s most interesting Festivals, the free Memphis Music and Heritage Festival, produced for decades by the Center for Southern Folklore.  The 2 days are stuffed with music, dance, food, cooking demonstrations, storytellers, folksy vendors, and a lot of fun for the whole family.  Something for everyone’s taste: Blues, Rock-a-Billy, Soul, Gospel, Rock and more. See the entire SCHEDULE HERE.  Oh, and did I mention…?  It’s FREE.

This year’s festival is dedicated to the late Jim Dickinson, Memphis music legend, perennial performer at the Festival and avid supporter of the Center.Jim Dickinson 2010 MMHF Portrait

To help keep the festival free, please consider making a small donation to the Center while you are there.

I will be managing the Comcast Folklore Hall Stage.  Come by and say hello.

Memphis Music and Heritage Festival Schedule

So what’s this Memphis Music and Heritage Festival thing?
It’s the Bo-Keys, Jason D. Williams, Bobby Rush, Amy LeVere, Giant Bear, Paul Taylor, Al Kapone, Eddie Bond, Joyce Cobb, Kate Campbell, Daddy Mack, Susan Marshall,  and Gary Topper for starters.

It’s been one of Memphis’ best kept secrets in the past, but there is really no reason to keep it that way.  Come join us FREE next weekend for the best the region has to offer: Music, Storytelling, Cooking, Dance, and much, much more. Check out this World-Class schedule:

Saturday, September 5th, 2009

Verizon Wireless Stage – Main St.@ Peabody Place Ave.
1:00 p.m. TBA
2:00 p.m. Ghost Town Blues Band- Blues
3:00 p.m. Smoochy Smith & Hooch- Rockabilly
4:00 p.m. Devil Train- Bluegrass Jam Band
5:00 p.m. Sweet Angel -R&B
6:00 p.m. The BoKeys- Funk Soul
7:00 p.m. Los Cantadores -Latin
8:00 p.m. Elmo & The Shades -R&B & Blues
9:00 p.m. The Brown Singers- Gospel
10:00 pm. Bobby Rush -Soul, R&B

ArtsMemphis Stage Stage – On Peabody Place at Gayoso Lane
11:15 a.m. Dandelion & The Raindrops -Music for the Family
12:00 p.m. TBA
12:30 p.m. TBA
1:00 p.m. Elaine Blanchard-Voices of  the South Children’s Storytelling
1:30 p.m. Randal Morton -Banjo Workshop
2:00 p.m. Desert Rose Dancers Belly Dancers
2:30 p.m. Kenneth Jackson- Basically Blues
3:00 p.m. TBA
3:45 p.m. The TN Boltsmokers- Bluegrass
5:00 p.m. Johnny Yancey & The Sanctuary- Jazz Orchestra Big Band
5:45 p.m. The Millennium Maddness -Fancy Trick Drill & Drum Show Team
6:30 p.m. Last Chance Jug Band
7:30 p.m. Barbara Blue- Blues
8:30 p.m. Jack Oblivian & The Tearjerkers-Indie Rock
9:30 p.m. Amy LaVere- Indie Folk Rock

Folklore Store Stage
12:15 p.m. TBA
1:15 p.m. Joe Scott- Baseball Stories
2:15 p.m. Mary Unobsky & Kim Richardson-Songwriting Workshop
3:15 p.m. Tori Norton- Folk
4:15 p.m. Roy Harper- Country
5:15 p.m. Kim Richardson -Folk
6:15 p.m. Slidin’ Clyde Roulette- Blues
7:15 p.m. Paul Taylor -Psychedelic Folk & Funk
8:15 p.m. Sidney, Cidney, Sidney- R&B
9:15 p.m. William Lee Ellis- Blues
10:15 p.m. Hope Clayburn & Soul Scrimmage-Jazz Funk Fusion

Folklore Hall Stage
12:45 p.m. Los Cantadores Trio- Mariachi
1:45 p.m. Greg Hisky & His Whiskey Dixie Flyers
2:45 p.m. The Jumpin’ ChiChis- Jazz
3:45 p.m. The Annointed Cowans Singers- Gospel
4:45 p.m. Chris Parker & Kelley Hurt -Jazz
5:45 p.m. Grassfire- Bluegrass
6:45 p.m. The Sensational Six- Gospel
7:45 p.m. Eddie Bond- Country
8:45 p.m. Joyce Cobb & Hot Fun-Jazz Rock & Blues

Comcast Gayoso Stage -Main St @ Gayoso Avenue
3:00 p.m. 2:30 p.m. Deborah Swiney
3:30 p.m. Agitators- Rock
4:30 p.m. Tempeh Four Jazz Funk Jam Band
5:30 p.m. The Moments of Joy- Gospel
6:30 p.m. John Paul Keith & The One Four Five’s -Indie Country
7:30 p.m. TBA
8:30 p.m. Al Kapone -Rap
9:30 p.m. Exodus -Raggae

Sunday, September 6th, 2009

Verizon Wireless Stage – Main St.@ Peabody Place Ave.
1:00 p.m. TBA
2:00 p.m. The Golden Keys -Gospel
3:00 p.m. Delta Highway-Blues
4:00 p.m. Billy Lavender featuring Brad Webb & The Pocket Rockets-Blues
5:00 p.m. Sonny Burgess & the Pacers-Rockabilly
6:00 p.m. Giant Bear -Orchestral Funkabilly
7:00 p.m. The MellowTones-Gospel
8:00 p.m. Blind Mississippi Morris- Blues
9:00 p.m. Jason D. Williams- Rockabilly/Boogie
10:15 p.m. Darrell Petties & SIP- Gospel

ArtsMemphis Stage – On Peabody Place at Gayoso Lane
11:15 a.m. Music for Aardvarks Memphis-Music for the Family
12:00 p.m. TBA
12:45 p.m. TBA
1:30 p.m. Chinese Dance & Martial Arts
2:00 p.m. Edward Oluokun Yorba- Drumming
2:30 p.m. Pyramid Dancers- Belly Dancing
3:00 p.m. David Bowen Guitar & Memphis Music Workshop
3:30 p.m. TBA
4:00 p.m. Two Way Radio- Indie Rock
4:45 p.m. TBA
5:00 p.m. Mark “The Muleman” Massey- Blues
6:00 p.m. Fitz’s Ultimate Cooking Hookers-Music That Smells Good
7:15 p.m. Promise -Jazz
8:15 p.m. The Papatops West Coast Turn Around -Country
9:15 p.m. Tonya Dyson & Green Onions- Soul

Folklore Store Stage
1:15 p.m. Hattie Childress- Quilt Making
2:15 p.m. TBA
3:15 p.m. Roy Harper- Country
4:15 p.m. David Evans- Jug Band Workshop
5:15 p.m. Dan Montgomery Trio- Rock
6:15 p.m. Niko Lyras & Vicki Loveland
7:15 p.m. Super Chikan- Blues
8:15 p.m. Ms Nickki- Soul
9:15 p.m. Valerie June Trio -Folk

Folklore Hall Stage
12:45 p.m. Los Cantadores Trio- Mariachi
1:45 p.m. TBA
2:45 p.m. Memphis Klezmer Allstars
3:45 p.m. Singing Southern Jubilees- Gospel
4:45 p.m. Dani -Rock
5:45 p.m. Gary Topper Trio- Jazz
6:45 p.m. Lisa Lambert & The Pine Ridge Boys-Bluegrass
7:45 p.m. Orange Mound Jazz Messengers-Jazz
8:45 p.m. Kate Campbell -Folk

Comcast Gayoso Stage – Main St @ Gayoso Avenue
1:30 p.m. TBA
2:30 p.m. JD Reager & The Cold-Blooded Three- Indie Rock
3:30 p.m. Charles Johnson & Kwest-Jazz Gospel
4:30 p.m. TBA
5:30 p.m. Will Graves- Soul
6:30 p.m. Bluff City Backsliders -Jug Band
7:30 p.m. FreeWorld featuring Dr. Herman Green-Jam Rock & Funk Band
8:30 p.m. Susan Marshall- Jazz, Rock & Blues
9:30 p.m. The Daddy Mack Blues Band

(I’ll will be managing in the Folklore Hall Stage area.  Please come by and say Hello.)

Bobby Rush Benefit for Center for Southern Folklore

PR Release for this one-of-a-kind event:

One of the true stars of the past two Memphis Music & Heritage Festivals, Bobby Rush, performs a rare solo acoustic benefit concert for the Center for Southern Folklore, Friday night, January 9, 2009 at 8:00 p.m. Admission for this special fundraiser is $75.00 and includes food and beverages with the proceeds going toward the Center for Southern Folklore’s archival projects. It all takes place in the intimate confines of the Center’s Folklore Hall, 119 S. Main Street @ the Peabody Place Trolley Stop in the heart of downtown Memphis.

Bobby’s concert will feature two generous sets of music with a question and answer segment conducted by Center Director Judy Peiser. Audience participation in the Q and A session is not only allowed but strongly encouraged

Though best known for his bawdy and bootylicious R&B stage shows, Bobby’s blues roots go back to his days as a young man growing up in the north Louisiana town of Homer. He built his first instrument, a primitive guitar or “diddley bow,” and by his early teens he was donning a fake mustache and appearing at Deep South juke joints. In the mid-’50s he moved to Chicago, where his bands included Freddie King, Earl Hooker, and Luther Allison, and on jaunts back to his family home in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, he performed with artists including Elmore James.

As Rush began to develop his own individual sound, he opted to forgo the blues market in favor of targeting the chitlin circuit, which offered a more receptive audience for his increasingly bodacious stage shows. However, the blues he learned as a young man stayed with him and last year he returned to his blues roots with the album “Raw” where he stripped his sound down to the basics, performing only with his guitar and harmonica. For his efforts, Bobby took home the Blues Music Award for Best Male Soul Blues Artist as well as Best Acoustic Artist and Best Acoustic Album, a testament to his versatility that also highlights how his more contemporary records draw upon the same deep blues vein.

Despite the success and notoriety he’s achieved, Bobby Rush never forgot where he came from and the importance of giving back to his community. His generosity in performing benefit concerts for causes he believes in is legendary. After participating twice in the Center’s Memphis Music & Heritage Festival, Mr. Rush said, “I want to support an organization that unites Memphis’ culture, music, history and arts the way the Center for Southern Folklore does. The Festival is a show that everyone should attend to see how Memphis’s diverse communities come together to learn about each other and enjoy their city together.”

Please join Bobby Rush on Friday, January 9 and help the Center for Southern Folklore maintain its vital role in chronicling the life and times of the Memphis/Mississippi Delta region.



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Be among the first to join the Center for Southern Folklore group on Facebook to keep up on the latest happenings at the Center. Just follow the link to CSF on Facebook.

To learn more about the Center, go to www.southernfolklore.com.

From the Center for Southern Folklore’s website you can: Learn about weekly performances, Book our spaces for tours or events, Purchase archival images and folk art in our store, and Become an annual supporter.

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