The B.B. King Museum is proud to announce August 22, 2012 as B.B. King Homecoming. The gates will open at 12:00p.m. and music will start at 1:00p.m. The concert will take place on the west lawn of the B.B. King Museum.
If you are a vendor and are interested in a space at the 2012 Homecoming please please fill out the application and return to the B.B. King Museum. New_Vendor_Registration_Form.pdf. If you are traveling to Indianola for the event and looking for a place to stay, please look over the hotels in the area by clicking the following link. Hotels_for_homecoming.pdf
The Homecoming will be hosted by Chicago's Big Sexy Bluesman and voice of B.B. King Bluesville, Big LLou, and just added to the event is Kristen Dupard, 2012 Poetry Out Loud National Champion.
We will be entertained by the sounds of Southern Halo, Mark "Muleman" Massey, Bill "Howl-N-Madd" Perry, Grady Champion, Lil Ray Neal, and of course the one and only B.B. King.
Here is some information and video links of the artists. For more information on the festival please contact Robert Terrell at (662) 887-9539
His reign as King of the Blues has been as long as that of any monarch on earth. Yet B.B. King continues to wear his crown well. At age 86, he is still light on his feet, singing and playing the blues with relentless passion. Time has no apparent effect on B.B., other than to make him more popular, more cherished, more relevant than ever. Don't look for him in some kind of semi-retirement; look for him out on the road, playing for people, popping up in a myriad of T.V. commercials, or laying down tracks for his next album. B.B. King is as alive as the music he plays, and a grateful world can't get enough of him.
For more than half a century, Riley B. King - better known as B.B. King - has defined the blues for a worldwide audience. Since he started recording in the 1940s, he has released over fifty albums, many of them classics. He was born September 16, 1925, on a plantation in Itta Bena, Mississippi, near Indianola. In his youth, he played on street corners for dimes, and would sometimes play in as many as four towns a night. In 1947, he hitchhiked to Memphis, TN, to pursue his music career. Memphis was where every important musician of the South gravitated, and which supported a large musical community where every style of African American music could be found. B.B. stayed with his cousin Bukka White, one of the most celebrated blues performers of his time, who schooled B.B. further in the art of the blues.
Over the years, B.B. has developed one of the world's most identifiable guitar styles. He borrowed from Blind Lemon Jefferson, T-Bone Walker and others, integrating his precise and complex vocal-like string bends and his left hand vibrato, both of which have become indispensable components of rock guitarist's vocabulary. His economy, his every-note-counts phrasing, has been a model for thousands of players, from Eric Clapton and George Harrison to Jeff Beck. B.B. has mixed traditional blues, jazz, swing, mainstream pop and jump into a unique sound. In B.B.'s words, "When I sing, I play in my mind; the minute I stop singing orally, I start to sing by playing Lucille."
Southern Halo is the creation of a soulful sister trio born and raised in the Mississippi Delta. Talented beyond their years, the girls bring a unique blend of blues, southern rock and pop country to the stage.
Natalia, 14 years old, is the gifted guitarist and keyboard player and takes center stage as lead vocalist. Natalia favors Pop Country and rap music styles and is also the lead writer of the group. She has written five of the band's songs.
Christina, 13 years old, is the talented, hard rocking drummer and also takes the stage to lead Etta James style songs with her soulful voice. She has a love for R&B and Rock and Roll.
Hannah, 11 years old, is the classic hippie chick. She is the band's Bass player and percussionist and has a special spark in her stage presence that keeps the others on their toes. Hannah enjoys Pop and Country. A firecracker on stage and typically wearing a bandana, she completes this trio band with a combination of laid back and high energy performances.
Southern Halo has generated an exceptionally interesting sound which is both raw and heartfelt.They have become a very well received popular group at festivals and venues throughout the Mississippi Delta from Clarksdale to New Orleans. Southern Halo's unique sound stems from the band's musical diversity and personal influences upon favorite classic songs of the past.
Mark "The Muleman" Massey Blues band, one of the finest bands around and winners of the Delta Blues Challenge in Rosedale and Indianola for the International Blues Competition..Also Mark is one of the youngest bluesmen honored on the Mississippi Blues Trail markers, with his mentioning on the Parchman marker, for his musical work with the Parchman band 20 yrs ago.. Mark also just played the prestigios Chicago Blues Fest, Howlin Wolf fest, Sunflower Fest, Market Street fest and the Legendary Juke Joint fest in Clarksdale, where the band is regulars at Ground Zero Blues Club.Mark has also played with Little Jimmy King, Burnside brothers, Willie Clayton, Don Nix, Eric Gales, Big Jack Johnson and many more..
Billy Earheart, the Keyboardist with Mark Massey is a Grammy and Emmy winning artist, working with many top mucians including Hank Williams Jr for 21 yrs, and The Amazing Rhythm Aces for 38 yrs, (Third Rate Romance),as well as Al Green, Memphis Slim, Rufus Thomas, Eddie Hinton, Waylon Jennings, Kid Rock, BB King, Ace Cannon and many more. The current rhythm section of bass manCarter McHann and Memphis legend drummerRoy Cunningham round out the group with the perfect feel for Marks music.
Bill was born in 1947 near Abbeville, MS in Tula, on land where his ancestors had worked as slaves. He was the son of a moonshiner and farmer. His father gave Bill his first guitar which had been won in a game of dice. Bill went to the same one-room school that his grandparents had attended. Bill was fourteen when his family moved to Chicago. Bill hit the road as a professional musician at the age of seventeen. His travels have carried him all over the US, throughout the world and then back home again to Mississippi. Bill has been playing his music for over forty years. In his early career in Chicago Bill Howl-N-Madd Perry wrote for musicians such as Lil Johnny Taylor, Ted Taylor, and Cash McCall. He worked for Phil Chess as a studio musician and for Stan Lewis where he wrote for Jewel Paula Records. He did a stint writing for J.J. Taylor on a Willie Dixon Label. For a while Bill was on the road in Little Milton’s band. He credits Milton with encouraging his to start his own band. Bill Howl-N-Madd Perry and the Howl-N-Madd band have performed in festivals and clubs throughout the United States and Internationally. Bill returned to Mississippi to raise his family and lives near the family homestead. He and Pauline have been married for 44 years. Sharo Perry and Bill Jr. each are accomplished musicians who tour with the Howl-N-Madd band.
Bill is noted on two Mississippi Blues Trail Markers the marker in front of Po Monkey’s Juke Joint in Merigold, MS and the marker on the square in Oxford, Mississippi The Delta Blues Museum in Clarksdale, Mississippi features a display on Bill’s career which includes photos and memorabilia. Bill Howl-N-Madd Perry is featured in the Rock and Blues Museum in Clarksdale, MS.
Bill is no stranger to Movies, TV & featured documentaries. He played a major part as the Bluesman in a movie with Cuba Gooding, Jr. – The Way of War. Bill played the Devil at the Crossroads in a television segment about the Blues featured on The Gene Simmons Family Jewels show. Voice of America Video “Passing Down the Blues through the Ages” features Bill Howl-N-Madd Perry.
“True Delta” short film premiered at Mountain Film Festival features Bill Howl-N-Madd Perry and Delta musicians.
Grady Champion is an electrifying blues singer and harmonica virtuoso. He has been compared to Sonny Boy Williamson, Howlin' Wolf, Lionel Ritchei, and Smokie Robinson. In 5 years folks will be comparing other artists to Grady. His unique style and amazing voice leave audiences stunned! Right now you can hear him everywhere. His new album “Dreamin’” is making a lot of noise on Blues, R&B, Soul, and Roots charts across America, in Europe, China, and Japan. In fact in August it was the #1 album on Sirius XM's Bluesville.
Grady has been nominated for two 2012 Blues Music Awards - Best Soul Blues Album for "Dreamin'" and Song of the Year for "Thank You For Giving Me The Blues".
Grady has won the 2011 Best Down Home Blues Song for "Make That Monkey Jump" by Blues Critic and was runnerup to Bobby Rush for Best Soul Blues Album for "Dreamin'"
The 2010 International Blues Challenge winner is accompanied by one of the best young blues bands in America. Grady and the band have had the pleasure of playing on the Legendary Blues Cruise, the Portland Waterfront Blues Festival, and in the Chicago Blues Festival 3 times. His powerful, soulful and raspy voice is simply soul stirring. He is a master of mood and emotions and connects with his audience like no one else.
In the world of great musicians, Grady singles himself out as an ENTERTAINER who is already a legendary musician. Walking out amongst the fans during solo sections with a wireless yet nostalgic microphone and a dozen harmonicas belted to him, Grady delivers a shock to folks that makes them jump on their feet, stand on their seats, and shake their money makers!
Grady is the youngest of 28 children. He was raised on a little country farm outside of Canton Mississippi. His life is a picture of hard work; first as a fighter, then as a rapper, then a producer, and now knocking out around 180 shows a year, Grady is no stranger to living the BLUES. Being fueled by faith, a loving family, integrity, clean living, talent, and an undying love for Blues music – Grady Champion and his band are poised to be the torchbearers for the Blues for decades to come.
Born March 16, 1960, Lil Ray (Raful Neal III) the third eldest of ten siblings, has long been regarded as one of the finest blues guitarists in the business. Raised in Ervinville, Louisiana, he started playing at Spooner's, a country store/club owned by his grandfather when he was about 12 years old. His father played at that store with his band and during the break he would let Ray and his brothers get up to play.
Ray learned much with the likes of Buddy Guy and Harpo Slim hanging around but it was two of his school teachers that gave him the incentive to want to hone his craft as a guitar player. In the days leading up to summer break he would take his guitar to school and persuade Mr. Ronald Young and Mr. Edward Yearby to play. "Both were hell of a guitar players and I learned from just listening..you really didn't want to play, you just wanted to listen", Lil Ray recalls.
In 1976 the Neal family moved to Baton Rouge and within a few years Ray was playing regularly with his father. In 1980 his brother Kenny asked him and his brothers to join him in Toronto, Canada. Ray continued to play with Kenny in Canada until his visa ran out and he went back to Baton Rouge...but not for long.
Little Milton offered Ray a job with his band and it was back on the road. He'll be the first to admit that life on the road was hard but the valuable lessons he learned are still with him today. Ray is grateful that he had the opportunity to play with some of the greatest musicians that have ever took the stage.
Lil Ray has entertained with many of the greats in the Blues and R&B field....Muddy Waters, Big Mama Thornton, BB King, James Cotton,Buddy Guy, Bobby Bland, "Lil Milton" Campbell, Tyrone Davis, Johnny Taylor, Bobby Rush and the list goes on and on.
"The W.A. Higgins Rock Ensemble is an exciting group of up and coming musicians based in Clarksdale, Mississippi. Rising out of a rich musical history at Higgins Middle School, the rock ensemble represents a tradition of musical excellence in the Mississippi Delta. The group was founded in the fall of 2011 and has been writing, recording, and performing at bigger and more prestigious events ever since.
Only in its first year of existence, the rock ensemble has already had the honor of performing at a multitude of events around the delta and has proven themselves as one of the top student groups in the area. They have performed at A Taste Of Clarksdale, Relay For Life, Teach For America Professional Saturday, and on the main stage at the Juke Joint Blues Festival.
Although the students range in age from 11 to 14, they exemplify a musical talent far beyond their years. Students meet on a regular basis during and after school to rehearse and perfect their sound. Although the group calls itself a “rock band,” this term does not do them justice, as they play everything from early rock and roll to jazz, blues, soul and contemporary hits. The W.A. Higgins Rock Ensemble is living, breathing proof of the incredible musical talents of today’s youth in Mississippi."
Mississippi’s own Kristen Dupard is the 2012 National “Poetry Out Loud” Champion. A 2012 graduate of Ridgeland High School, where she was in the top 10% of her class, Kristen won the Mississippi state poetry recitation contest two years, in 2010 and again in 2012. She represented the state in Washington, D.C. in May when she bested 53 competitors from across the country to become the national champion.
Thanks to all our sponsors for making the 2012 B.B. King Homecoming Festival possible. The B.B. King Museum, WABG, Double Quick, Budweiser, Planters Bank, McDonalds, Community Bank, Guaranty Bank, Atmos Energy, MS Blues Society of Indianola, Indianola Main Street, Byas Funeral Services, Frito Lay, Coke, and Blue Bell