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"All the blues that's fit to print."
CLARKSDALE, MISSISSIPPI... 19 years of Cat Head, live blues every day, a half dozen festivals coming, local movie productions... and Year of the Kingfish!
LOTS of great news to report this month from Clarksdale, Cat Head and the Mississippi Delta!
That said, I want to lead with a plea for our friends who want to get out and experience some live music to please consider getting vaccinated if you haven't already. Our live music scene depends on it. That (not-named-for-us!) Delta variant is here, like everywhere else. The shots are free and pretty darn easy to get here in Mississippi (,0,420,976.html) and everywhere else, so I hope you'll go for it... and then come party at our clubs and festivals. Thanks, y'all.

Now, back to the fun stuff.
Clarksdale alone (not to mention our awesome neighbors in nearby Greenville, Helena, etc.) has at least 6 festivals coming up between August and October, plus a couple workshops and more — on top of our 7-days-a-week of live blues. Read on below for more details, and then book your rooms ASAP.
As always, thanks for everyone's support during our current global pandemic. CAT HEAD store is only still here because of y'all's shopping power — both in-person and online. You can shop us in-person at 11am every single day or on the web immediately at
I forget who took the pic of yours truly below awhile back, but my Mom liked it, so that's  good enough for me. Geez... is there enough stuff on the wall?!
All the best from CAT HEAD,
Roger (and Ayler Pug, demonstrating the "Clarksdale chill" below).

19 YEARS, Y'ALL! Happy anniversary to CAT HEAD... and seriously, THANKS to all of you...

July 25, 2021, marked 19 YEARS since CAT HEAD's first customer! Happy anniversary to us, and THANKS to y'all. CAT HEAD store and all of our related blues festival, history book, documentary film, blues album, music symposium, international tour and other projects only happen(ed) because of folks like you — and of course, our amazing town of Clarksdale, Mississippi. Come celebrate with us during the Sunflower Blues Fest this month if you can, and let's start that next 19 years of blues memories! Cheers, Roger.

There is NEVER a day WITHOUT 'live' blues shows in historic Clarksdale, Mississippi. Seriously.
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Let's celebrate CAT HEAD'S first 19 YEARS in August... during the big Sunflower Blues Fest...
Healty folks can social-distance outdoors in front of CAT HEAD during the big Sunflower Fest weekend — August 12-15 — and enjoy some FREE live blues from our friends. Plus, mask up and come inside for Tom Ward's Saturday BOOK SIGNING, y'all. Thanks and cheers!

SUNFLOWER RIVER BLUES & GOSPEL FESTIVAL returns to Clarksdale, Mississippi...
After a year off for health & safety, Clarksdale, Mississippi's oldest blues festival makes its triumphant return (mainly) to the outdoor stage next to the Delta Blues Museum — August 12-15. Lineup, stages and other details at Can't make it? Maybe consider making a donation to the festival nonprofit via the web site. Thanks!

RED'S OLD-TIMERS BLUES FEST returns to MLK Stage on the banks of Clarksdale's Sunflower River

It's baaaaack!! You can't keep a bad--- down. Big Red Paden had to skip last year and moved his Memorial Day weekend  festival to Labor Day weekend this year. Red, Big Charles and his crew have their shots and hope y'all have yours. Red says he'll have free paper masks at his club for those who want then as well as touchless hand-sanitizer dispensers... and plenty of open lawn and fresh air down by the Sunflower River. Bring your chairs and blankets. Join the self-described "King of the Juke Joint Runners" as he puts on his fantastic Red's Old-Timers Blues Fest on the MLK Park Stage just down from his legendary venue. Acts range from the oldest performing bluesman in the world (94-year-old Cadillac John Nolden) to Clarksdale's highest-energy bluesman/folk-artist (James "Super Chikan" Johnson & Fighting Cocks).
1.) Red Paden has been instrumental in Clarksdale's blues-fueled tourism comeback and downtown revitalization. He is back to booking blues music 4 nights a week, year around — even during the slow times.
2.) Red's Old-Timers Blues Festival showcases the older (60 and up!), culturally-connected Mississippi blues legends while it still can.
3.) Red's festival will be FREE FREE FREE, open to the public and a helluva good time.
THANKS to Visit Clarksdale Tourism, Southern Bancorp and all of Red's other sponsors and supporters. More info:
"The game's for life!" - Red Paden

"MAG FEST 5.01" comes to Clarksdale, Mississippi, the same weekend as Red's Fest... with synergy!
MAG FEST returns to Clarksdale, Mississippi, in September, y'all! 2021 features JP Soars & the Red Hots plus Stan Street Band at The New Roxy on Sat 9/4 at 8pm ($10 cover), AND Black Water Trio in Hopson Courtyard on Sun 9/5 at 2pm (no cover, free BBQ). Info:
"Mag Fest" is a quasi-annual blues 'n roots music festival put on by Clarksdale transplants, the Magnusson Brothers. It's always a good time!
9/27-10/1 - Bad Apple Blues Guitar Workshop & Festival in Clarksdale, Mississippi... PLAN NOW!
- BAD APPLE BLUES GUITAR WORKSHOP - Coming the last week of September, Sean's workshop — limited to 10 total participants (and already half booked up!) — will include 4+ days of demonstration performances by Mississippi legends, personal instruction by two teachers, nightly blues jams at various venues, special local visits and more — culminating with the new festival below, where workshop participants get a chance to perform what they've learned. Email Sean at for more information. Limited to just 10 people. First come, first served.
- BAD APPLE BLUES FESTIVAL - New! Sean will cap off the workshop above with a small-but-mighty Saturday, 10/2, blues festival (open to the public) in the Bad Apple's backyard, featuring real-deal Mississippi blues acts as well as workshop participants. Details to come. Or email Sean.
- BAD APPLE BLUES CLUB - Every day but Sunday, the Bad Apple Blues Club (349 Issaquena Ave., next to New Roxy) features 3pm-6pm live blues. Seriously, 6 days a week. Performers so far have included Little Willie Farmer, Miss Australia "Honeybee" Jones, Terry "Big T" Williams, Anthony "Big A" Sherrod, Sean "Bad" Apple himself and others. Watch for weekly schedules.
- NEW SEAN "BAD" APPLE CD - Can't get here yet? Then, bring Sean to you (without all the meals and laundry needs). Buy his new blues CD today at
- SEAN "HI TECH" APPLE ON THE WEB - Check out Sean's Facebook pages at and

MIGHTY ROOTS MUSIC FESTIVAL at Stovall in October... just out from Clarksdale, Mississippi...
Plan now for the inaugural MIGHTY ROOTS MUSIC FESTIVAL on the same grounds where Muddy Waters  once lived and worked, a few miles out from downtown Clarksdale, Mississippi.
What: Roots/Americana/Blues festival.
When: October 1-2,  2021.
Where: Stovall Farms near Clarksdale, Mississippi.
Who: Acts range from Deer Tick, Keller Williams and Mohead to Jarekus Singleton, Big A Sherrod and Stone Gas Band. Full lineup and schedule at Social media at

Delta Business Journal article about fest at

DEEP BLUES FEST rocks the historic New Roxy in  Clarksdale, Mississippi this October, y'all!
Clarksdale, Mississippi's legendary Deep Blues Fest returns October 14-17, 2021, with acts ranging from Alvin Youngblood Hart’s Muscle Theory to Jon Spencer & the HITMakers.
Due to the current state of the pandemic, Deep Blues Fest is requiring proof of Covid vaccinations to enter the New Roxy (and The Den for Benefactor Ball). Find out where to get vaxed at #VisitMSresponsibly

Smaller event this year? Maybe. Bigger experience? Definitely.
Organized by hardcore roots music fans, DBF is an alternative, Heavy  Blues event that's different from the area's other more traditional festivals. It's also as much about experiencing historic Clarksdale as it is the lineup itself. It's about making friends and building memories that will last a lifetime.
"We may have pared down the venues and music a bit for this year, but don't let that fool you. We still have an incredible event planned," said organizer Robin Colonas. "We're joking that it's our 'DIY' edition, but really, that just means it's all a little more intimate and personal."
In addition to Clarksdale's usual 7-days-a-week of live blues, DBF will deliver an epic lineup inside a very special 2021 main stage venue — the limited capacity, open-air New Roxy (
"The lineup for Deep Blues is always rockin', and this year's concentration on the New Roxy as the main festival stage guarantees an unforgettable time," said local music promoter Roger Stolle. "I always tell visitors that the Roxy just may be the coolest music venue in the South."
This year's Deep Blues Fest will headquarter itself at the one-of-a-kind New Roxy — the alternatively-renovated historic theater that's considered a jewel of Clarksdale's "New World," last century's famed African American business district. The ancient marquee sets the stage as you walk into a roofed-and-ready front bar area before peering into the stunning former auditiorium — a huge sweeping concrete space with tall brick walls and plenty of fresh air for safety. After all, today's roofless New Roxy replaces its lid with blue skies by day, and starry skies by night.
Of course, since Deep Blues Fest (and the other dozen local annual festivals) is as much about experiencing Clarksdale as it is attending an event, DBF will promote and bolster the daily blues music scene all around town during the long weekend.
"Clarksdale is one of the only town's in the world that offers live blues music 365 days a year," said Visit Clarksdale tourism director Bubba O'Keefe. "When you couple that with such an exciting event as Deep Blues Fest, it really becomes a bit mind blowing how much there is to do, see and hear."
And if that's not enough, the very same DBF weekend, Clarksdale hosts the annual Mississippi Delta Tennessee Williams Festival. (The playwright lived here as a youth and based later characters off of colorful locals.) Info on DBF's sister festival at
Deep Blues Festival lights up the New Roxy Thursday-Sunday, October 14-17, 2021 with these headliners:

Thursday 10/14 - All Seeing Eyes, GravelRoad, 8pm.
Friday 10/15 - Alvin Youngblood Hart’s Muscle Theory, 8pm.
Jon Spencer & the HITMakers, 9pm.
Saturday 10/16 - Left Lane Cruiser, 8pm.
Sister Dynamite, 9pm.
Sunday 10/17 - The Wilkins Sisters (daughters of DBF favorite, the late Rev. John Wilkins), 2pm.
All Festival passes (access to all shows over 4 days) will be available for general public on August 1st and can be purchased on at Limited quantities of nightly tickets will also available at the door.

In addition to the headlining bands, Knick Knack Records will be hosting a FREE Saturday showcase from 1pm-5pm at the New Roxy — including Ryan Lee Crosby, The Foghorns and The Maness Brothers.

Plus, there will be related music throughout the downtown area all weekend long at places like Red's Lounge, Ground Zero Blues Club, Bad Apple Blues Club, Bluesberry Cafe, Hambone, Hooker Grocer, Cat Head and more. Music calendar: (Separate cover charges may apply.)
As always, DBF partner Shack Up Inn is ready for bookings at Plus, check out Clarksdale's full range of overnight accommodations — from artsy apartments to B&Bs, from a downtown boutique hotel to an award-winning hostel — at
Organizers wish to thank everyone who makes DBF possibly, including major sponsors like Visit Clarksdale and Visit Mississippi.
As festival founder Chris Johnson once noted, "Deep Blues is a life-changing musical pilgrimage."

MS DELTA TENNESSEE WILLIAMS FESTIVAL celebrates playwright's Clarksdale years...
The Mississippi Delta Tennessee Williams Festival schedule is coming soon to In the meantime, book your rooms now. Oh, and in case you're wondering about Williams' connection to Clarksdale, here's a nice summary from the festival website:
Born as Thomas Lanier Williams III in Columbus, Mississippi in 1911, Tennessee Williams moved to Clarksdale with his mother, sister, and grandparents in 1917. His grandfather, Walter E. Dakin was the rector of Clarksdale's St. George's Episcopal Church until 1932. After Williams' father, Cornelius Williams, a traveling salesman, was promoted to a desk job in 1918, he moved his wife and children to St. Louis. Both Tennessee and his sister Rose returned regularly to Clarksdale to live with and then visit their grandparents as they grew up. The rectory they lived in is now a museum.

Williams would imbed Mississippi Delta landmarks, stories, and people in some of his most famous plays, including THE GLASS MENAGERIE, A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE, CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF, THIS PROPERTY IS CONDEMNED, ORPHEUS DESCENDING, SUMMER AND SMOKE, ECCENTRICITIES OF A NIGHTINGALE, and the film BABY DOLL, as well as dozens of short plays, stories, and poems.

Nearby Moon Lake is featured in all of Williams' Delta plays, as well as the former Moon Lake Club (known in the plays as Moon Lake Casino and currently named Uncle Henry's Place). Other locales and landmarks that inspired Williams include the towns of Lyon and Friar's Point, the Delta Planter's Bank, the White Star Pharmacy, the angel statue in Grange Cemetery, and many more.

Character names from Clarksdale neighbors and Williams' grandfather's parishioners include Blanche, Stella, Brick, Baby Doll, Laura, Wingfield, Cutrer, Gilliam and Baugh.

HAMBONE FESTIVAL in historic downtown Clarksdale, Mississippi...
Held the end of October every year, the small-but-mighty HAMBONE FESTIVAL in Clarksdale, Mississippi, also functions as its host Stan Street's birthday party! Info soon at

OTHER UPCOMING BLUES FESTIVALS in the Mississippi and Arkansas Deltas...
September 18 - MISSISSIPPI DELTA BLUES AND HERITAGE FESTIVAL in Greenville, Mississippi (10AM-8PM). Also note that OB Buchana has been added to the lineup below. Info at

October 6-9 - KING BISCUIT BLUES FESTIVAL in Helena, Arkansas. Info at Also, don't miss this year's exciting KING BISCUIT BLUES SYMPOSIUM — 2 FREE panel discussions inside Malco Theater on Cherry Street at 10am & 11:15am, featuring Christone "Kingfish" Ingram, Sean "Bad" Apple, Thornetta Davis, Wayne Baker Brooks and more... with moderators Roger Stolle and Don Wilcock (details soon at!

As the world-famous King Biscuit ends across the river, Clarksdale turns up the volume on its umpteenth SUPER BLUES SUNDAY — Sunday, October 10, 2021. It's a fabulous, ad hoc happening that kicks off at 10am with the Cat Head Mini Blues Fest and Bluesberry Cafe Blues Breakfast... followed by blues around town at places like Red's Lounge and Bad Apple Blues Club... PLUS typically at places like Ground Zero Blues Club, Hooker Grocer, Levon's, etc... PLUS usually the Pinetop Perkins Memorial Homecoming at Hopson Commissary and Shack Up Inn. Venues, acts and details are TBA (it's a crazy year!), so please stay tuned to Cat Head's Music Calendar at Book your lodging now.

MUDDY WATERS home is a now and official landmark per the Chicago Sun-Times...
Muddy Waters home gets final Landmarks Commission approval, moves to City Council: The home in North Kenwood where blues legend Muddy Waters lived — which is being converted into The MOJO Muddy Waters House Museum — was granted final landmark status by the Commission on Chicago Landmarks on Thursday...

SHOP CAT HEAD in Clarksdale, Mississippi, y'all... in-person or online today at

19 years is a long time in retail. CAT HEAD survived "the first 2 years" of business, the Great Recession and (so far) the Global Pandemic. Thanks for that, y'all! Now, treat yourself to something new and cool — music, books, tees, art and so much more — either in-person at 11am every single day or online from our expanded WEB STORE at

Clarksdale, Mississippi's CHRISTONE "KINGFISH" INGRAM absolutely delivers with new "662" album!!
Dang, man! Hats off to Christone for delivering such an excellent 2nd album at just 22 years old. Strong, soulful vocals. Catchy contemporary blues songs. And plenty of his rockin' blues guitar. (Nice packaging, too.) You can pick up his new CD now at CAT HEAD or any other record store in the know. The vinyl LP arrives in October. Catch Kingfish on tour now (, and hear from the man himself at the King Biscuit Blues Symposium in Helena, AR, on October 9th. In the meantime, here's a fantastic interview with him on NPR's Morning Edition during release week:
Oh, Christone also did a couple Clarksdale drop-ins during release week at the first two places he ever gigged: Red's Lounge (pics of him jamming at Lucious Spiller's regular Wed night show) and Ground Zero Blues Club.

LATEST BLUES, MISSISSIPPI AND RELATED NEWS  stories and info. Check out the links below...
LONG-LOST "MEMPHIS '69" film released to DVD (and available at, of course):
CLARKSDALE PRESS REGISTER covers Visit Clarksdale Tourism board meeting:
BLUES FOUNDATION e-newsletter:
THE GRIT e-newsletter from DELTA MAGAZINE:

HISTORY IS LUNCH (Mississippi Department of Archives & History) w/Bobby Rush and Brinda Willis; watch at
"ABANDONED TOWNS" web series visits Clarksdale:
BOOKER FEST returns to Bay St. Louis, Mississippi's 100 Men Hall:

MEMPHIS NEWS via the Memphis Flyer: Plus, the Flyer's recent "festivals" cover story:

CROSSTOWN ARTS (Memphis) event calendar (jazz and more... including Duck Holmes!):
Pandemic-ly modified VISION FESTIVAL in Brooklyn still delivers top-notch improvisational jazz for 2021
Mostly vaxed folks, masking to enter, temperature checks, social distancing, outdoor settings and good communication helped the organizers at the fabulous Arts For Art ( nonprofit in Brooklyn put on a pandemic-ly modified VISION FESTIVAL late last month. Hopefully, they'll be able to go full tilt again in 2022. This year's highlights included performances with Jaimie Branch, James Brandon Lewis, Brandon Lopez Trio, David Murray, Oliver Lake, John Zorn, William Parker, Joe McPhee and others.

"BOOKS OF MADISON COUNTY" event in Jackson, Tennessee, spotlights authors and music...
Thanks to the Jackson/Madison County Library (especially Sheila Arnold; sweet gift-bag note!) in Tennessee for the invitation to speak at last week's Books of Madison County event. Great to talk blues, promote Clarksdale and hang out with writers Robert Gordon and Shawn Pitts (plus enjoy an impromptu performance by Carl Perkin's son Stan).
Couldn't attend? Pick up my "Hidden History of Mississippi Blues" and "Mississippi Juke Joint Confidential" books along with some of Gordon's titles ("Muddy Waters," "Came from Memphis," etc.) in my CAT HEAD web store at
Btw... I didn't get to visit the library there, but based on the staff, foundation members and fans I met last night... it must be a heckuva good one! Please support your local libraries, y'all.
Vote now for MS Arts + Entertainment Experience (The MAX) 2022 Hall of Fame inductees...

The Mississippi Arts + Entertainment Experience (The MAX) would like to encourage you, your friends and associates to vote for the 2022 Hall of Fame inductees.  Our Nominating Committee has reduced over 800 candidates to the 28 artists they feel are most deserving of this honor. You can vote for five candidates per day per email address until all voting ends at midnight, Friday, October 15, 2021. The five 2022 inductees will be announced December 16, 2021 with the Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony set for December 15, 2022.
Here’s a link to the ballot. Feel free to share it and encourage others to participate in the selection process.
Thank you,
Marty Gamblin
Consultant, Hall of Fame + Walk of Fame.
New BENTONIA BLUES article by musician Ryan Lee Crosby, courtesy of Music Maker Relief Fdtn.

From and our blues buddy Ryan...
"A Tiny Town With a Global Presence" by Ryan Lee Crosby. Just off highway 49 at the south end of the Mississippi Delta, a secluded village quietly attracts passionate music lovers from every corner of the globe...... READ ON AT
PS - See Ryan along with Bentonia's Jimmy "Duck" Holmes in October at Crosstown Arts in Memphis:

MOVIES FILM IN CLARKSDALE and Mississippi... from iPhone documentary to Hollywood film...
As the world figures out how to start moving again after the past year and a half, Clarksdale has seen a resurgence of film and TV projects coming to town. This summer (so far), we've had groups in town  filming documentaries based around the U.S. national anthem and modern American feelings about our flag as well as music projects including In the Reeds (a forthcoming harmonica doc) and a new Disney road-trip TV series.
The biggest (by far) of this summer's Clarksdale filmings is Norwegian-born filmmaker Anna Gutto's Paradise Highway — new thriller starring Morgan Freeman and Juliette Binoche ( The large production crew filmed around Clarksdale and the Mississippi Delta for several weeks, parking all of the big trucks in one of our downtown City parking lots at night. One particular Wednesday night/Thursday morning (6pm to 4am!), the large crew shot at The Den, a former bar on the street behind my Cat Head store. Gutto's team hired North Mississippi bluesman Robert Kimbrough, Sr., to perform in the scene. Super nice crew, btw.
The amazing Zaila Avant-garde who won spelling bee is named in honor of John Coltrane...
Happiest photo of the year, below? I think so. Plus, she's named in honor of jazz great Coltrane. Nice. (Courtesy of The Week magazine.)

AYLER "THE BLUES PUG" is fine... but had a little mishap with another dog, recently...
Just a friendly reminder to leash up your pets and make sure they're caught up on their shots, y'all. CAT HEAD's Ayler Pug is fine, thankfully, but was attacked by another, much bigger dog, recently. The other dog's very nice owner had her dog on a leash, but it just got away from her. Fortunately, both of our dogs are up-to-date on shots, etc. I won't lie, though, it was pretty harrowing since I had to reach in and open the other dog's jaws to release puggie. (My wounds were surprisingly light, and I'm totally fine. Well.. as fine as I started out, anyway!) The other dog's owner was deeply apologetic and paid for the vet bills, so all good. Could have been much worse. Ayler is healing nicely.

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Cat Head Delta Blues and Folk Art  |  252 Delta Avenue  |  Clarksdale, MS 38614  |

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