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(festival preview special)
"All the blues that's fit to print."
Welcome to the big Vax-tober festival edition of your monthly Cat Head Update newsletter, y'all...

Yup. I first want to thank all y'all who have gotten vaccinated before traveling to CLARKSDALE, MISSISSIPPPI. Like many places, we got hit with the Delta variant, but hospitalizations are going down, and vaccinations are going up. Our vaxed musicians who got 'breakthrough' cases came through ok, thankfully. We just ask that y'all get vaxed, bring along a mask for appropriate settings, and #VisitMSresponsibly. To get vaxed in Mississippi, please go to or Walmart. (Walmart also has flu shots; I got mine on Tuesday.)
We've got a WHOLE SLATE OF FESTIVALS, music and special events coming up over the next 5 weeks, so we need your help to make 'em successful and healthy for our local community, performing musicians, older venue owners and traveling tourists. THANKS, Y'ALL. You have no idea how much we appreciate it. Pandemics are pretty tough for towns built on music and tourism.
Okay. Now, on to the fun stuff!
This week, Sean "Bad" Apple has been busy hosting his first-ever BAD APPLE BLUES GUITAR WORKSHOP, and it's been pretty awesome. Keep an eye out for his next edition if you fancy the 6-strings.
TODAY kicks off our month of MUSIC FESTIVALS with the inaugural Mighty Roots Music Festival and Bad Apple Blues Festival (plus a special Sunday blues event at CAT HEAD; more on that below)... next weekend will feature extra music around town (for what would have been King Biscuit Weekend (including daily live blues at CAT HEAD as our 19th anniversary continues... the following weekend is both Deep Blues Fest and the Delta Tennessee Williams Festival... and the month concludes with the Hambone Festival and the Cruzn The Crossroads Car & Truck Show. Clarksdale rocks! Truly.

As always, thanks for your support of CAT HEAD during these challenging times in retail. We're here because of you. Visit us Mon-Fri 11am-4pm; Sat till 5pm; Sun till 3pm. Or SHOW NOW at
Thanks and best,
(and customer service rep, Ayler Pug, seen below answering your questions)

Clarksdale, Mississippi — 7 days of live blues and over a dozen annual festivals... non-stop, y'all!
With Clarksdale's honest-to-Muddy "365" music scene, old-school-meets-new-school eateries, truly unique lodging and unstoppable Southern hospitality, it's no wonder so many folks have either bought property or moved here during the pandemic. As our tourism director Bubba O'Keefe likes to say, "We have more characters here than Sesame Street!" What's up down in the Delta this week? Glad you asked. MUSIC CALENDAR, including Sounds Around Town at

Inaugural MIGHTY ROOTS MUSIC FESTIVAL rocks out at Stovall with Americana, Roots and Blues...

Howard Stovall and team hoped to kick off this large, outdoor festival last year, but... well... you know. Since Clarksdale already has a dozen or so blues festivals, the Might Roots Music Festival expands on and beyond the genre with Americana, Roots and Blues music acts from inside and outside of the Delta. Organizers have been working hard to turn a section of the old Stovall Farm into festival grounds. The festival itself will span two days (this Fri-Sat, 10/1-2) and include over a dozen acts. The basic format is a mix of music during the day and evening with a late-night blues-only stage after the main stage is over each night. Y'all can party on to the blues... well past midnight! The festival grounds include a camping area, by the way, in case you want to enjoy a few beverages. All of the details and lineup are online at PS - I hear they are still looking for a few volunteers in case you want to attend that way (see website).

First-ever BAD APPLE BLUES FESTIVAL caps off a week of Bad Apple Blues Guitar Workshop fun...
Bad Apple Blues Club (next to New Roxy) owner Sean "Bad" Apple has been a busy, busy man this week. He's been hosting an extremely enthusiastic group of up-and-coming musicians at his super-cool BAD APPLE BLUES GUITAR WORKSHOP. His workshop is unique among other workshops for a few reasons. It's largely taught inside an old Mississippi juke joint. It includes demonstration performances by real-deal blues players. It includes some impromptu blues/history field trips. It includes entry into various local blues venues at night and opportunities to play/jam on stage. And it is capped off with a day-long blues festival, during which participants will get a chance to show off what they've learned — in addition to enjoying performances by some the area's deep blues legends. Keep an eye out on Sean's Facebook page for future workshop experiences,

Yes... and then... there's the BAD APPLE BLUES FEST this Sat., 10/2, y'all!! Sean will hold it behind his club at 349 Issaquena Ave., downtown (next to the New Roxy). He's got a cool backyard, some tents and a whole lotta blues. From 1pm to 8pm this Saturday, enjoy performances by blues folks like RL "Grammy Nominee" Boyce, Little Willie Farmer, Miss Australia "Honeybee" Jones, Lucious Spiller, Bill Abel, Sean "Bad" Apple, Prince Artemas, Freight Train Larson, Workshoppers and more. Info at

CAT HEAD DELTA BLUES & FOLK ART's 19th anniversary continues with Brocktober 'live' blues!

Blues buddy BIG GEORGE BROCK and I traveled the world together, and during airport layovers, we often schemed about new ideas — festivals, tours, recordings and film projects. Some happened. Some didn't. One of these was "Brocktober Fest." We didn't get around to it before his untimely passing in the early days of the pandemic, just one month shy of 88 years old. Anyway, as I celebrate my 19th year in Clarksdale, I want to dedicate CAT HEAD's month of live blues music to the big man, the houserocker. Happy Brocktober, Big George. This month's for you.

BROCKTOBER BLUES EVENTS on CAT HEAD's front porch in Clarksdale, MS... Health & Safety Protocols apply (social distancing outside/masking inside)... bring your own chairs...
Fri., 10/8 - Randy "19th Street" Red, 12 noon.
Sat., 10/9 - Terry "Harmonica" Bean, 12 noon.
Sun., 10/10 - Jesse Cotton Stone, 12 noon.
Thurs., 10/14 - Robin "Superbad" Lane, 3pm.
Fri., 10/15 - TBA.
Sat., 10/16 - Libby Rae Watson 11am; Todd Roth 1pm; Tom Ward "I Died and Went to Mississippi" book signing 2pm; Shaun Marsh 3pm.
Sun., 10/17 - Juke Jones, 12 noon.
Sat., 10/30 - Lucious Spiller, 12 noon.

Speaking of CAT HEAD store in CLARKSDALE, Mississippi... Let's do some online shopping...
Lots of new arrivals, restocks and classics to check out in our CAT HEAD WEB STORE at! New tees, hoodies, crewneck fleece, hats, books, posters, 2022 wall calendars, music and more — including handmade "T-Skirts by Karine" that upcycle vintage blues tees. Limited quanties/sizes in many cases, so order today. We ship every business day.

Clarksdale DOUBLE HEADER FESTIVAL WEEKEND, "PART I"... Book your rooms now for 10/14-17!
Love music? Enjoy reading? Well... Have we got a weekend for you! DEEP BLUES FEST and the DELTA TENNESSEE WILLIAMS FESTIVAL are the same October 14-17 weekend in the same awesome town — Clarksdale. Tough choice to make? Nope. Do both. WEBSITES: AND LODGING INFO:

Clarksdale DOUBLE HEADER FESTIVAL WEEKEND, "PART II"... Book your rooms now.

Love blues? Love the pedal on the right? Well... Load up the Blues Mobile for the best of both worlds! HAMBONE FESTIVAL and the CRUZN THE CROSSROADS CAR SHOW are the same October 30th weekend in the same awesome town — Clarksdale. INFORMATION: AND LODGING INFO:

Please VOTE FOR CLARKSDALE in USA TODAY "10 Best Historic Small Towns" contest... Thanks!
As of this typing, Clarksdale is at #9 in USA TODAY's "10 best historic small towns" voting. Please vote today and every day on all of your devices... to help get us to #1. It's free and easy at  Thanks, y'all!

More vax means more music... more business! U.S. REOPENS TO WORLD TRAVEL this November... :)

We in Clarksdale and the blues tourism community can't wait to greet our vaxed friends from around the glob. Starting in November vaccinated music fans from 33 countries should be able to start filling festival seats and rockin' in our Delta juke joints again. Dang, we've missed y'all! Read more at

Can't be here yet? Remember, LIVE FROM CLARKSDALE has your ticket to blues on the web!
For over a year has been your free ticket to weekly Clarksdale blues on the web. ("Thanks, Colleen! Thanks Visit Clarksdale!") Enjoy online now, and come see us when you can.

Another hi-tech way to "visit" Clarksdale during the pandemic: BLUES TRAIL REVISITED PODCAST.

Filmmaker/podcaster Ted Reed and team continue to crank out high-quality podcast episodes featuring (mainly) Clarksdale and Mississippi Delta musicians and characters. Haven't listened lately? Check out the newest episode with Clarksdale historian Robert Birdsong and Quapaw Canoe Company's John Ruskey at or wherever you listen to your podcasts. If you're new to the series, then I recommend starting with the first episodes — recorded during Juke Joint Festival last April. Enjoy!

ALSO, be sure to check out Reed's award-winning BLUES TRAIL REVISITED feature film via

- Clarksdale's favorite young blues resident of our "662" area code — Christone "Kingfish" Ingram — is out on tour (including Memphis this Sunday and Mississippi next weekend). Catch him if you can: ALSO, he's showing up on a lot of overseas magazine covers in anticipation of his European tour this winter/spring; see Il Blues (Italy) and Soul Bag (France) below.
- New Christone "Kingfish" Ingram (662 — which is an incredible, modern-blues album!) and John Coltrane (A Love Supreme: Live in Seattle) vinyl LP release dates pushed back from 10/8 to 10/22. Supply chain issues, I suppose. Pre-order Kingfish now at; CD is available now, of course. Also, I'll carry the Coltrane vinyl (read review) in-store upon release.
- Speaking of vinyl records... LPs continue to outsell CDs...
- International Blues Challenge (IBC) returns in-person to Beale Street in Memphis this January 18-22. Details at Then...
- After IBC in Memphis, head south the following week for the 12th annual Clarksdale Film & Music Festival on January 28-30 weekend; more details starting next month at
- Hey Nashvillians (or visitors to the Pedal Tavern Capitol), here's a road-trip that includes Clarksdale,

- Hey everybody! Plan for your Clarksdale, Mississippi, road-trip today...  PART I -
- American Blues Scene magazine covers the blues scene in Clarksdale, Mississippi. By Kevin Wierzbicki...
- View brand-new Soul-Patrol video musical history "The Blues from Africa to Today" at
- Latest news from Blues Festival Guide at
- New Mississippi Blues Trail website "coming soon"; watch for it at In the meantime, download the free app today from your favorite app store.
- The Guardian writes about New Orleans' blues legend Little Freddie King,

- Owner of Mississippi's biggest record collection passes away,
- Jazz organ legend Dr. Lonnie Smith dies at 79,
- Roots rocker Commander Cody dies at 77,
- Former leader of James Brown Revue dies at 80,
- New Mississippi Writers Trail marker added in Clarksdale for Richard Ford,
- Keep up with Clarksdale's John Ruskey and Quapaw Canoe Company (and Mississippi River happenings) by subscribing to his newsletter at
- GRAMMY nominations TBA on 11/23,
- Big Ears Festival in Knoxville, TN, announces lineup at Hoping for tix in my stocking this year! :)

Nashville aka "Nashty" "NashVegas" gets drunk on pedal taverns and bachelorette partie$...
“There’s nothing unique about downing 12 White Claws at 3 in the afternoon.” “That is my fear, that we [in Nashville] are losing our sense of who we are, what built our success.”  Full New York Times article at
Shucks, y'all. Nashville can have the pedal-taverns and bachelorette parties. Clarksdale, Mississippi, will stick with the music — live blues 7 days a week plus over a dozen annual festivals. (Of course, Nashville still has plenty of cool places to go to... including... National Museum of African American Music, Country Music Hall of Fame, Robert's Western World, Bluebird Cafe, Santa's Pub, Ryman Auditorium, The Station Inn, etc. Just plan before you go, and if you're a music fan, maybe leave Lower Broadway to the partiers...)
That's all for this month... please feel free to exit through the gift shop. Thanks, y'all!
CAT HEAD's physical store is open every day at 11am. Our expanded WEB STORE is always open. Please shop now at

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

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