B.B. King and Dr. John Headline Arkansas Blues and Heritage 25th Anniversary by Robert “Nighthawk” Tooms

Posted on 10/04/2010 by Robert "Nighthawk" Tooms

(Memphis, Tennessee) If you are wondering what to do while in Helena, Arkansas, for the 25th Anniversary of the Arkansas Blues and Heritage Festival, look no more.

photo from a recent jam at Blues Bayou Restaurant and Blues Bar

check them out on facebook:!/pages/Helena-AR/Blues-Bayou-Restaurant-Blues-Club/137490426271842?ref=ts

At the Blues Bayou Restaurant and Blues Bar a big blues jam will be held on Wednesday, October 6. This event will kick off what will be a memorable and likely record-breaking event in Helena.

I cannot recommend this festival enough. It is simply the great grandfather of blues festivals and this year will be outstanding.

the author will be playing with Sterling Billingsley’s Band at 3:40 PM on Thursday

On Thursday, the festival begins in earnest. Here's a copy of the finalized schedule:

Sonny Boy Williamson Main Stage

11:30/12:15 – 2009 Emerging Artist Winner – Heather Cross
12:30/1:15 – 2010 SBBS Battle of The Bands Winner-Diddley Squat
1:30/2:15 – 2010 IBC Winner – Grady Champion
2:30/3:20 – Willie Cobbs
3:40/4:35 – Sterling Billingsley Band
5:00-6:05 – James Harman
6:25/7:30 – The Reba Russell Band
7:55/9:05 – Paul Thorn
9:30/11:00 – B.B. King

This looks as if it will be the best first day of this festival ever. I could not be more excited to participate and attend. Bring a chair and get comfortable, viewing some of the world's greatest blues acts from the levee of the mighty Mississippi river, the largest, most famous river in the United States. the Blues history that is so rich in Helena will be augmented by this year's event. this will be the first time B. B. King has played the event and all the acts on this day's roster are sure to please Blues lovers.

B.B.King takes the stage Thursday at 9:30 PMOn Friday, the excitement continues.

Sonny Boy Williamson Main Stage

10:00 AM- David Berntson Blues in Schools Students
11:30/12:30 – Sherrie Williams
12:45/1:45 – Big Jack Johnson
2:00/3:05 – Smokin Joe Kubek with Bnois King
3:35/4:40 – Kentucky Headhunters
5:00/6:10 – Hubert Sumlin & The Willie “Big Eyes” Smith Band
6:35/7:50 – Michael Burks
8:15/9:30 – Marcia Ball
10:00/11:30 – Dr. John

Dr. John

the author with Eden Brent

Lockwood Stackhouse Stage (a few blocks north of the main stage)

11:00/11:45 – US Navy Band
12:00/12:45 – Phillip Stackhouse
1:00/1:45 – Andy Coats
2:00/2:45 – Johnny Billington
3:00/3:45 – Eden Brent
4:00/5:00 – Bernie Pearl
5:30/6:40 – Spoonfed Blues featuring Mississippi Spoonman
7:00/8:10 – Gwen White
8:30/9:40 – Mojo Buford
10:00/11:15 – Bobby Rush

Bobby Rush

Emerging Artist Stage

1:00/1:45 - Guitar Mack
2:00/2:45 - Paul Thomas
3:00/3:45 - Taylor &Grayson
5:00/5:45 - Valerie June
6:00/6:45 - Ray Cashman
7:00/7:45 - Clover Blue
8:00/8:45 - Gil Franklin
9:00/9:45 - Scott Simpson

On Saturday, the festival gets into full swing with entertainment of all kinds all over town. Check this out:

Sonny Boy Williamson Main Stage

11:30/12:30 – Preston Shannon
12:45/1:50 – Larry McCray
2:05/3:20 – Bobby Parker
3:35/4:50 – Pinetop Perkins & Bob Margolin
5:10/6:25 – Anson Funderburg & The Rockets
6:50/8:05 – Walter “Wolfman” Washington
8:25/9:40 – Charlie Musselwhite
10:00/11:30 – Taj Mahal

John Hammond

Lockwood Stackhouse Stage

12:00/1:00 – Jimmy “Duck” Holmes
1:20/2:20 – Rev. Roberts
2:40/3:40 – Austin “Walkin Cane” Charanghat
4:00/5:00 – John Hammond
5:30/6:40 – Lonnie Shields
7:00/8:10 – Robert "Nighthawk" Tooms and his Wampus Cats
8:30/9:40 – Don McMinn
10:00/11:15 – Earnest “Guitar” Roy

Robert "Nighthawk" Tooms and his Wampus Cats

Emerging Artist Stage

2:00/2:45 - Losing Streak
3:00/3:45 - Darren J
4:00/4:45 - Heavy Suga & the Sweetones
5:00/5:45 - The Overtones
6:00/6:45 - Interstate Bu alo
7:00/7:45 - Joe Pitt Band
8:00/8:45 - Charlotte Taylor
9:00/9:45 - Lauren Strange

Bit – O – Blues Stage

12:00/12:45 – Johnny Billington
1:00/1:45 – Matt Wigler
2:00/2:45 – Homemade Jamz
3:00/3:45 – Payton Clark Tribute Band

2 Children's harmonica workshops taught
by David Berntson @ 1 and 3 PM
- class sizes are limited.

Gospel Stage - (same stage as Bit-O-Blues)

5:15/5:30 - Jason Jaco
5:35/5:50 - Denise Morgan
5:55/6:10 - Kathy Davis
6:15/6:30 - WH Baptist Drama Team
6:35/6:50 - Skeeter and Darla Self
6:55/7:10 - Anna Arnold
7:15/7:30 - Maddie Webb
7:35/7:50 - Stephanie Monroe
7:55/8:10 - Phillips County Quartet Choir
8:15/8:30 - St. Peter Choir
8:35/8:50 - Helena-West Helena Community Choir

8:55/9:10 - Blessful 7
9:15/9:30 - Young and Ready
9:35/9:50 - Ratio Male Chorus
9:55/10:10 - Spiritual Keys
10:15/11:00 - Memphis Harmonizers


© Robert "Nighthawk" Tooms, 2010

American Blues News Staff

What makes American Blues News unique is our coverage across America. Here is our lineup:

Mon: Memphis Correspondent - Robert "Nighthawk" Tooms
Nighthawk is our resident globetrotter and man behind the scenes, as he tours with the Reba Russell Band.

Tues: New York Correspondent - J. Blake
Blake is the American Blues News review and interview guru. You may catch him out and about in NY playing the blues.

Wed: National Correspondent - Monica Yasher
Monica is our executive director and artist interview specialist. You can catch Monica singing the blues around Pittsburgh or working on some country music songs in Nashville.

Thurs: Washington, DC Correspondent - Virginiabluesman
Geraldo offers inteviews and reviews. You may have seen him at an Ana Popovic concert or conversed with him on her websites, as he offers administrative support with her music.

Fri: Northeast Photographer - Nelson Onofre
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Jim Stick in Colorado
Jim will be focusing on the Blues Festivals in the beautiful state of Colorado, and the artists that live and visit there.

Maureen Elizabeth, our resident art correspondent, will be focusing on blues art as she explores the creation of CD covers, or speaking with artists who also have a love of creating pictorial art in addition to their music! She may also feature some of her good friends in the Pittsburgh area. In her love of art, you may find Maureen's photography accompanying writer's articles on our pages. Maureen is also our marketing director.

Pittsburgh correspondent and photographer, CR Bennett, will share the Pittsburgh scene with all of you. You may also see CR's pictures accompanying other writer's articles.

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