When he set out to create the lineup for the 15th annual Howlin’ Wolf Blues Festival, director Richard Ramsey knew he had to go big.
“This is the Year of the Wolf,” said Ramsey, “so we have to have a festival worthy of that name. This year would have been Howlin’ Wolf’s 100th birthday, and I think we have an event this year worthy of the man himself.”
Ramsey recently released the lineup for the annual festival, which will be held this year on Friday, Sept. 3. Headlining the show will be a pair of award-winning acts that cover a broad spectrum of the blues, including a group from Tupelo that was just recognized as the best young band in blues music.
Homemade Jamz, which is comprised by three young siblings (Ryan Perry, 18; Kyle Perry, 14; and Kaya Perry, 11) from Tupelo. The band was recently recognized by JUS out of Memphis as the Blues Band of the Year nationwide and was named the 2008 Best New Artist by the Bay Area Blues Society out of San Francisco.
Their albums Pay Me No Mind and I Got Blues For You have been featured in USA Today and Billboard, and showcased on TV shows including CBS Morning News and Today.
“These young kids have got energy, talent and do the blues proud with their own flavor,” said none other than blues legend B.B. King.
In addition to Homemade Jamz, another headlining act will be James “Super Chikan” Johnson, a Delta bluesman based out of Clarksdale, whose album Chikadelic won the 2010 award for Traditional Blues Album of the year from The Blues Foundation in Memphis.
Tickets for the event, which will be held at The Civic in West Point, are being sold for $15 in advance and $20 at the door. The tickets can be purchased at Bits N Pieces in West Point.
Other acts being featured at this year’s event include: Blind Mississippi Morris and the Black Prairie Blues Kings, Cherry Lee Mewis, Boondocksand Mark “Mule Man” Massey featuring Billy Earheart.
In addition to the annual festival, a new wrinkle has been added this year. On the Saturday following the blues festival, The Ritz Theater and Conference Center will play host to “A Tribute to the Wolf” Blues Bash, which will feature bands and singers along with historical footage and music from Chester A. “Howlin’ Wolf” Burnett.