Rosedale, Miss. (April 15, 2008) – Come one, come all to hear authentic Mississippi Delta blues music at the Rosedale Blues & Heritage Festival to be held Saturday, May 10, 2008, at The River Resort in Rosedale.
The Rosedale Blues and Heritage Festival is a good-time celebration held annually on the second Saturday of May in the historic riverside city of Rosedale and sponsored by the Crossroads Blues Society of Mississippi.
Numerous performers will take to the stage to provide authentic Mississippi Delta blues entertainment, including: Eden Brent; Lil’ Dave Thompson and the Big Love Band; John Andy Bowen and the Back 40 Band; Mickey Rogers, Barbara Looney and the Soul Master’s Band; and T-Model Ford. There will also be performances by: Marshall Drew; Joe Garcia; Bill “Howl-N-Madd” Perry; and the Alfonso Sanders Band. “We’ve got some of the best blues band in the local area coming. That’s always been our emphasis - the local blues artists. We are really looking forward to the line-up,” said society member Will Tierce.
Rosedale has long been famous for its intimate association with blues music. In his day, legendary bluesman Robert Johnson sang in and around the riverside city, making it famous on his 1937 recording “Traveling Riverside Blues.”
Early blues pioneer Charley Patton sang about Rosedale in his “High Water Everywhere,” a song about the 1927 flood, and during the early 1940s Honey Boy Edwards lived and played here. Rosedale was a major stop on the juke joint circuit for blues players promoting their soulful songs. In later years, Led Zeppelin created their own version of Johnson’s “Traveling Riverside Blues” and the band Cream, with member Eric Clapton, immortalized the city in “Crossroads,” leading many to believe the meeting of Mississippi Highways 1 and 8 is where Johnson sold his soul to the Devil according to legend.
In previous years, the festival has taken place in downtown Rosedale, but this year festival organizers decided to change the venue to the River Resort, the former home of the Rosedale Country Club on Mississippi Highway 1 on the south end of the city. Big shady trees and expansive grassy areas make this outdoor location perfect to watch and enjoy the festival. Feel free to bring lawn chairs and blankets. “We’re looking forward to the new location. There will be lots of shade and a nice environment alongside the levee. We want everybody to come out and enjoy the best local blues in the area,” commented Tierce.
Food, drinks and beer will be available for purchase. “There’s lots of classic festival food. Food in the past has included hot tamales, sometimes crawfish, ribs and other sorts of things,” Tierce said.
Festival-goers can also pick up some souvenirs to take home. All of the proceeds from the event benefit the Crossroads Blues Society and will go toward funding future festivals. “We’ll have T-shirts and bumper stickers available featuring Rosedale blues and we’ll have some posters probably for sale,” said Tierce.
Gates open at 12 noon, with music from 1 p.m. till about 10:30 p.m. The event is open to the public; admission is $5 per adult and $1 per child (12 years and under). No ice chests or pets. For more information about the Rosedale Blues & Heritage Festival, visit http://www.rosedaleblues.com.
The Crossroads Blues Society of Mississippi is based in Rosedale, Mississippi, where it promotes and sponsors the Rosedale Blues and Heritage Festival, held annually on the second Saturday of May. By exposing people to America’s cultural heritage, specifically Mississippi Delta blues, the society also supports and advances local blues artists. A member of the International Blues Foundation, the Crossroads Blues Society of Mississippi is an avid advocate of preserving authentic blues music and its birthplace, the Mississippi Delta. Established in 1999, the society, with its active board, members and numerous volunteers, continues to hold impressive festivals year after year as visitors come experience real Delta blues and the historic riverside city of Rosedale, Miss., located at the crossroads of Mississippi Highways 1 and 8. For more information, visit http://www.rosedaleblues.com.
Illustrations courtesy of Crossroads Blues Society and the Mississippi Development Authority/Division of Tourism