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Brownsville to celebrate its blues heritage May 26

Brownsville to celebrate its blues heritage May 26

Posted: Wednesday, May 16, 2012 8:00 pm

Brownsville will once again celebrate its blues heritage during the Exit 56 Blues Fest May 26 at the West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center. Festivities will include an arts and crafts show, art exhibition, cruise-in and live music. The daylong event will run from 9 a.m. until 10 p.m.
The center will open at 9 a.m. with self-guided tours of the museums. “Sonnets to Orpheus,” a mixed media art exhibition by Jackson native Lendon Noe will also be on display for attendees to enjoy.
This year’s arts and crafts fair will open at 10 a.m., and artisans will showcase their special handcrafted items until 6. Among the featured items this year are quilts, baby items, jewelry, aprons, paintings, wind chimes and specialty wood items. Delta-themed folk art and specialty clothing will also be available, along with your favorite festival foods, including barbecue and pork rinds.
Musical entertainment begins with the first performers taking the stage at 1 p.m. Local and regional favorites will perform from the porch of the home of Blues pioneer “Sleepy” John Estes. This year’s Haywood’s Got Talent winner Hannah Smith will take the stage first, followed by Sleepy’s Jug Band All Stars, a group of Brownsville musicians who will pay homage to the old country blues style of music. Union City’s Blind Red Rooster will make a return appearance at this year’s festival.
Other performers for the evening include a host of accomplished bluesmen such as Brownsville’s Jimmy D. Taylor and Jackson’s Steve Patterson. Theo D “The Boogieman” and Sean “Bad” Apple from Clarksdale, Miss., will share their special Delta Blues style. Opening for the evening’s headliner is Eric Hughes, harmonica player and favorite on the Memphis blues scene. At 8 p.m., some of Memphis’ best known and most talented musicians, Elmo and The Shades, will take the stage.
Car enthusiasts are invited to cruise-in for the music and compete to take home some unique awards during the Exit 56 Cruise-In from 2-6 p.m. Participants are asked to check in or pre-register online to qualify for awards. Registration is free and includes recognition for “Cool Chrome,” “Most Likely to Get a Ticket,” “Oldest Ride” and more.
Another special event of the day will be the debut of West Tennessee’s newest magazine, “Good Ol’ Boys.” “Good Ol’ Boys” magazine is a monthly publication for those who enjoy the southern lifestyle of good times, good food and good friends. The magazine will be given away during the Cruise-In.
Festival admission and concerts are free and everyone is invited to attend and enjoy a day celebrating the Brownsville blues. The West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center is located off of Interstate 40 at Exit 56, behind McDonald’s.
For more information, contact the center at (731) 779-9000 or visit

Published in The Messenger 5.16.12


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