Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Sam Chatmon Blues Festival Oct 6, 2012

October 8, 2012 by  
Filed under Past Shows

2012-10-06-Sam-Chatmon-Blues-Festival

They call it a festival for a reason.  It was a day of fun and celebration of Delta Blues.  Most importantly, the  Sam Chatmon Blues Festival is held each year to celebrate the life of the late Sam Chatmon of Hollandale, Mississippi.  I earned my place at the festival by being mentored by Mr Chatmon when I was 19 years old.  Sam was 78.  You can find the details here.  I frequently reflect on those lessons I learned from Sam.  Being asked to play the festival was a real thrill and I ran into some old friends and met some new ones.

The lineup included The Mt. Olive M.B. Church Choir, Eddie Cusic (who gave Little Milton his first guitar lessons), Libby Rae Watson (who was also mentored by Sam Chatmon), The Johnny Horton Blues Band, and Eden Brent.  In addition to some soulful blues music, there was a sweet aroma of barbeque from the barbeque competition that was part of the festival.

the highlight of the afternoon was being introduced to brothers Luc Borms and Marc Borms.  Roy Shilling, the festival producer, said Luc and Marc were from Belgium, but I thought he said Belzoni, which is only 20 miles away.  Belgium is actually over 18,000 miles away from Hollandale, Mississippi!  When I started speaking with them about 10 minutes before my set, I immediately discovered their accent was not that from Belzoni.  What I also learned very quickly was that Luc Borms is an excellent blues harp player.  That’s a blues harmonica expert.  The brothers were doing a follow-up research project to their book.  In 2011 they spent months recording blues history in every Delta juke joint they could find.  Their project culminated in a great blues book called Catfish & Cotton.  A video preview of the book can be found here.

I opened my set with a blues tune and immediately knew that I wanted Luc Borms to play on most of the rest of my songs.  Fingers Taylor has nothing on this guy!  His talent made the show and he knew the turns and weaves my songs would make before I did.  I treasure the afternoons I spent with blues legend, Sam Chatmon.  Now I treasure my random meeting with this  internationally great blues harp player from Belgium, Luc Bormes, and hope to have the pleasure of playing with him again.

Part of the fun of playing at a festival is being at the festival.  I really enjoyed listening to the other acts, watching the crowd and sampling the barbeque.  If you missed it this year, maybe we’ll meet again next year.

Some Random Festival Shots:

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Libby Rae Watson

Luc Borms-Marc Borms n Roy Schilling

Luc Borms, Marc Borms & Roy Schilling

Eddie Cusic

Eddie Cusic

Johnny Horton Blues Band

Johnny Horton Blues Band

Johnny Horton's Awesome Guitarst

Johnny Horton's Awesome Guitarst

Eden Brent

Eden Brent

BBQ Champs

BBQ Champs

BBQ Champs

BBQ Champs

BBQ Champs

BBQ Champs

Johnny Horton Blues Band

Johnny Horton Blues Band

Family Fun

Family Fun

Luc Borms and Dave Sherman

Luc Borms and Dave Sherman

The Official Festival Dancer

The Official Festival Dancer

One of the many horses attending the festival

One of the many horses attending the festival

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