King Biscuit Blues Festival Director Munnie Jordan managed to keep the audience in suspense during the unveiling ceremony for the 28th annual blues fest. The event was held Tuesday evening at the Cherry Street Pavilion. Following a timely drum roll, Jordan formerly announced that the Gregg Allman Band would headline this year's festival, which is scheduled for Oct. 10-12.
In addition to announcing the KBBF lineup, the regional cover of AT&T's Real Yellow Pages also was unveiled.
“For me, this annual unveiling ceremony officially ushers in the blues festival season in Helena-West Helena and Phillips County,” stated Jordan.
This year marks the 28th year of the KBBF, which humble beginnings date back to 1986.
“The first festival was held on the back of a flat-bed truck down by the old train depot,” recalled Jordan. “We've come a long way baby.”
During the course of the program, Jordan introduced the members of the Sonny Boy Blues Society and offered special thanks to all the sponsors of the festival and all of the volunteers.
“The volunteers literally make things happen,” praised Jordan.
According to Jordan, the KBBF has had its share of bumps along the way. The festival got the King Biscuit name back in 2010.
“You can mention Helena anywhere in the world and someone's going to say, 'Oh yeah, that's where the King Biscuit Blues Festival is held,'” stated Jordan.
“We are here to keep the legend alive,” continued Jordan. “So keep the biscuits rising and pass the biscuits please!”
Other aspects of the festival were briefly discussed including the annual blues symposium held at the Malco Theater and Blues in the School, an educational effort to keep the blues alive.
Before announcing the 2013 lineup of musicians, Jordan announced that discounted tickets to the 3-day festival are now on sale for one low price.
Thursday night's lineup will feature the Battle of the Bands winner, the Sterling Billingsley Band, which performed prior to the unveiling ceremony, Travis Wammack, Hamilton Loomis, Walter “Wolfman” Washington and Sonny Landreth. The headliner that night will be Marcia Ball.
There will be a full day of musical entertainment on Friday with Guitarist Mac McAnally, Jack Rowell Jr., Veronika Jackson, Bart Walker Band, Cedell Davis, Reba Russell Band, Spoonfed Blues Featuring Mississippi Spoonman, Sharrie Williams, C.W. Gatlin, Andy T. and Nick Nixon, Wampus Cats, Lil Biscuit Band, Anson Funderburgh and The Rockets, Gwen White, Paul Thorn and Billy Branch and The Sons of The Blues with Carl Weathersby. Robert Cray is the day's headliner.
On Saturday, the musical agenda includes Andy Coats, Earnest Guitar Roy, the KIPP Delta ELA Choir, Ben Wiley Peyton, Marcus “Mookie” Cartwright, Don McMinn, Charlotte Taylor, Dylan Doyle, Kenny Smith Band with Bob Margolin, Christone “Kingfish” Ingram, Dr. Feelgood Potts, Peterson Brothers, Bill Perry, Larry McCray, Zakk Knight, David Kimbrough, Jaimoe's Jasssz Band, Blind Mississippi Morris, James Cotton, Joe Louis Walker and Bobby Rush.
Page 2 of 2 - The Gregg Allman Band will close out the event as the overall headliner. According to the official KBBF Website, “Allman is a rock and roll and blues singer/keyboardist/ songwriter best known as a founding member of The Allman Brothers Band. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995 with The Allman Brothers Band and personally received a Lifetime Achievement award from the Georgia Music Hall of Fame.”
“What a night of music that will be,” commented SBBS member Bubba Sullivan as he introduced Saturday's lineup. “There's liable to be a leak in the levee that night.”