Recognized for presenting the hottest sounds in contemporary and traditional blues music, the King Biscuit Blues Festival will celebrate its 28th year this October. The event is also known for its annual collectible poster.
This year's winner is Harry Satenstein of Reading, Penn. The title of his work is, “It's the Biscuit!” The work is an illustrated and whimsical close-up portrait of Delta bluesman “Blind Mississippi” Morris performing at the Biscuit. His mirrored “shades” reflect the surrounding area, including the Mississippi River levee. The piece is a pastel drawing featuring oil pastels, watercolors, inks and gold leaf.
A Beale St. regular for years, Morris was born in Clarksdale Miss. and has been blind since age 4. Named one of the 10 best harmonica players in the world by “Bluzharp,” Morris is the cousin of Willie Dixon and Mississippi Sheiks leaders Robert and Mary Diggs. He's a 30-plus year performing veteran and has several albums including “Walk with Me.”
Satenstein is a freelance visual artist specializing in blues-related subject matter including drawing, painting, photography and sculpture mixed media. A series of Satenstein's original blues posters are part of the permanent collection at the Center for Southern Folklore in Memphis. He served as the art director for James “Super Chikan” Johnson's debut album in 1997.
Satenstein was commissioned to create 24 original translucent porcelain scones for the grand ballroom of the Spaso House in Moscow, which serves as the resident of the U.S. Ambassador to Russia. Satenstein was the first American artist to have his work permanently placed at the Spaso House.
Satenstein's original artwork will be featured on a variety of official King Biscuit Blues Festival merchandise.
The dates for the 2013 KBBF are Oct. 10-12. Visit www.kingbiscuitfestival.com to find out more about the 28th annual King Biscuit Blues Festival.