Featured Events

MAY 16, 2013

Homemade Jamz Blues Band / Super Chikan
NonCOMMvention @ World Cafe Live Philadelphia. Details on this show.

APRIL 13, 2013

The WXPN Music Film Festival
Free screening of We Juke Up In Here documentary and live concert with Rory Block at World Cafe Live in Philadelphia at 4:30 PM.

FEBRUARY 15, 2013

Anthony “Big A” and Robert Bilbo Walker / Robert Belfour
Double Header Free At Noon at World Cafe Live, Philadelphia
This show is free, RSVP for tickets.


Terry “Harmonica” Bean / Jimmy “Duck” Holmes
World Cafe Live Philadelphia
This show is free; RSVP for tickets here. Limited seating available. Doors are at 6:30pm; Show at 7:30pm.


We Juke Up In Here documentary screening, hosted by Jonny Meister and featuring guest producers Jeff Konkel and Roger Stolle.
African American Museum, 701 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106. 7:30PM
We Juke Up In Here follows producers Konkel and Stolle as they explore what remains of Mississippi’s once-thriving juke joint culture. The film is told largely from the vantage point of Red Paden, proprietor of the legendary Red’s Lounge in historic Clarksdale, Mississippi. Paden, a true Delta character and jack-of-all-trades, has been running his blues and beer joint for more than 30 years – providing one of the region’s most reliable live blues venues and an authentic stage for a cavalcade of veteran blues performers, both legendary and obscure. The event is free however you must RSVP here.

AUGUST 19, 2012

Cedric Burnside Project / Big George Brock
Philadelphia Folk Festival / 2-4pm in the Lobby Tent / Tickets

Event News & Updates

The legendary James Cotton is playing a free show at the TLA on South Street in Philadelphia on Friday, September 6. It’s the finale concert of the year long Mississippi Blues Project and will be hosted by Jonny Meister, host of The Blues Show on WXPN. In addition to James and his band playing a full set, the evening will also feature a Funky Friday Dance party with David Dye. In between Funky Friday and James Cotton’s set, Jonny Meister will be spinning the blues. James has an excellent new album on Alligator Records, Cotton Mouth Man that features special guests Gregg Allman, Joe Bonamassa, Ruthie Foster, Delbert McClinton, Warren Haynes and Keb Mo.

The event at the TLA is free, but you need to sign up. Go here to RSVP for the show.


Rory Block photo by Sergio Kurhajec

Rory Block photo by Sergio Kurhajec

The 2nd annual WXPN Music Film Festival is happening April 11th-14th. On Saturday, April 13th there will be a free screening of We Juke Up In Here, the documentary by filmmakers Jeff Konkel and Roger Stolle about the juke joints of Mississippi. In addition to the film screening there will be a performance from blues musician Rory Block and an interview with Block and WXPN’s Jonny Meister, host of The Blues Show on WXPN on Saturday nights at 7PM. Block has long been inspired by the Mississippi blues and artists like Mississippi John Hurt, Reverend Gary Davis, and Son House. Her work is infused with the spirit of the Mississippi blues and this will be a program that you will not want to miss. The event is free, however RSVP’s are required here. Below, watch Block perform “Crossroad Blues.” She also will be performing at the Steel City Coffeehouse in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania on April


Cleotha Staples, elder sister of Mavis Staples, died February 20th at age 78 in Chicago. “Cleedi” was the first child of Roebuck “Pops” Staples and wife Oceola, and their only child actually born in Mississippi. The family moved to Chicago when Cleotha was a toddler, and went on to fame as gospel and soul singers, whose music became almost a soundtrack to the civil rights movement. They were called The Staple Singers, dropping the ending “s” from their name.

The family band that started singing in church became a gospel sensation with “Uncloudy Day” and went on to greater success in soul and R&B music, mostly with Mavis singing lead, and Cleotha adding harmony, on 1970s songs such as “I’ll Take You There” and “Respect Yourself.” Pops Staples became close friends with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the group often performed at his events.

Cleotha Staples’ singing was a major part of the group’s signature sound. Her voice was a little higher and smoother than her powerhouse-singer sister Mavis.

Cleotha has been in poor health for a long time and not performing music, living near her sisters Mavis and Yvonne (who still tours with Mavis) in Chicago. They helped care for her, as they say she had done for them, when they were very small and she was the responsible older sister watching out for her younger sisters.


Few Philadelphia blues fans were aware that Magic Slim was in Philadelphia in February, in the intensive care unit at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, where he died on February 20. The great bluesman had been hospitalized in January when he arrived in Phoenixville to play a gig with Johnny Winter, and was transferred to Jefferson as his condition worsened.

Magic Slim was born Morris Holt in Torrence, Mississippi in 1937. He grew up on a farm, and learned piano before guitar. After losing most of a finger in an accident with farm equipment, he switched to guitar. Holt got the name Magic Slim from the famed Magic Sam, whom he met when he went to Chicago in the 1950s. Slim’s rise to prominence was slow and the result of long, hard, deliberate work. He was not well regarded as a player in the 1950s, and returned to Mississippi from Chicago for a while, where he recruited his brother Nick Holt to play bass. Later he established his band, The Teardrops. In the 1960s and 1970s he played in very small clubs in Chicago and released a couple of singles, finally coming out with a full album on a French label, MCM Records in 1977. He also recorded for the Austrian Wolf label.

In the 1980s, Slim finally became better known here in the U. S., and had albums released on the Alligator and Rooster Blues labels. Later he recorded for Delmark and also for many years for Blind Pig. His brother Nick remained in the band until his death, and his son Shawn “Lil Slim” Holt also played with him. Slim was a tireless performer, playing at countless festivals and clubs, and recording about three dozen albums over the past three decades. Slim had a crowd-pleasing performance style and a huge repertoire of blues songs, both well-known and not. He never ran out of material or energy. His obvious joy at performing was no doubt a big part of the reason for his long-standing popularity.

In 1994 he quit Chicago in favor of Lincoln, Nebraska, reportedly because he felt Chicago was too dangerous a place for his son to grow up. He regularly performed at The Zoo Bar in Lincoln and was recorded live there several times.

Slim performed at The Pocono Blues Festival in three different years, and at The Pennsylvania Blues Festival in 2011. His most recent album is called “Bad Boy” and it includes a high-spirited version of J. B. Lenoir’s song “How Much More Long.” Magic Slim was a familiar figure for blues fans in this area, a testament to his extensive touring, frequent gigs here, and always highly enjoyable shows.

Check out these performances by Magic Slim at the Pennsylvania Blues Festival in 2011.


Today in concert: Robert “Wolfman” Belfour and Anthony “Big A” Sherrod with Robert Bilbo Walker

February 15, 2013
Today in concert: Robert “Wolfman” Belfour and Anthony “Big A” Sherrod with Robert Bilbo Walker

Today at Noon ET the Mississippi Blues Project presents two special concerts. The show starts with a solo performance by Robert “Wolfman” Belfour followed by Anthony “Big A” Sherrod with Robert Bilbo Walker. Listen here.

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Watch Robert “Wolfman” Belfour perform “Hill Stomp” (playing Free at Noon on 2/15)

February 8, 2013
Photo by Dave Pearson | www.flickr.com/photos/elhawk/

Mississippi blues singer Robert “Wolfman” Belfour will perform at next Friday’s Mississippi Blues Project concert at World Cafe Live. A native of Red Banks, Miss., and a student of R.L. Burnside and Junior Kimbourgh, Belfour made his name in Memphis […]

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RSVP: Double header Mississippi Blues Project concert at WXPN’s Free At Noon on 2/15

January 26, 2013
Photo by Lou Bopp

RSVP’s are now open for the next Mississippi Blues Project concert on Friday, February 15th at World Cafe Live. It’s a double header WXPN Free At Noon featuring full one hour sets with both artists. The concert features performances from […]

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We Juke Up In Here nominated for Blues Music Award by Jonny Meister

December 13, 2012
Red's Lounge in scene from We Juke Up In Here

The film “We Juke Up in Here: Mississippi’s Juke Joint Culture At The Crossroads” has been nominated for a Blues Music Award (BMA) in the category of Blues DVD. This film, which looks at rhe current state of juke joints […]

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The Mississippi Blues Marathon Rolls On by Jonny Meister

December 8, 2012
Mississippi Blues Marathon

The Road Runners Club of America (RRCA) has picked the Mississippi Blues Marathon as the Southern Region Championship Marathon for 2013. This follows a competitive bidding process, and the blues guys won this year. So, if you’re looking to run […]

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Photo recap and review of Jimmy “Duck” Holmes and Terry “Harmonica” Bean in concert at World Cafe Live by Jonny Meister

October 24, 2012
Photo recap and review of Jimmy “Duck” Holmes and Terry “Harmonica” Bean in concert at World Cafe Live by Jonny Meister

A Blues Night To Remember – by Jonny Meister All photos by John Vettese October 22, 2012 . . . a night to remember for blues lovers. It was the second concert event in the Mississippi Blues Project series, and […]

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Jimmy “Duck” Holmes and Terry “Harmonica” Bean in concert Monday 10/22 at World Cafe Live

October 21, 2012
Jimmy “Duck” Holmes and Terry “Harmonica” Bean in concert Monday 10/22 at World Cafe Live

Terry “Harmonica” Bean and Jimmy “Duck” Holmes are performing at World Cafe Live, Monday, October 22nd. The show is free however you need to RSVP here. Below, listen to some songs from various releases on Broke And Hungry Records. You […]

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The Mississippi Blues Project Music Stream at NPR – by Jonny Meister

October 1, 2012
Mississippi Blues Project Music Stream from NPR

Check out The Mississippi Blues Project Music Mix online stream, from NPR Music! I picked out some great tracks from artists from Mississippi as well as some interview segments with the artists, and clips from the 2012 film “We Juke […]

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