The 2019 Lineup





Stage Map

This information pertains to the 2019 festival. Check back for updates.


Wednesday, October 9th

Six String Andrew

9:00am to 9:30am

Andrew Sullivan met his music teacher at an Alice Cooper concert when he was six. By the time he was 11 he’d shared the stage with Cheap Trick, performed with Blues Oyster Cult and Gary Hoey and player the Biscuit. He plays keyboards, drums and trumpet, but guitar is his favorite. “They all have different tones, and they’re fun to play, and it’s fun to have a lot ’cause I can experiment with different sounds.”

Grace Kuch

9:45am to 10:15am

This 16-year-old guitarist was named Youth Performer of The Year in 2018 and 2017 by the Colorado Blues Society in their Member’s Choice Awards. She’s played the Biscuit as well as Blues Foundation’s International Blues Challenge, The Big Blues Bender and The Greeley Blues Jam. She satin with The North Mississippi Allstars in 2016.

D.R. Diamond & Birthright Blues Project

10:30am to 11:00am

The Biscuit welcomes this family band from Sulphur Springs which plays Texas blues. Singer and guitarist “Diamond” Jack Holdsworth has recruited the whole family into the act, with wife Elan on bass, daughter Dani at the drums, and son DR showing talent beyond his years on vocals and guitar. They list their influences as Stevie Ray Vaughn, Albert King, Howlin’ Wolf, BB King, Freddie King, Jimmy Vaughn, Buddy Guy, Hubert Sumlin, Son House, Muddy Waters, Lightnin Hopkins, Sam Carr, Jack Johnson, Frank Frost, and Pinetop Perkins.

Jamiah “Blues Superman” Rogers Band (HEADLINER)

11:15am to 12:00pm

According to Blues Blast Magazine, “he’s one part soul crooner (as on the title track), one part guitar hero (as on ‘Blues Mama’ and ‘Gone Too Long’) and one part dance-track master (as on ‘Bourbon Street Bounce’).” Jamiah grew up in a household of musicians. The first hands-on experience with music came at the age of three. Jamiah’s father and guitarist, Tony Rogers, had a band that rehearsed every now and then in the basement of [their] home. On ten of his original songs, he brings out the best of his blues abilities and those of his co-musicians.

Mighty Souls Brass Band - 11:15 procession begins at Courtyard Square

11:15am to TBD

A collective of professional, multi-talented composers and players with funk, marching and swing band influences. They promise tight, polished work of Motown’s session horns; the gritty, dirty inflections of New Orleans’ funky Meters; and the slippery R&B of Booker T. and the M.G.’s. The invention of Tuba player and composer Sean Murphy, this Memphis band together for two decades provides a uniquely Memphis spin on a tradition that’s as global in its scope as it is root-deep in American popular music.

Big George Brock

12:00pm to 12:55pm

He told blues journalist Don Wilcock he saw Muddy Waters dive into the Mississippi the day he broke away from the plantation. One of his albums Heavyweight is aptly named. Big George once sparred with boxer Sonny Liston who hit him so hard he can still feel the headache today. And when England’s Blues & Rhythm magazine called him “the real deal,” it wasn’t hyperbole. And when Buddy Guy says he’s the last of the old guard, he’s forgetting Big George Brock.

Libby Rae Watson

12:00pm to 12:45pm

Libby Rae Watson grew up in Pascagoula, Mississippi a few blocks from the Gulf of Mexico. She became captivated by Blues music when in her teens after stumbling across a songbook in a local music store. It was full of songs and photos of Blues greats! Son House, Mississippi John Hurt, Elizabeth Cotten…. legends of the early Blues. It was the beginning of a life long infatuation of the music, the people who made it, and the culture of her own State. She later searched for and became friends with several Blues musicians. She was mentored by the great Sam Chatmon who was the last surviving member of the Mississippi Sheiks.   “I didn’t plan to go ‘find’ the Blues. The Blues found me. I’ve been consumed by it for over 40 years! Like Sam Chatmon said, “ The Blues is my daily occupation!”

Marcus “Mookie” Cartwright

12:00pm to 12:55pm

Blues renaissance man Roger Stolle describes the Arkansas bluesman as “an impassioned guitarist and singer. He is also one of a small-but-mighty group of young African-American blues players keeping the music alive in the land where it was born. Cartwright told Living Blues, “My momma made sure I finished high school, but when the money started coming in I started playing professionally at age 14 and I kept going with it. Somehow everybody likes me. I don’t know why.”

SBBS IBC Bands Winner (band) - Fonky Donkey

12:00pm to 12:50pm

SBBS IBC Bands Winner (solo) - Logan Ramp

12:00pm to 12:45pm

Diamond Jack Blues Band

1:00pm to 1:45pm

Eric Hughes

1:00pm to 1:45pm

Eric Hughes has been called a “guaranteed crowd-pleaser” by Living Blues Magazine; his enthusiasm for Memphis music, and his authenticity, are obvious.

Hughes was born and raised in Memphis and spent his weekends in Mississippi, where he came to cherish blues music. After a couple of years at Mississippi College, Hughes joined the Marines, and found himself stationed far from home. Hughes bought a guitar, hoping that learning some blues might ease his homesickness. That guitar did more than that. A decade of learning followed, traveling and learning from various bluesmen. Eric first began performing in the clubs on Beale Street in 2001, where he continues to play several nights a week as a solo entertainer, with a duo, or in front of the Eric Hughes Band. Hughes was recently awarded a Muddy Mojo Award, won “Best Self-Produced CD” by Memphis Blues Society, and recorded the “Coolest Blues Song of 2013” by Big City Blues Magazine.

Eric is joined by his brother Walter on guitar, bassist Leo Goff, and Brian Aylor on drums. Songs from Eric’s four CD releases continue to enjoy regular airplay on blues radio programs throughout the world.

Front Porch Blues Jam hosted by Brotha Ric Patton

1:00pm to 3:00pm

Alabama Bluesman Brotha Ric Patton will host Thursday’s Front Porch Blues Bash Jam to kick off the 5th Annual Front Porch Blues Bash at the DCC Miller Annex.

The jam provides the perfect opportunity for many of King Biscuit’s festival-goers to show off their own talents as musicians.

Everyone interested is invited to participate in the annual free event, sign the participation sheet, and demonstrate their blues skills to their fellow fans during the 2 hour affair.

Little Joe Ayers

1:00pm to 1:45pm

Earl “Little Joe” Ayers is a blues guitarist and singer based in Holly Springs, Mississippi. For over thirty years, he was a member of the Soul Blues Boys, Junior Kimbrough’s long-time backing band.

Ayers toured extensively in the region with Kimbrough and company, but drew the line on playing overseas as he doesn’t care for flying. They made the rounds of the festival circuits in the summertime, and played at house parties and local jukes such as Marshall Scruggs’ in winter. They also frequently performed with members of the Burnside family. “It became almost like a combining thing,“ Ayers recalls. “Whenever they’d have a gig, we’d get one; whenever we’d get a gig, they’d get one.“ In 1991 Ayers played bass behind Kimbrough in Robert Palmer’s documentary Deep Blues; their performance of “All Night Long” was filmed before the release of Kimbrough’s debut album of the same name on Fat Possum Records, which was also produced by Palmer.

In recent years he has made appearances at the North Mississippi Hill Country Picnic in Potts Camp, as well as at Red’s in Clarksdale. He also occasionally sits in with fellow Hill Country blues musicians such as Kenny Brown. Ayers released “Backatchya”, a solo album, on Devil Down Records in September 2011.

Sean McDonald

1:00pm to 1:45pm

Veronika Jackson

1:00pm to 1:45pm

This folk blues artist from Atlanta performs classic songs by Odetta, Nina Simone and Elizabeth Cotton with a reverent velvety voice and plays acoustic guitar. She also does original material rich in its references to the joys and struggles of contemporary life as a blues woman. Inspired by Diamond Teeth Mary, a blues performer at the Florida Folk Festival, Veronika does a version of Elizabeth Cotton’s “Freight Train” that rivals the original.

Altered Five Blues Band

1:10pm to 2:10pm

Both guitarist Jeff Schroedl and vocalist Jeff Taylor laugh at that image. Their band, The Altered Five, creates hard driving electric blues that pays homage to the music’s colorful past while referencing contemporary life. It’s a balancing act. Taylor’s day job is Principal of a school in Wisconsin.  Schroedl’s day job is being executive vice president of Hal Leonard Corporation, the world’s largest creator of music publications and music education materials. Schroedl writes most of the lyrics and Taylor is credited with co-writing the songs sometimes along with the rest of the band. He has a rich baritone voice brimming with bragadocio in the tradition of Muddy Waters and Bo Diddley and can pull off lines about being a wanted man with a double-barreled chest and a ring tattoo who is “Charmed and Dangerous” and wants to be “your bad boy.” Schroedl’s guitar has a B.B. King tone, is a bit busier than Luther Allison, but nicely propels the songs.

Cedric Burnside Band

1:10pm to 2:15pm

Noted music journalist Ted Drozdowski called him “The Lion of Mississippi Hill Country guitar.” The grandson of Hill Country patriarch R. L. Burnside, his album Benton County Relic was nominated for this year’s Best Traditional Blues Grammy, and he took home a Blues Music Award for best drummer four years in a row. Often mentioned in the same breath as The North Mississippi Allstars with whom he’s played, he is bringing the hill country sound into a contemporary context.

Kenny “Beedy Eyes” Smith, Bob Margolin & Bob Stroger

1:10pm to 2:15pm

This act is as close as we’ll ever get to capturing the treasure of a Muddy Waters performance in Muddy’s heyday. Bob on lead guitar, Kenny on drums and Bob on bass each has an up close and intimate tie to the heritage of Muddy Waters’ Chicago blues royalty extending back to the ’50s and ’60s. Each walks the tightrope between that electric legacy sound that changed American popular music for the next 60 years and today’s contemporary blues. Living history performed with consummate style.

Bill "Howl-N-Madd" Perry

2:00pm to 2:45pm

Bill “Howl-n-Madd” Perry is the delta blues musician who’s incredible story find him rubbing shoulders and playing behind Little Richard, J.J Taylor, & Little Milton, working as a session musician on Chess Records, honored with a blues trail marker, and being an integral part of the blues for decades. The latest from Perry, The Clarksdale Sessions, finds the singer exploring his depths while keeping a familiar feel to his trademark sound.

“Saturday Night” is a righteous cross between jump blues and a rock n roll throwback –all around a lot of fun to listen to. The combination of Mandolin and harmonica on “Oh what a Feeling” make the track a valuable & powerful addition to the album. Several of the tracks are staunchly traditional blues. “Delta Woman”, which Perry performed live at the recent celebrated Blessissippi Crossroads Concert, is a great little number about, what else?! A number of tracks are deftly enhanced by a horn presence, which graces the album with a soulful feeling.

Overall, The Clarksdale Sessions are both a representation of Perry’s well-known live energy, and a further exploration of the depth of the artist’s abilities. Two standout tracks are a pair of brilliantly picked covers, “Reason to Believe”, made famous by Rod Stewart, and “Over the Rainbow”, which was a fitting choice for Perry’s unique vocals and personality, accented by a beautiful piano backing. “Believe”, with it’s pronounced horn, B3, and backing vocals, is the perfect fit for Perry’s  endearing, gravelly voice. The album was recorded in the heart of downtown Clarksdale at Clarksdale Soundstage Recording Studio, which is owned by Gary Vincent, who also produced Sessions and contributed to several tracks. Perry’s band is a family affair, with his daughter, Sharo Perry and son, Bill Perry, Jr. contributing on vocals and piano!

Clarence Davis with Jock Webb

2:00pm to 2:45pm

This duo is a perfect combination of some good ole juke joint Delta Blues. You will never experience a harmonic player like Jock Webb again! MORE INFO

Jimmy "Duck" Holmes

2:00pm to 2:45pm

Bentonia, MS: home to the legendary Skip James, famous for his falsetto vocals and his mastery of a rare blues guitar style that has become known as the “Bentonia style”.

The origin of the style goes back to a chance meeting between Bentonian Henry Stuckey and black Bahamian soldiers in France during World War I. Stuckey learned an odd E-minor guitar tuning from the Bahamians and when he returned home taught it to his brother Jacob and to Skip James and the younger Jack Owens.

As these musicians traded ideas in the semi-isolated area of Bentonia, James and Owens perfected the style by adding dark, introspective lyrics. With his overwhelming personality coming through his recordings, James created a haunting and unique sound that continues to influence blues and folk music today. Though James died in 1969 and Owens in 1997, this local style is preserved in the playing of Duck Holmes.

While Duck comes from a much younger generation, it seems he was destined to soak up the sounds and feel of the Bentonia style whether he was trying to or not. Born Jimmy Charles Holmes on July 28, 1947, Duck grew up two houses down from Henry and Jacob Stuckey. In 1948, his mother and father opened the Blue Front Café where they served cold drinks and offered live music. This music was often provided by the Stuckeys or Jack Owens and harmonica player Bud Spires.

When Duck took over the Blue Front in 1970, he began arranging for Jack and Bud to play more regularly at the café. With the encouragement of Jack, Duck began honing his skills and has emerged as one of, if not the only living practitioners of the Bentonia style.

And you can still hear it played today at The Blue Front Café.

Jontavious Willis

2:00pm to 2:45pm

Finger-picker, flat-picker, slide player, and plays harmonica, banjo and cigar box? Soon into his career, Quon was playing on Taj Mahal’s stage. Currently he is finishing his studies at Columbus State University, majoring in sociology. But on most week-ends you can find him playing a small house show, up on the main stage or posting music videos for his friends and fans around the world.

Wampus Cats

2:10pm to 2:45pm

The Wampus Cats is a blues and R&B band started in 1978 by keyboardist Robert “Nighthawk” Tooms. They have played on Beale Street since 1984 and have traveled the world bringing Memphis Music to all.

Greg Martinez

2:30pm to 3:40pm

Gregg “Mac Daddy” Martinez—is Louisiana’s premier Blues/R&B/Swamp Pop artist and a member of the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame. His blend of blues, R&B and swamp pop music he describes as “bayou blues and Creole soul.” Gregg was born and raised and still lives in the Cajun country of south Louisiana.

Sterling Billingsley Band

2:35pm to 3:40pm

A Helena, Arkansas native, Sterling was born into the blues, is a walking encyclopedia of the genre, and a talented guitarist who loves to showcase others in his band. He also happens to be President of The Sonny Boy Blues Society and Music Chairman of The King Biscuit Blues Festival. He does not consider it hyperbole when he calls the Biscuit The Holy Grail of blues festivals.

The Cate Brothers

2:35pm to 3:40pm

Beloved Arkansas natives, these twin brothers have careers that thread through involvement with Ronnie Hawkins, Levon Helm, and The Band since the late ’50s. Their self-titled debut album in 1976 was produced by 2018’s Biscuit headliner Steve Cropper, Levon Helm, and yielded their biggest hit “Union Man.” Fiercely independent, and keepers of hickory-stoked sound that defines The Band and Arkansas. They are frequent Biscuit performers.

Akeem Kemp

3:00pm to 3:45pm

Akeem Kemp is a natural prodigy who is a singer, guitarist, and songwriter from Arkansas.  He grew up performing in a gospel quartet, but branched out as a blues solo artist releasing his first album, “I Like It All,” followed by his second album, “A Woman Needs Love,” right after high school.  Influenced by Albert King’s string bending and soulful, smoky vocals as well as Jimi Hendrix’s overdriven amplifiers with high volume and gain, Akeem has managed to create his own style and unique tone.  Through the inspiration of life experiences, he uses his music to connect with all walks of life.  Akeem is on a journey to create memories, conceive feelings, and communicate lyrics people may feel they cannot say any other way except through music.

Blind Boy Paxton

3:00pm to 3:45pm

[caption id="attachment_867" align="alignleft" width="300"] Jerron “Blind Boy” Paxton performs at the 2013 Blues and BBQ Festival in New Orleans, LA.[/caption]

Still in his 20s, Jerron “Blind Boy” Paxton sings and plays banjo, guitar, piano, fiddle, harmonica, Cajun accordion, and the bones (percussion). Paxton has an eerie ability to transform traditional jazz, blues, folk, and country into the here and now, and make it real. In addition, he mesmerizes audiences with his humor and storytelling. He’s a world-class talent and a uniquely colorful character that has been on the cover of Living Blues Magazine and the Village Voice, and has been interviewed on FOX News. Paxton’s sound is influenced by the likes of Fats Waller and “Blind” Lemon Jefferson. According to Will Friedwald in the Wall Street Journal, Paxton is “virtually the only music-maker of his generation—play-ing guitar, banjo, piano and violin, among other implements—to fully assimilate the blues idiom of the 1920s and ‘30s.”

CW Gatlin Band

3:00pm to 3:45pm

CW Gatlin is an Arkansas Delta native and a regular at the Biscuit. A lifelong friend of Levon Helm, he’s also performed with The Band, appearing on their 1993 Jericho album. Like The Band, his music has elements of rock, country and he’s a member of The Rockabilly Hall of Fame. In his long career he has performed with Mack Self, W.S. Holland of Johnny Cash’s band The Tennessee Three, Robert Nighthawk, Ace Cannon, Paul Burlison, Frank Frost and Sam Carr of The Jelly Roll Kings.

Delta Legends

3:00pm to 3:50pm

Fillmore Slim

3:00pm to 3:45pm

“She may have played with James Brown, B.B. King and Otis Redding back in the day, but Beverly ‘Guitar’ Watkins of the Music Maker Relief Foundation has a style and legacy all her own,” writes Great Big Story. “At 76, she’s still the queen of blues guitar.”

Watkins, who has had a long and continuous musical career, got her start in the late Fifties playing with Piano Red in the Atlanta area. Although she was well known for years within the blues community, like many roots musicians, she found it difficult to crack the airwaves or get noticed by the masses—until the advent of the Internet. In the Nineties, she was re-discovered by Music Maker Relief Foundation founder Tim Duffy, who started booking her in package shows.

In 1998, she was part of the Women of the Blues “Hot Mamas” tour with Koko Taylor and Rory Block.

Her 1999 CD debut, Back in Business, earned a W. C. Handy Award nomination in 2000.

Frank “Guitar” Rimmer Band with Cadillac John

3:00pm to 3:45pm

There is a blues marker in front of the shotgun house where he grew up in Grenada, Mississippi, and he performed at the blues marker unveiling at Holy Ridge. His influences range from the deepest traditional blues to disco, funk, hip-hop, and southern soul.  Frank recorded many songs with Bill Howl-n-Madd Perry and Shy Perry, The New School Blues’ Narvel Echols, Frank and Bill Perry and played in many gospel groups including The Spirit of Grenada, The Gospel Tones of Water Valley, and The Smith Brothers of Holcomb, Ms. He describes himself as “representing the current state of Blues in the hills and valleys in Grenada, Mississippi.

Andy T with Alabama Mike

4:00pm to 5:10pm

Andy Talamantez spent 23 years in the aerospace industry before becoming a fulltime blues guitarist, first with Nick Nixon, a veteran Nashville blues singer whose background included jamming with a young Jimi Hendrix. When Nixon retired in 2016, Andy T. teamed with Alabama Mike releasing his fourth album Double Strike co-produced with Anson Funderburgh, the only artist to have appeared at all the King Biscuit Blues Festivals. Both Nixon and Alabama Mike handled vocals reminiscent of Sam Myers, Funderburgh’s late vocalist. Andy T.’s early influence was Eric Clapton, but he honed his style playing with Smokey Wilson and Guitar Shorty in the late ’90s.

BB Queen Band

4:00pm to 4:45pm

America’s B.B. Queen CAN play the blues! There are others who lay claim to this name, but no one else but OUR B.B. Queen can deliver the goods. BB is a Detroit native now in Nashville. She started her music career at the young age of five years old; playing her clarinet and entertaining at juke joints with her younger sister and father. She picked up the guitar at thirteen years of age after watching B.B. King and Jimi Hendrix perform on television. She was able to watch the fingers glide, like a time frame within time. It was destiny for B.B. Queen. She was born to play the blues.

The legendary Koko Taylor had been a mentor to BB and they co-wrote a song together on B.B. Queen’s Album, “Everybody’s Favorite”(Qualified and Able) of the same title as the album.  Koko Taylor performs with BB putting her signature vocal style on a song entitled;  “Nowhere Road” on this same album. Her current album is entitled, ” I Can Play Da Blues”  B.B. Queen has won a Tennessee Rhythm and Blues Award 2014 and a Midwest Video Nomination 2014; Category: best video blues from the” I Can Play Da Blues” CD  for the crowd pleasing song, “Wobble Wiggle.” B.B. Queen is currently working on a new album co-writing with award winning songwriter/ producer Marshall McQueen in a collaborative effort with Rowe Entertainment in LA.

There are some great things going on for our favorite female guitarist/vocalist/entertainer. Such as: ” The Lady Fingerz Project.”  According to B.B. Queen, “the Lady Fingerz Project’s mission is mainly to draw attention to the fact that I (we) women guitarists are not just novelty items to make the band look good….we are serious and capable players. We sell tickets and are and can be headliners. The Lady Fingerz Project wants to increase the visibility of women guitarists in the music industry. The Lady Fingerz Project will be used as a vehicle to increase our visibility such as Lady Fingerz Concerts, Guitar Retreats, recording opportunities and so much more.”

Chris O’Leary Band

4:00pm to 5:10pm

Chris was singer and front man for Levon Helm’s Barnburners for six years. His latest album 7 Minutes Late is getting airplay on Sirius/XM. He’s recorded with Hubert Sumlin and appeared on stage with James Cotton, the Fabulous Thunderbirds and Dan Akroyd. He’s a hoot!

Jesse Cotton Stone

4:00pm to 4:45pm

Jesse Cotton Stone weaves together the stylistic threads of definitive regional styles of the Blues ranging from Pre-War Acoustic Delta Blues, Electric Juke Joint Boogie, North Mississippi Hill Country, and Cotton Patch Soul Blues to the Urban Chicago Blues Roots of Soul-Funk and Psychedelic Rock, bringing his listeners through the doors of a Heart-Wrenching Boutique of Vintage-Toned American Blues Music with relentless showmanship  of a True Entertainer.

Jesse Cotton Stone creates a comprehensive scope of the Original American Music, not only by playing his role in keeping the traditions of Blues music alive, but also by contributing to the evolution of this Storytelling Tradition with his own Original Flavor of what he calls “HELLCOUNTRY” and “Electric-Cotton Soul” Blues.

Keith Johnson

4:00pm to 4:45pm

With her powerful voice and dynamic stage presence, Miz Renae a.k.a. Renee Smith has camed the nickname “Queen of St. Louis Soul” on both sides of the Mississippi. Bom in St. Louis and raised in East St. Louis, Renco began singing at age 12 in the Mounit Zion Missionary Baptist Church where she is currently the lead vocalist for the Voices of Zion.

Renee has opened shows for national recording artists including Aretha Franklin, Jerry Butler, Little Milton, Bobby “Blue” Bland and Shirley Brown. She has performed at the Apollo Theater in New York City, and on ABC.TV’s Good Morning America. Renee was also nominated in the “Best R&B” category of the Riverfront Times Music Awards in 2003 and 2004.

As a three time cancer survivor, Renee Smith is a passionate activist in the fight against cancer, and is an active participant in the Annual East Saint Louis Relay for Life and the Susan B. Komen Race for the Cure.

Mr. Sipp "The Mississippi Blues Child"

4:00pm to 4:45pm

Mr. Sipp spent 22 years in the gospel music business as a recording artist and a producer of more than 50 recordings.  In 2013, he jumped into blues making a big splash at The Blues Foundation’s International Blues Challenge with his dynamic and energetic stage presence and a guitar sound marked by its B. B. King-like tone. He wears black framed glasses taped at the nose. He told blues journalist Don Wilcock he did that help his daughter who was being teased in school about her glasses. “I’ll tell you what I’m gonna do. I’m gonna buy some frames just like yours. I’m gonna pop the lenses out, and I’m gonna put tape in the middle and make it cool.” He’s still defining colon his new album Back to the Roots with his group The True Believers.

Phillip Stackhouse Band

4:00pm to 4:45pm

His soulful sax backed by his tight band have been perennial favorites at the Biscuit. He is the grandson of Houston Stackhouse who was one of the King Biscuit Boys on King Biscuit Time radio show from 1946 into the ’60s. The third generation of Stackhouses to call Helena home, Phillip carries on a family tradition of blues artists who’ve played with Delta royalty from Sonny Boy Williamson and Pinetop Perkins to Robert Nighthawk.

Phillips County Quartet Choir

4:00pm to 4:25pm

Reba Russell

4:00pm to 5:10pm

Reba’s “Heaven Came to Helena” has become the festival’s unofficial signature song. Reba was Memphis’ top rocker until Rufus Thomas heard her in a cover band in 1992 and told her, ‘Ya got it! You use it! Do it!’ She’s done background vocals for John Nemeth, Tracy Nelson, Huey Lewis & The News, Jimmy Thackery, and Jim Dickinson. That’s Reba on background vocals for U2 and B.B. King on “When Love Comes to Town” on Rattle & Hum recorded in 1990 at Sun Studios. But it’s the Biscuit that puts the fire in her belly. “Being here made me realize that there’s a lot more to this music stuff than I ever expected, and everybody that plays here can kick ass. So, it was like, yeah, I’m doing this come hell or high water. I don’t care, but until I kinda gave myself over to (realizing) Delta roots music was what was moving me, I was just peddling till then. Memphis is blues, but King Biscuit is the freaking deal. This is it. It’s like are you kidding me?”

Spoonfed Blues ft. Mississippi Spoonman

4:00pm to 4:45pm

Blues journalist Stacy Jeffress has described The Mississippi Spoonman a.k.a Bob Rowell as “a man who can coax more music out of a pair of spoons than she can out of radio.” An annual performer at the Biscuit, he’s lived in Helena for a decade and a half. He told Stacy, “I wanted to listen to blues, I wanted to be where the blues is really from. The real deal’s here. It’s life. I see it. I know what it’s about. Hopefully I can write about it and make it real for somebody.” He’s been in rock bands and heavy metal bands where he’d entertain the other band members by setting his spoons on fie and then play them. He’s still an incendiary performer.

Gospel Wonders

4:30pm to 4:55pm

Brinkley, AR

Brotha Ric Patton & Chicken Bone Reunion

5:00pm to 5:45pm

Ricky L. “Brotha Ric” Patton, Sr. was born in Huntsville, AL, but was raised up in Triana, AL.  He is the grandson of blues and whiskey man, Paper Thomas Patton. In an interview Ric says, “Playing the blues is nothing I found, it found me. I’ve been doing so long, I just do it.  When I play and sing it is like painting pictures with people in it.  I have fun and amuse myself with the pain and sound;  I think it is what folks enjoy about my blues, I play in a colorful way.  Every summer I go down South to the Mississippi Delta and play.  But it doesn’t take the place of that Alabama Front Porch style blues”.

Ric also has a trio band called the “Chickenbone Reunion Band, the band members are Ric, (vocals, guitar, harmonica), Mac Barnes (bass), Kenneth Epps (drums).  Ric mostly play solo and bring along kazoos, a shaker, washboard, hula hoops and ask for help with these instruments from his crowd. “What I do is plain Southern Style Funky Blues” says Ric.

Charles Woods Band

5:00pm to 5:45pm

This Little Rock native began playing the harmonica at the age of eight and electric guitar at 12. He’s played electric guitar with such notable acts as the Staple Singers, Rufus Thomas, Little Johnny Taylor, Fenton Robinson, Larry Totsie Davis, and bass with Freddie King. Although Charles Woods has traveled the world and performed with a number of world-class entertainers, he has remained true to his roots, his heritage, and his hometown of Little Rock where he still entertains to this day and is known to his fans and his musical peers as the “Best Kept Secret in Arkansas.”

Dixie Wonders

5:00pm to 5:20pm

Excelleauxs Blues Band

5:00pm to 5:45pm

Formed this year to perform music from the Excello catalog (Slim Harpo, Lightnin’ Slim, Lonesome Sundown), the group is made up of veteran New Orleans musicians. Wavelength Magazine describes vocalist and harmonica player Ben Maygarden’s music as “blues for crying and blues for dancing… (His) good-humored vocals tell you his lover may have trashed him, but he’s not going to let it keep him from having a good time…” Guitarist and drummer Sam Hogan is the son of swamp boogie man Silas Hogan, one of the last Louisiana artists signed to Excello in 1965. Johnny J and Jack Kolb also play guitar.

Front Porch Youth Jam

5:00pm to 5:45pm

These kids first perform on the Bit-O-Blues stage on Friday. Then later in the day Friday, the youth take on an ultimate jam session for the Delta Cultural Center’s Front Porch Stage Youth Jam.

Kenny "Beedy Eyes" Smith Band

5:00pm to 5:45pm

Kenny “Beedy Eyes” Smith was unquestionably born into blues royalty. He grew up in the same house where Muddy Waters once lived in Chicago, the home of the blues. Throughout his childhood, Kenny was surrounded by Muddy and his friends, which included his own father, Willie “Big Eyes” Smith (1936-2011). These same blues icons helped mold him into the person and drummer he is today and later in life asked him to provide his famous backbeat on some of the largest and most respected stages and recordings in the world. Kenny has played over 7,500 live performances to date and has earned the right to wear that royal blues crown. His father, Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, played drums for the Muddy Waters’ Band in the early 1960’s and then again from 1968 through 1980 and was featured on all of Muddy’s Grammy winning albums. Kenny “Beedy Eyes” Smith, one of the best known living blues drummers today, learned 99% of what he knows about drumming from his father and was also inspired by acclaimed drummers: Odie Payne, Fred Below, Earl Phillips, S. P. Leary, Francis Clay and Art Blakey and many others who paved the way.

Linsey Alexander Band

5:00pm to 5:45pm

This Chicago South Side veteran songwriter, vocalist and guitarist nicknamed “Hoochie Man” is a regular at the Windy City’s Kingston Mines. He won Big City Blues’ “Best Fan Interaction Award” in 2012 and was inducted into the Chicago Blues Hall of Fame in 2014. Respected Chicago blues journalist David Whiteis credits Alexander with “lively improvisational imagination,” “good taste” and “in command of a lyric vividness.”

Kirk Fletcher

5:30pm to 6:35pm

A four-time Blues Music Award nominee, guitarist singer and songwriter Fletcher spent three years with the Fabulous Thunderbirds, played on Kim Wilson’s Grammy-nominated Smokin’ Joint live LP. In 2018, Fletcher recorded a video with Josh Smith and Joe Bonamassa, performing the Albert King track “Crosscut Saw.” Released in October, his third solo LP, Hold On, entered at number 15 in the Billboard Blues Albums chart and has been nominated for a Blues Music Award in the Contemporary Blues Album category.

Minister Rick Burton & 4Ever Grateful

5:30pm to 5:50pm

Southaven, MS

Zac Harmon Band

5:30pm to 6:40pm

Zac wowed the Biscuit in 2015 with his energetic take on Chicago blues.  He’s the son of Mississippi’s first African American pharmacist who counted Muddy Waters among his customers. Zac Harmon is a Renaissance man. He toured with B. B. King, and took voice lessons from Sam Myers. A Singer, songwriter, guitarist, and producer, he’s written songs for artists as disparate as Evelyn “Champagne” King, Freddie Jackson, The Whispers, K-Ci & Jo Jo, and The O’Jays and was a staff writer for Michael Jackson’s publishing company. He’s working on his sixth blues album, co-writing songs with John Hahn, Shemekia Copeland’s manger and principle songwriter.

Anson Funderburg & The Rockets

5:35pm to 6:45pm

There’s a yin and a yang to Anson Funerburgh. His electric guitar burns with Texas fire that Guitar Player Magazine compared to Otis Rush and Magic Sam. But his guitar can also soothe as the subtle support for Delta blues vocalists who have included Sam Myers, Nick Nixon, and Alabama Mike. Anson has that Austin strut, but his Delta creds are highlighted by being the only artist to have played all of Arkansas’ King Biscuit Blues Festivals.

A-1 Gospel Singers

5:50pm to 6:20pm

Little Rock, AR

Fillmore Slim

6:00pm to 7:00pm

Eighty-four-year-old Clarence Sims, aka The West Coast Godfather of The Game, aka The Pope of Pimping is an ex-pimp who estimates in his 1999 documentary American Pimp that in his entire career he had more than 9000 prostitutes working for him. The 14 originals on Fillmore Slim’s 2007 The Legend of Fillmore Slim album profile a character whose music is somewhere between Bo Diddley’s “I’m A Man” braggadocio and Snoop Dogg shout outs. His music is full of colorful references to the kind of scenes Willie Dixon could only imagine. Slim’s lived them. “I got a knock at the door,” he sings on the title cut. “I looked up and there was the man. I was put away for a long time. I paid my dues, and now I play the guitar in my hand.”

Marquise Knox

6:00pm to 7:00pm

Perhaps more than any other artist at this year’s Biscuit there is an anticipatory buzz about this guitar phenom from St. Louis. Veteran blues journalist Jim O’Neil calls him “the whole package. A throwback blues master on the rise. Anybody believe in reincarnation?”  Blues Blast raves that “he’s a modern-day bluesman with old-school temperament and stylings.” His familial blues creds go back several generations, and he’s been mentored by the late GRAMMY-winning Henry James Townsend among many others. His debut album Manchild was nominated for a Blues Music Award for Best New Artist Debut and earned Living Blues’ Best Debut Artist Award and a Blues Music Award nomination for Best Debut Artist. His second album, Here I Am, was recorded at the legendary Blue Heaven Studios in Salina, Kansas.

Mary Lane Band

6:00pm to 6:45pm

At 82, Mary Lane is one of the last legendary blues musicians that made the Great Migration from America’s south. A longtime staple of Chicago’s West Side Blues circuit, singer Mary Lane was born November 23, 1935 in Clarendon, virtually unknown outside of the Chicago Blues faithful.

Michael Burks Memorial Jam

6:00pm to TBD

Robert Finley

6:00pm to 7:00pm

St. Peter Choir

6:00pm to 6:20pm

Tyrannosaurus Chicken

6:00pm to 6:45pm

Smilin’ Bob Lewis & Rachel Ammons call their music Arkansas hill stomp. One journalist called the duo also been described asmadcap sonic alchemists, fusing Delta blues, psychedelia and trance music with reckless enthusiasm.” Officially, their Facebook entry describes the music as delta blues trance freestyle. They’re multi-instrumentalists whose bag of tricks includes guitars in a handful of alternate tunings, harmonicas, cello, and a Theremin. Rachel is a classically trained violinist. Their repertoire is a mixture of original compositions and repurposed folk songs well suited to their slide-guitar work.

Hughes Singers

6:25pm to 6:40pm

Wofford Chapel Choir

6:25pm to 6:45pm

Bishop Carter & Carter Family

6:45pm to 7:05pm

First St. Paul Choir

6:50pm to 7:10pm

Larry McCray

6:55pm to 8:10pm

He’s fire and ice. He may have learned the fire working on the Detroit assembly line, but the ice came from sitting outside the church in Arkansas listening to Sunday gospel. He never went inside. And the fire usually wins out. He’s a blues artist, but he could win a cutting contest with just about any rocker on the arena circuit today. And if you don’t believe me ask Derek Trucks and Dickie Betts of the Allman Brothers, Los Lobos’ David Hidalgo or Jimmy Herring of the Aquarium Rescue Unit and the Grateful Dead. All of them appear on McCray’s 2015 album the Gibson Sessions. That album features numbers by The Rolling Stones, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Bob Seger, and Joe Cocker. Detroit rock certainly has fired McCray’s guitarist’s muse, but his voice is Arkansas born. “That’s the Bible Belt,” he told blues journalist Don Wilcock. “We lived on the corner from a sanctified church, and we would set out on Sunday, me and my brothers, and listen to the gospel music coming out of the church on the corner. And it was quite impressive.” But they never went inside. “By that time, I had my horns coming out. But you know, I’m a pretty moral person. I don’t go to church all the time because I believe church is in your heart.”

Alice Hasen & The Blaze

7:00pm to 7:45pm

Alice Hasen is a professional violinist/fiddler specializing in rock, folk, roots, jazz and classical music. Born in Vermont but residing in Memphis, TN, Alice is the leader of Alice Hasen and the Blaze, a fiddle-powered groove band that primarily plays Alice’s original compositions. Alice’s solo project, Alice Hasen & the Blaze, showcases the versatility of her songwriting and playing.  Her “fiddle-powered groove band” is rooted in the Memphis heritage of funk, rock and jazz but can stray into pop, hip-hop and even reggae territory. Alice plans to explore all of these and more in her debut EP, “Violintro,” which will be recorded in Memphis.

Billy Branch & The Sons of Blues

7:00pm to 8:10pm

Billy Branch is a true Chicago blues legacy. He played harmonica with Willie Dixon for six years and has played on more than 150 different recordings with Johnny Winer, Koko Taylor and Taj Mahal.  He was one of the first to develop a blues in the schools program and has made over 70 international tours. A three-time Grammy nominee, he’s backed by The Sons of The Blues, a band of veterans that includes: bass player Nick Charles (Howlin’ Wolf, B.B. King, Tina Turner, Eddie Shaw, Valerie Wellington and the Rolling Stones), drummer Mose Rutues Jr. with the band 25 years, and pianist Sumito Ariyoshi, aka Ariyo (Otis Rush, Jimmy Rogers, Robert Jr. Lockwood, Eddie Shaw.)

Rev. John Wilkins Band

7:00pm to 7:45pm

Known as the biker preacher in his role as chaplin of the King Riders Motorcycle Club, Wilkins walks the line between the sacred and profane in the tradition of his father the famed bluesman Robert Wilkins, who was himself a bluesman turned preacher and whose song Prodigal Son was covered by the Rolling Stones. Wilkins is preacher for the Hunter’s Chapel in Como, Mississippi, where Hill Country bluesman Fred McDowell and his wife Annie Mae were once members, as well as the late Otha Turner. He fingerpicks in a rural blues style. You Can’t Hurry God is his debut album.

Paul Thorn

7:10pm to 8:20pm

Paul Thorn all but stole the show from B.B. King at King Biscuit in 2010. His 2018 album, Don’t Let The Devil Ride debuted in the Billboard Top 100 the first week of release.  Thorn calls the music on the album dance pole gospel: “If you listen to the music that’s really sexy sounding, it sounds exactly like the music we sang in church when I was growing up. When we’d go visit the black churches, it was raunchy, man. It was spiritual, but it almost had a sexual undertone to it, and that’s what you hear on some of these songs on this record.”  “Every time I play a festival, I don’t want the last slot. You get more people to see you when you go on next to last ’cause when you go on last, they’re gonna be leavin’ on your last song which is a bummer. When you’re playing that last song, and you’re the headliner, you’re watching people walk out as you’re singing. That’s a bummer, man!”

New Haven Choir

7:15pm to 7:35pm

Pastor Austin Hill & Renewed

7:15pm to 7:40pm

Eb Davis (HEADLINER)

7:20pm to 8:30pm

Singer EB Davis has made 19 records of his own and been a guest on many others. Performing at more than 7000 concerts in 60 different countries, but originally from Elaine, Arkansas, he was inducted into the Blues Hall of fame as an official Blues Ambassador to the state. In 2008, he was voted by The Deutsche Rock as the best R&B singer in Europe. In the same year he was invited by The 52-piece Jobst Liebrecht classical orchestra to headline the classical open-air festival in Hellersdorf, Germany. He has appeared in five movies to which he contributed songs to the soundtrack including ‘The Innocent’ with Anthony Hopkins, and his music has been covered by Mick Taylor of the Rolling Stones.

Mr. Sipp “The Mississippi Blues Child” (HEADLINER)

7:20pm to 8:30pm

Mr. Sipp spent 22 years in the gospel music business as a recording artist and a producer of more than 50 recordings.  In 2013, he jumped into blues making a big splash at The Blues Foundation’s International Blues Challenge with his dynamic and energetic stage presence and a guitar sound marked by its B. B. King-like tone. He wears black framed glasses taped at the nose. He told blues journalist Don Wilcock he did that help his daughter who was being teased in school about her glasses. “I’ll tell you what I’m gonna do. I’m gonna buy some frames just like yours. I’m gonna pop the lenses out, and I’m gonna put tape in the middle and make it cool.” He’s still defining colon his new album Back to the Roots with his group The True Believers.

Second Baptist Choir

7:40pm to 8:00pm

Kaiser Singers (HEADLINER)

7:50pm to 8:35pm

Yazoo City, MS

Jimmy Burns Band (HEADLINER)

8:00pm to 9:00pm

He sings “Beast of Burden” on the Chicago Plays The Stones album, but Jimmy Burns is best known for his Chicago blues albums for Delmark Records including his Delmark debut Leaving Here Walking in 1996 which was awarded the ‘Best Blues Record of the Year’ title by the National Association of Independent Record Distributors and received two W.C. Handy Award nominations. His unique and velvety voice, unusual in Chicago blues, may have been influenced by his work in the folk scene in the early 60s. He sang and played guitar at The Fickle Pickle, (booked at that time by Mike Bloomfield), the Gate of Horn, and coffeehouses around town. His band includes Anthony Palmer (guitar), E.G. McDaniel (bass), and James Carter (drums).

Oxford Allstars (HEADLINER)

8:00pm to 9:00pm

The Oxford All-Stars Band from Oxford, MS, play a variety of music-Motown, blues, old school, R&B, and country. They collectively bring years of training and live performances to the table with a variety of styles and genres blended together to form the unique sound the Oxford All-Stars.

Silver Cloud Choir

8:05pm to 8:25pm

G-Hope Choir (HEADLINER)

8:30pm to 9:00pm

Clarksdale, MS

Ruthie Foster (HEADLINER)

8:30pm to TBD

“I’m not just singing the blues, I singing my own story,” says three-time blues GRAMMY nominee Ruthie Foster. And what a story she has to tell. She’s honed her style playing with everyone from The North Mississippi Allstars to The Blind Boys of Alabama, from Warren Haynes to The Funky Meters. She’s just been nominated the Blues Foundation’s Koko Taylor Award for Best Traditional Blues Female Artist of The Year and in February was inducted into the Texas Music Hall of Fame. The AllMusic Guide compares her to Aretha Franklin and Ella Fitzgerald “with a wide palette of American song forms — gospel and blues to jazz, folk, and soul — and her live performances are powerfully transfiguring.” Rolling Stone says she’s “pure magic to watch and hear.” When she played the Biscuit in 2015, she said it felt like home. It’s very warm. It feels like I’m with my people.” Come home again with Ruthie. “It’s my story as a woman that’s grown up with gospel music. It’s really all these different types of genres being raised in Texas.  I look at music as in the beginning it really was a way of kind of a healing for me in a lotta ways.”

Kenny Wayne Shepherd (HEADLINER)

8:40pm to TBD

With eight number one blues albums and a string of number one rock singles, Saturday night headliner Kenny Wayne Shepherd is arguably the most successful blues/rock crossover act since Stevie Ray Vaughan. “It’s been my approach to take blues from the foundation and try to take it elsewhere,” says Shepherd, “because you don’t have rock without blues.” His tenth album, Lay It on Down, debuted at number one on the blues charts. He released his first at age 16, making him a 26-year veteran at age 41. Guitar World called the release “a king-size helping of Shepherd’s trademark roots-rocking fireworks.”

Delbert McClinton (HEADLINER)

8:45pm to TBD

More than half a century into his career, Friday night headliner Delbert McClinton is a transformative live performer. He’s earned two Grammys in the blues category; He taught John Lennon how to play harp; He duets with Bonnie Raitt on “Good Man, Good Woman” which won a Grammy in Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group. “Giving It Up for Your Love” was number 8 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and number 35 Adult Contemporary. His duet with Tanya Tucker went top 5 country. But more important than that, he gives his audience an out of body concert experience.

The son of a railroad switchman and a beautician, McClinton has risen to the kind of iconic respect few roadhouse rockers ever see. Songs like “Giving It Up for Your Love” and his cover of Otis Redding’s “Dreams to Remember” transcend genres like R&B, country and rock. They become his in the same way that Ray Charles puts his imprint on numbers like “What’d I Say.” Nobody ever asks who wrote “What’d I Say.” Nor do they worry about whether it’s blues, jazz or R&B.

He told music journalist Don Wilcock, “When you get it right, for a few minutes you have your hand on the pulse of this invisible thing. If you can get that six minutes out of two hours (you’re on stage), it’s all worthwhile. It keeps you coming back if nothing else because you can’t get it anywhere else. And I want it all the time.”

Thursday, October 10th

Six String Andrew

9:00am to 9:30am

Andrew Sullivan met his music teacher at an Alice Cooper concert when he was six. By the time he was 11 he’d shared the stage with Cheap Trick, performed with Blues Oyster Cult and Gary Hoey and player the Biscuit. He plays keyboards, drums and trumpet, but guitar is his favorite. “They all have different tones, and they’re fun to play, and it’s fun to have a lot ’cause I can experiment with different sounds.”

Grace Kuch

9:45am to 10:15am

This 16-year-old guitarist was named Youth Performer of The Year in 2018 and 2017 by the Colorado Blues Society in their Member’s Choice Awards. She’s played the Biscuit as well as Blues Foundation’s International Blues Challenge, The Big Blues Bender and The Greeley Blues Jam. She satin with The North Mississippi Allstars in 2016.

D.R. Diamond & Birthright Blues Project

10:30am to 11:00am

The Biscuit welcomes this family band from Sulphur Springs which plays Texas blues. Singer and guitarist “Diamond” Jack Holdsworth has recruited the whole family into the act, with wife Elan on bass, daughter Dani at the drums, and son DR showing talent beyond his years on vocals and guitar. They list their influences as Stevie Ray Vaughn, Albert King, Howlin’ Wolf, BB King, Freddie King, Jimmy Vaughn, Buddy Guy, Hubert Sumlin, Son House, Muddy Waters, Lightnin Hopkins, Sam Carr, Jack Johnson, Frank Frost, and Pinetop Perkins.

Jamiah “Blues Superman” Rogers Band (HEADLINER)

11:15am to 12:00pm

According to Blues Blast Magazine, “he’s one part soul crooner (as on the title track), one part guitar hero (as on ‘Blues Mama’ and ‘Gone Too Long’) and one part dance-track master (as on ‘Bourbon Street Bounce’).” Jamiah grew up in a household of musicians. The first hands-on experience with music came at the age of three. Jamiah’s father and guitarist, Tony Rogers, had a band that rehearsed every now and then in the basement of [their] home. On ten of his original songs, he brings out the best of his blues abilities and those of his co-musicians.

Mighty Souls Brass Band - 11:15 procession begins at Courtyard Square

11:15am to TBD

A collective of professional, multi-talented composers and players with funk, marching and swing band influences. They promise tight, polished work of Motown’s session horns; the gritty, dirty inflections of New Orleans’ funky Meters; and the slippery R&B of Booker T. and the M.G.’s. The invention of Tuba player and composer Sean Murphy, this Memphis band together for two decades provides a uniquely Memphis spin on a tradition that’s as global in its scope as it is root-deep in American popular music.

Big George Brock

12:00pm to 12:55pm

He told blues journalist Don Wilcock he saw Muddy Waters dive into the Mississippi the day he broke away from the plantation. One of his albums Heavyweight is aptly named. Big George once sparred with boxer Sonny Liston who hit him so hard he can still feel the headache today. And when England’s Blues & Rhythm magazine called him “the real deal,” it wasn’t hyperbole. And when Buddy Guy says he’s the last of the old guard, he’s forgetting Big George Brock.

Libby Rae Watson

12:00pm to 12:45pm

Libby Rae Watson grew up in Pascagoula, Mississippi a few blocks from the Gulf of Mexico. She became captivated by Blues music when in her teens after stumbling across a songbook in a local music store. It was full of songs and photos of Blues greats! Son House, Mississippi John Hurt, Elizabeth Cotten…. legends of the early Blues. It was the beginning of a life long infatuation of the music, the people who made it, and the culture of her own State. She later searched for and became friends with several Blues musicians. She was mentored by the great Sam Chatmon who was the last surviving member of the Mississippi Sheiks.   “I didn’t plan to go ‘find’ the Blues. The Blues found me. I’ve been consumed by it for over 40 years! Like Sam Chatmon said, “ The Blues is my daily occupation!”

Marcus “Mookie” Cartwright

12:00pm to 12:55pm

Blues renaissance man Roger Stolle describes the Arkansas bluesman as “an impassioned guitarist and singer. He is also one of a small-but-mighty group of young African-American blues players keeping the music alive in the land where it was born. Cartwright told Living Blues, “My momma made sure I finished high school, but when the money started coming in I started playing professionally at age 14 and I kept going with it. Somehow everybody likes me. I don’t know why.”

SBBS IBC Bands Winner (band) - Fonky Donkey

12:00pm to 12:50pm

SBBS IBC Bands Winner (solo) - Logan Ramp

12:00pm to 12:45pm

Diamond Jack Blues Band

1:00pm to 1:45pm

Eric Hughes

1:00pm to 1:45pm

Eric Hughes has been called a “guaranteed crowd-pleaser” by Living Blues Magazine; his enthusiasm for Memphis music, and his authenticity, are obvious.

Hughes was born and raised in Memphis and spent his weekends in Mississippi, where he came to cherish blues music. After a couple of years at Mississippi College, Hughes joined the Marines, and found himself stationed far from home. Hughes bought a guitar, hoping that learning some blues might ease his homesickness. That guitar did more than that. A decade of learning followed, traveling and learning from various bluesmen. Eric first began performing in the clubs on Beale Street in 2001, where he continues to play several nights a week as a solo entertainer, with a duo, or in front of the Eric Hughes Band. Hughes was recently awarded a Muddy Mojo Award, won “Best Self-Produced CD” by Memphis Blues Society, and recorded the “Coolest Blues Song of 2013” by Big City Blues Magazine.

Eric is joined by his brother Walter on guitar, bassist Leo Goff, and Brian Aylor on drums. Songs from Eric’s four CD releases continue to enjoy regular airplay on blues radio programs throughout the world.

Front Porch Blues Jam hosted by Brotha Ric Patton

1:00pm to 3:00pm

Alabama Bluesman Brotha Ric Patton will host Thursday’s Front Porch Blues Bash Jam to kick off the 5th Annual Front Porch Blues Bash at the DCC Miller Annex.

The jam provides the perfect opportunity for many of King Biscuit’s festival-goers to show off their own talents as musicians.

Everyone interested is invited to participate in the annual free event, sign the participation sheet, and demonstrate their blues skills to their fellow fans during the 2 hour affair.

Little Joe Ayers

1:00pm to 1:45pm

Earl “Little Joe” Ayers is a blues guitarist and singer based in Holly Springs, Mississippi. For over thirty years, he was a member of the Soul Blues Boys, Junior Kimbrough’s long-time backing band.

Ayers toured extensively in the region with Kimbrough and company, but drew the line on playing overseas as he doesn’t care for flying. They made the rounds of the festival circuits in the summertime, and played at house parties and local jukes such as Marshall Scruggs’ in winter. They also frequently performed with members of the Burnside family. “It became almost like a combining thing,“ Ayers recalls. “Whenever they’d have a gig, we’d get one; whenever we’d get a gig, they’d get one.“ In 1991 Ayers played bass behind Kimbrough in Robert Palmer’s documentary Deep Blues; their performance of “All Night Long” was filmed before the release of Kimbrough’s debut album of the same name on Fat Possum Records, which was also produced by Palmer.

In recent years he has made appearances at the North Mississippi Hill Country Picnic in Potts Camp, as well as at Red’s in Clarksdale. He also occasionally sits in with fellow Hill Country blues musicians such as Kenny Brown. Ayers released “Backatchya”, a solo album, on Devil Down Records in September 2011.

Sean McDonald

1:00pm to 1:45pm

Veronika Jackson

1:00pm to 1:45pm

This folk blues artist from Atlanta performs classic songs by Odetta, Nina Simone and Elizabeth Cotton with a reverent velvety voice and plays acoustic guitar. She also does original material rich in its references to the joys and struggles of contemporary life as a blues woman. Inspired by Diamond Teeth Mary, a blues performer at the Florida Folk Festival, Veronika does a version of Elizabeth Cotton’s “Freight Train” that rivals the original.

Altered Five Blues Band

1:10pm to 2:10pm

Both guitarist Jeff Schroedl and vocalist Jeff Taylor laugh at that image. Their band, The Altered Five, creates hard driving electric blues that pays homage to the music’s colorful past while referencing contemporary life. It’s a balancing act. Taylor’s day job is Principal of a school in Wisconsin.  Schroedl’s day job is being executive vice president of Hal Leonard Corporation, the world’s largest creator of music publications and music education materials. Schroedl writes most of the lyrics and Taylor is credited with co-writing the songs sometimes along with the rest of the band. He has a rich baritone voice brimming with bragadocio in the tradition of Muddy Waters and Bo Diddley and can pull off lines about being a wanted man with a double-barreled chest and a ring tattoo who is “Charmed and Dangerous” and wants to be “your bad boy.” Schroedl’s guitar has a B.B. King tone, is a bit busier than Luther Allison, but nicely propels the songs.

Cedric Burnside Band

1:10pm to 2:15pm

Noted music journalist Ted Drozdowski called him “The Lion of Mississippi Hill Country guitar.” The grandson of Hill Country patriarch R. L. Burnside, his album Benton County Relic was nominated for this year’s Best Traditional Blues Grammy, and he took home a Blues Music Award for best drummer four years in a row. Often mentioned in the same breath as The North Mississippi Allstars with whom he’s played, he is bringing the hill country sound into a contemporary context.

Kenny “Beedy Eyes” Smith, Bob Margolin & Bob Stroger

1:10pm to 2:15pm

This act is as close as we’ll ever get to capturing the treasure of a Muddy Waters performance in Muddy’s heyday. Bob on lead guitar, Kenny on drums and Bob on bass each has an up close and intimate tie to the heritage of Muddy Waters’ Chicago blues royalty extending back to the ’50s and ’60s. Each walks the tightrope between that electric legacy sound that changed American popular music for the next 60 years and today’s contemporary blues. Living history performed with consummate style.

Bill "Howl-N-Madd" Perry

2:00pm to 2:45pm

Bill “Howl-n-Madd” Perry is the delta blues musician who’s incredible story find him rubbing shoulders and playing behind Little Richard, J.J Taylor, & Little Milton, working as a session musician on Chess Records, honored with a blues trail marker, and being an integral part of the blues for decades. The latest from Perry, The Clarksdale Sessions, finds the singer exploring his depths while keeping a familiar feel to his trademark sound.

“Saturday Night” is a righteous cross between jump blues and a rock n roll throwback –all around a lot of fun to listen to. The combination of Mandolin and harmonica on “Oh what a Feeling” make the track a valuable & powerful addition to the album. Several of the tracks are staunchly traditional blues. “Delta Woman”, which Perry performed live at the recent celebrated Blessissippi Crossroads Concert, is a great little number about, what else?! A number of tracks are deftly enhanced by a horn presence, which graces the album with a soulful feeling.

Overall, The Clarksdale Sessions are both a representation of Perry’s well-known live energy, and a further exploration of the depth of the artist’s abilities. Two standout tracks are a pair of brilliantly picked covers, “Reason to Believe”, made famous by Rod Stewart, and “Over the Rainbow”, which was a fitting choice for Perry’s unique vocals and personality, accented by a beautiful piano backing. “Believe”, with it’s pronounced horn, B3, and backing vocals, is the perfect fit for Perry’s  endearing, gravelly voice. The album was recorded in the heart of downtown Clarksdale at Clarksdale Soundstage Recording Studio, which is owned by Gary Vincent, who also produced Sessions and contributed to several tracks. Perry’s band is a family affair, with his daughter, Sharo Perry and son, Bill Perry, Jr. contributing on vocals and piano!

Clarence Davis with Jock Webb

2:00pm to 2:45pm

This duo is a perfect combination of some good ole juke joint Delta Blues. You will never experience a harmonic player like Jock Webb again! MORE INFO

Jimmy "Duck" Holmes

2:00pm to 2:45pm

Bentonia, MS: home to the legendary Skip James, famous for his falsetto vocals and his mastery of a rare blues guitar style that has become known as the “Bentonia style”.

The origin of the style goes back to a chance meeting between Bentonian Henry Stuckey and black Bahamian soldiers in France during World War I. Stuckey learned an odd E-minor guitar tuning from the Bahamians and when he returned home taught it to his brother Jacob and to Skip James and the younger Jack Owens.

As these musicians traded ideas in the semi-isolated area of Bentonia, James and Owens perfected the style by adding dark, introspective lyrics. With his overwhelming personality coming through his recordings, James created a haunting and unique sound that continues to influence blues and folk music today. Though James died in 1969 and Owens in 1997, this local style is preserved in the playing of Duck Holmes.

While Duck comes from a much younger generation, it seems he was destined to soak up the sounds and feel of the Bentonia style whether he was trying to or not. Born Jimmy Charles Holmes on July 28, 1947, Duck grew up two houses down from Henry and Jacob Stuckey. In 1948, his mother and father opened the Blue Front Café where they served cold drinks and offered live music. This music was often provided by the Stuckeys or Jack Owens and harmonica player Bud Spires.

When Duck took over the Blue Front in 1970, he began arranging for Jack and Bud to play more regularly at the café. With the encouragement of Jack, Duck began honing his skills and has emerged as one of, if not the only living practitioners of the Bentonia style.

And you can still hear it played today at The Blue Front Café.

Jontavious Willis

2:00pm to 2:45pm

Finger-picker, flat-picker, slide player, and plays harmonica, banjo and cigar box? Soon into his career, Quon was playing on Taj Mahal’s stage. Currently he is finishing his studies at Columbus State University, majoring in sociology. But on most week-ends you can find him playing a small house show, up on the main stage or posting music videos for his friends and fans around the world.

Wampus Cats

2:10pm to 2:45pm

The Wampus Cats is a blues and R&B band started in 1978 by keyboardist Robert “Nighthawk” Tooms. They have played on Beale Street since 1984 and have traveled the world bringing Memphis Music to all.

Greg Martinez

2:30pm to 3:40pm

Gregg “Mac Daddy” Martinez—is Louisiana’s premier Blues/R&B/Swamp Pop artist and a member of the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame. His blend of blues, R&B and swamp pop music he describes as “bayou blues and Creole soul.” Gregg was born and raised and still lives in the Cajun country of south Louisiana.

Sterling Billingsley Band

2:35pm to 3:40pm

A Helena, Arkansas native, Sterling was born into the blues, is a walking encyclopedia of the genre, and a talented guitarist who loves to showcase others in his band. He also happens to be President of The Sonny Boy Blues Society and Music Chairman of The King Biscuit Blues Festival. He does not consider it hyperbole when he calls the Biscuit The Holy Grail of blues festivals.

The Cate Brothers

2:35pm to 3:40pm

Beloved Arkansas natives, these twin brothers have careers that thread through involvement with Ronnie Hawkins, Levon Helm, and The Band since the late ’50s. Their self-titled debut album in 1976 was produced by 2018’s Biscuit headliner Steve Cropper, Levon Helm, and yielded their biggest hit “Union Man.” Fiercely independent, and keepers of hickory-stoked sound that defines The Band and Arkansas. They are frequent Biscuit performers.

Akeem Kemp

3:00pm to 3:45pm

Akeem Kemp is a natural prodigy who is a singer, guitarist, and songwriter from Arkansas.  He grew up performing in a gospel quartet, but branched out as a blues solo artist releasing his first album, “I Like It All,” followed by his second album, “A Woman Needs Love,” right after high school.  Influenced by Albert King’s string bending and soulful, smoky vocals as well as Jimi Hendrix’s overdriven amplifiers with high volume and gain, Akeem has managed to create his own style and unique tone.  Through the inspiration of life experiences, he uses his music to connect with all walks of life.  Akeem is on a journey to create memories, conceive feelings, and communicate lyrics people may feel they cannot say any other way except through music.

Blind Boy Paxton

3:00pm to 3:45pm

[caption id="attachment_867" align="alignleft" width="300"] Jerron “Blind Boy” Paxton performs at the 2013 Blues and BBQ Festival in New Orleans, LA.[/caption]

Still in his 20s, Jerron “Blind Boy” Paxton sings and plays banjo, guitar, piano, fiddle, harmonica, Cajun accordion, and the bones (percussion). Paxton has an eerie ability to transform traditional jazz, blues, folk, and country into the here and now, and make it real. In addition, he mesmerizes audiences with his humor and storytelling. He’s a world-class talent and a uniquely colorful character that has been on the cover of Living Blues Magazine and the Village Voice, and has been interviewed on FOX News. Paxton’s sound is influenced by the likes of Fats Waller and “Blind” Lemon Jefferson. According to Will Friedwald in the Wall Street Journal, Paxton is “virtually the only music-maker of his generation—play-ing guitar, banjo, piano and violin, among other implements—to fully assimilate the blues idiom of the 1920s and ‘30s.”

CW Gatlin Band

3:00pm to 3:45pm

CW Gatlin is an Arkansas Delta native and a regular at the Biscuit. A lifelong friend of Levon Helm, he’s also performed with The Band, appearing on their 1993 Jericho album. Like The Band, his music has elements of rock, country and he’s a member of The Rockabilly Hall of Fame. In his long career he has performed with Mack Self, W.S. Holland of Johnny Cash’s band The Tennessee Three, Robert Nighthawk, Ace Cannon, Paul Burlison, Frank Frost and Sam Carr of The Jelly Roll Kings.

Delta Legends

3:00pm to 3:50pm

Fillmore Slim

3:00pm to 3:45pm

“She may have played with James Brown, B.B. King and Otis Redding back in the day, but Beverly ‘Guitar’ Watkins of the Music Maker Relief Foundation has a style and legacy all her own,” writes Great Big Story. “At 76, she’s still the queen of blues guitar.”

Watkins, who has had a long and continuous musical career, got her start in the late Fifties playing with Piano Red in the Atlanta area. Although she was well known for years within the blues community, like many roots musicians, she found it difficult to crack the airwaves or get noticed by the masses—until the advent of the Internet. In the Nineties, she was re-discovered by Music Maker Relief Foundation founder Tim Duffy, who started booking her in package shows.

In 1998, she was part of the Women of the Blues “Hot Mamas” tour with Koko Taylor and Rory Block.

Her 1999 CD debut, Back in Business, earned a W. C. Handy Award nomination in 2000.

Frank “Guitar” Rimmer Band with Cadillac John

3:00pm to 3:45pm

There is a blues marker in front of the shotgun house where he grew up in Grenada, Mississippi, and he performed at the blues marker unveiling at Holy Ridge. His influences range from the deepest traditional blues to disco, funk, hip-hop, and southern soul.  Frank recorded many songs with Bill Howl-n-Madd Perry and Shy Perry, The New School Blues’ Narvel Echols, Frank and Bill Perry and played in many gospel groups including The Spirit of Grenada, The Gospel Tones of Water Valley, and The Smith Brothers of Holcomb, Ms. He describes himself as “representing the current state of Blues in the hills and valleys in Grenada, Mississippi.

Andy T with Alabama Mike

4:00pm to 5:10pm

Andy Talamantez spent 23 years in the aerospace industry before becoming a fulltime blues guitarist, first with Nick Nixon, a veteran Nashville blues singer whose background included jamming with a young Jimi Hendrix. When Nixon retired in 2016, Andy T. teamed with Alabama Mike releasing his fourth album Double Strike co-produced with Anson Funderburgh, the only artist to have appeared at all the King Biscuit Blues Festivals. Both Nixon and Alabama Mike handled vocals reminiscent of Sam Myers, Funderburgh’s late vocalist. Andy T.’s early influence was Eric Clapton, but he honed his style playing with Smokey Wilson and Guitar Shorty in the late ’90s.

BB Queen Band

4:00pm to 4:45pm

America’s B.B. Queen CAN play the blues! There are others who lay claim to this name, but no one else but OUR B.B. Queen can deliver the goods. BB is a Detroit native now in Nashville. She started her music career at the young age of five years old; playing her clarinet and entertaining at juke joints with her younger sister and father. She picked up the guitar at thirteen years of age after watching B.B. King and Jimi Hendrix perform on television. She was able to watch the fingers glide, like a time frame within time. It was destiny for B.B. Queen. She was born to play the blues.

The legendary Koko Taylor had been a mentor to BB and they co-wrote a song together on B.B. Queen’s Album, “Everybody’s Favorite”(Qualified and Able) of the same title as the album.  Koko Taylor performs with BB putting her signature vocal style on a song entitled;  “Nowhere Road” on this same album. Her current album is entitled, ” I Can Play Da Blues”  B.B. Queen has won a Tennessee Rhythm and Blues Award 2014 and a Midwest Video Nomination 2014; Category: best video blues from the” I Can Play Da Blues” CD  for the crowd pleasing song, “Wobble Wiggle.” B.B. Queen is currently working on a new album co-writing with award winning songwriter/ producer Marshall McQueen in a collaborative effort with Rowe Entertainment in LA.

There are some great things going on for our favorite female guitarist/vocalist/entertainer. Such as: ” The Lady Fingerz Project.”  According to B.B. Queen, “the Lady Fingerz Project’s mission is mainly to draw attention to the fact that I (we) women guitarists are not just novelty items to make the band look good….we are serious and capable players. We sell tickets and are and can be headliners. The Lady Fingerz Project wants to increase the visibility of women guitarists in the music industry. The Lady Fingerz Project will be used as a vehicle to increase our visibility such as Lady Fingerz Concerts, Guitar Retreats, recording opportunities and so much more.”

Chris O’Leary Band

4:00pm to 5:10pm

Chris was singer and front man for Levon Helm’s Barnburners for six years. His latest album 7 Minutes Late is getting airplay on Sirius/XM. He’s recorded with Hubert Sumlin and appeared on stage with James Cotton, the Fabulous Thunderbirds and Dan Akroyd. He’s a hoot!

Jesse Cotton Stone

4:00pm to 4:45pm

Jesse Cotton Stone weaves together the stylistic threads of definitive regional styles of the Blues ranging from Pre-War Acoustic Delta Blues, Electric Juke Joint Boogie, North Mississippi Hill Country, and Cotton Patch Soul Blues to the Urban Chicago Blues Roots of Soul-Funk and Psychedelic Rock, bringing his listeners through the doors of a Heart-Wrenching Boutique of Vintage-Toned American Blues Music with relentless showmanship  of a True Entertainer.

Jesse Cotton Stone creates a comprehensive scope of the Original American Music, not only by playing his role in keeping the traditions of Blues music alive, but also by contributing to the evolution of this Storytelling Tradition with his own Original Flavor of what he calls “HELLCOUNTRY” and “Electric-Cotton Soul” Blues.

Keith Johnson

4:00pm to 4:45pm

With her powerful voice and dynamic stage presence, Miz Renae a.k.a. Renee Smith has camed the nickname “Queen of St. Louis Soul” on both sides of the Mississippi. Bom in St. Louis and raised in East St. Louis, Renco began singing at age 12 in the Mounit Zion Missionary Baptist Church where she is currently the lead vocalist for the Voices of Zion.

Renee has opened shows for national recording artists including Aretha Franklin, Jerry Butler, Little Milton, Bobby “Blue” Bland and Shirley Brown. She has performed at the Apollo Theater in New York City, and on ABC.TV’s Good Morning America. Renee was also nominated in the “Best R&B” category of the Riverfront Times Music Awards in 2003 and 2004.

As a three time cancer survivor, Renee Smith is a passionate activist in the fight against cancer, and is an active participant in the Annual East Saint Louis Relay for Life and the Susan B. Komen Race for the Cure.

Mr. Sipp "The Mississippi Blues Child"

4:00pm to 4:45pm

Mr. Sipp spent 22 years in the gospel music business as a recording artist and a producer of more than 50 recordings.  In 2013, he jumped into blues making a big splash at The Blues Foundation’s International Blues Challenge with his dynamic and energetic stage presence and a guitar sound marked by its B. B. King-like tone. He wears black framed glasses taped at the nose. He told blues journalist Don Wilcock he did that help his daughter who was being teased in school about her glasses. “I’ll tell you what I’m gonna do. I’m gonna buy some frames just like yours. I’m gonna pop the lenses out, and I’m gonna put tape in the middle and make it cool.” He’s still defining colon his new album Back to the Roots with his group The True Believers.

Phillip Stackhouse Band

4:00pm to 4:45pm

His soulful sax backed by his tight band have been perennial favorites at the Biscuit. He is the grandson of Houston Stackhouse who was one of the King Biscuit Boys on King Biscuit Time radio show from 1946 into the ’60s. The third generation of Stackhouses to call Helena home, Phillip carries on a family tradition of blues artists who’ve played with Delta royalty from Sonny Boy Williamson and Pinetop Perkins to Robert Nighthawk.

Phillips County Quartet Choir

4:00pm to 4:25pm

Reba Russell

4:00pm to 5:10pm

Reba’s “Heaven Came to Helena” has become the festival’s unofficial signature song. Reba was Memphis’ top rocker until Rufus Thomas heard her in a cover band in 1992 and told her, ‘Ya got it! You use it! Do it!’ She’s done background vocals for John Nemeth, Tracy Nelson, Huey Lewis & The News, Jimmy Thackery, and Jim Dickinson. That’s Reba on background vocals for U2 and B.B. King on “When Love Comes to Town” on Rattle & Hum recorded in 1990 at Sun Studios. But it’s the Biscuit that puts the fire in her belly. “Being here made me realize that there’s a lot more to this music stuff than I ever expected, and everybody that plays here can kick ass. So, it was like, yeah, I’m doing this come hell or high water. I don’t care, but until I kinda gave myself over to (realizing) Delta roots music was what was moving me, I was just peddling till then. Memphis is blues, but King Biscuit is the freaking deal. This is it. It’s like are you kidding me?”

Spoonfed Blues ft. Mississippi Spoonman

4:00pm to 4:45pm

Blues journalist Stacy Jeffress has described The Mississippi Spoonman a.k.a Bob Rowell as “a man who can coax more music out of a pair of spoons than she can out of radio.” An annual performer at the Biscuit, he’s lived in Helena for a decade and a half. He told Stacy, “I wanted to listen to blues, I wanted to be where the blues is really from. The real deal’s here. It’s life. I see it. I know what it’s about. Hopefully I can write about it and make it real for somebody.” He’s been in rock bands and heavy metal bands where he’d entertain the other band members by setting his spoons on fie and then play them. He’s still an incendiary performer.

Gospel Wonders

4:30pm to 4:55pm

Brinkley, AR

Brotha Ric Patton & Chicken Bone Reunion

5:00pm to 5:45pm

Ricky L. “Brotha Ric” Patton, Sr. was born in Huntsville, AL, but was raised up in Triana, AL.  He is the grandson of blues and whiskey man, Paper Thomas Patton. In an interview Ric says, “Playing the blues is nothing I found, it found me. I’ve been doing so long, I just do it.  When I play and sing it is like painting pictures with people in it.  I have fun and amuse myself with the pain and sound;  I think it is what folks enjoy about my blues, I play in a colorful way.  Every summer I go down South to the Mississippi Delta and play.  But it doesn’t take the place of that Alabama Front Porch style blues”.

Ric also has a trio band called the “Chickenbone Reunion Band, the band members are Ric, (vocals, guitar, harmonica), Mac Barnes (bass), Kenneth Epps (drums).  Ric mostly play solo and bring along kazoos, a shaker, washboard, hula hoops and ask for help with these instruments from his crowd. “What I do is plain Southern Style Funky Blues” says Ric.

Charles Woods Band

5:00pm to 5:45pm

This Little Rock native began playing the harmonica at the age of eight and electric guitar at 12. He’s played electric guitar with such notable acts as the Staple Singers, Rufus Thomas, Little Johnny Taylor, Fenton Robinson, Larry Totsie Davis, and bass with Freddie King. Although Charles Woods has traveled the world and performed with a number of world-class entertainers, he has remained true to his roots, his heritage, and his hometown of Little Rock where he still entertains to this day and is known to his fans and his musical peers as the “Best Kept Secret in Arkansas.”

Dixie Wonders

5:00pm to 5:20pm

Excelleauxs Blues Band

5:00pm to 5:45pm

Formed this year to perform music from the Excello catalog (Slim Harpo, Lightnin’ Slim, Lonesome Sundown), the group is made up of veteran New Orleans musicians. Wavelength Magazine describes vocalist and harmonica player Ben Maygarden’s music as “blues for crying and blues for dancing… (His) good-humored vocals tell you his lover may have trashed him, but he’s not going to let it keep him from having a good time…” Guitarist and drummer Sam Hogan is the son of swamp boogie man Silas Hogan, one of the last Louisiana artists signed to Excello in 1965. Johnny J and Jack Kolb also play guitar.

Front Porch Youth Jam

5:00pm to 5:45pm

These kids first perform on the Bit-O-Blues stage on Friday. Then later in the day Friday, the youth take on an ultimate jam session for the Delta Cultural Center’s Front Porch Stage Youth Jam.

Kenny "Beedy Eyes" Smith Band

5:00pm to 5:45pm

Kenny “Beedy Eyes” Smith was unquestionably born into blues royalty. He grew up in the same house where Muddy Waters once lived in Chicago, the home of the blues. Throughout his childhood, Kenny was surrounded by Muddy and his friends, which included his own father, Willie “Big Eyes” Smith (1936-2011). These same blues icons helped mold him into the person and drummer he is today and later in life asked him to provide his famous backbeat on some of the largest and most respected stages and recordings in the world. Kenny has played over 7,500 live performances to date and has earned the right to wear that royal blues crown. His father, Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, played drums for the Muddy Waters’ Band in the early 1960’s and then again from 1968 through 1980 and was featured on all of Muddy’s Grammy winning albums. Kenny “Beedy Eyes” Smith, one of the best known living blues drummers today, learned 99% of what he knows about drumming from his father and was also inspired by acclaimed drummers: Odie Payne, Fred Below, Earl Phillips, S. P. Leary, Francis Clay and Art Blakey and many others who paved the way.

Linsey Alexander Band

5:00pm to 5:45pm

This Chicago South Side veteran songwriter, vocalist and guitarist nicknamed “Hoochie Man” is a regular at the Windy City’s Kingston Mines. He won Big City Blues’ “Best Fan Interaction Award” in 2012 and was inducted into the Chicago Blues Hall of Fame in 2014. Respected Chicago blues journalist David Whiteis credits Alexander with “lively improvisational imagination,” “good taste” and “in command of a lyric vividness.”

Kirk Fletcher

5:30pm to 6:35pm

A four-time Blues Music Award nominee, guitarist singer and songwriter Fletcher spent three years with the Fabulous Thunderbirds, played on Kim Wilson’s Grammy-nominated Smokin’ Joint live LP. In 2018, Fletcher recorded a video with Josh Smith and Joe Bonamassa, performing the Albert King track “Crosscut Saw.” Released in October, his third solo LP, Hold On, entered at number 15 in the Billboard Blues Albums chart and has been nominated for a Blues Music Award in the Contemporary Blues Album category.

Minister Rick Burton & 4Ever Grateful

5:30pm to 5:50pm

Southaven, MS

Zac Harmon Band

5:30pm to 6:40pm

Zac wowed the Biscuit in 2015 with his energetic take on Chicago blues.  He’s the son of Mississippi’s first African American pharmacist who counted Muddy Waters among his customers. Zac Harmon is a Renaissance man. He toured with B. B. King, and took voice lessons from Sam Myers. A Singer, songwriter, guitarist, and producer, he’s written songs for artists as disparate as Evelyn “Champagne” King, Freddie Jackson, The Whispers, K-Ci & Jo Jo, and The O’Jays and was a staff writer for Michael Jackson’s publishing company. He’s working on his sixth blues album, co-writing songs with John Hahn, Shemekia Copeland’s manger and principle songwriter.

Anson Funderburg & The Rockets

5:35pm to 6:45pm

There’s a yin and a yang to Anson Funerburgh. His electric guitar burns with Texas fire that Guitar Player Magazine compared to Otis Rush and Magic Sam. But his guitar can also soothe as the subtle support for Delta blues vocalists who have included Sam Myers, Nick Nixon, and Alabama Mike. Anson has that Austin strut, but his Delta creds are highlighted by being the only artist to have played all of Arkansas’ King Biscuit Blues Festivals.

A-1 Gospel Singers

5:50pm to 6:20pm

Little Rock, AR

Fillmore Slim

6:00pm to 7:00pm

Eighty-four-year-old Clarence Sims, aka The West Coast Godfather of The Game, aka The Pope of Pimping is an ex-pimp who estimates in his 1999 documentary American Pimp that in his entire career he had more than 9000 prostitutes working for him. The 14 originals on Fillmore Slim’s 2007 The Legend of Fillmore Slim album profile a character whose music is somewhere between Bo Diddley’s “I’m A Man” braggadocio and Snoop Dogg shout outs. His music is full of colorful references to the kind of scenes Willie Dixon could only imagine. Slim’s lived them. “I got a knock at the door,” he sings on the title cut. “I looked up and there was the man. I was put away for a long time. I paid my dues, and now I play the guitar in my hand.”

Marquise Knox

6:00pm to 7:00pm

Perhaps more than any other artist at this year’s Biscuit there is an anticipatory buzz about this guitar phenom from St. Louis. Veteran blues journalist Jim O’Neil calls him “the whole package. A throwback blues master on the rise. Anybody believe in reincarnation?”  Blues Blast raves that “he’s a modern-day bluesman with old-school temperament and stylings.” His familial blues creds go back several generations, and he’s been mentored by the late GRAMMY-winning Henry James Townsend among many others. His debut album Manchild was nominated for a Blues Music Award for Best New Artist Debut and earned Living Blues’ Best Debut Artist Award and a Blues Music Award nomination for Best Debut Artist. His second album, Here I Am, was recorded at the legendary Blue Heaven Studios in Salina, Kansas.

Mary Lane Band

6:00pm to 6:45pm

At 82, Mary Lane is one of the last legendary blues musicians that made the Great Migration from America’s south. A longtime staple of Chicago’s West Side Blues circuit, singer Mary Lane was born November 23, 1935 in Clarendon, virtually unknown outside of the Chicago Blues faithful.

Michael Burks Memorial Jam

6:00pm to TBD

Robert Finley

6:00pm to 7:00pm

St. Peter Choir

6:00pm to 6:20pm

Tyrannosaurus Chicken

6:00pm to 6:45pm

Smilin’ Bob Lewis & Rachel Ammons call their music Arkansas hill stomp. One journalist called the duo also been described asmadcap sonic alchemists, fusing Delta blues, psychedelia and trance music with reckless enthusiasm.” Officially, their Facebook entry describes the music as delta blues trance freestyle. They’re multi-instrumentalists whose bag of tricks includes guitars in a handful of alternate tunings, harmonicas, cello, and a Theremin. Rachel is a classically trained violinist. Their repertoire is a mixture of original compositions and repurposed folk songs well suited to their slide-guitar work.

Hughes Singers

6:25pm to 6:40pm

Wofford Chapel Choir

6:25pm to 6:45pm

Bishop Carter & Carter Family

6:45pm to 7:05pm

First St. Paul Choir

6:50pm to 7:10pm

Larry McCray

6:55pm to 8:10pm

He’s fire and ice. He may have learned the fire working on the Detroit assembly line, but the ice came from sitting outside the church in Arkansas listening to Sunday gospel. He never went inside. And the fire usually wins out. He’s a blues artist, but he could win a cutting contest with just about any rocker on the arena circuit today. And if you don’t believe me ask Derek Trucks and Dickie Betts of the Allman Brothers, Los Lobos’ David Hidalgo or Jimmy Herring of the Aquarium Rescue Unit and the Grateful Dead. All of them appear on McCray’s 2015 album the Gibson Sessions. That album features numbers by The Rolling Stones, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Bob Seger, and Joe Cocker. Detroit rock certainly has fired McCray’s guitarist’s muse, but his voice is Arkansas born. “That’s the Bible Belt,” he told blues journalist Don Wilcock. “We lived on the corner from a sanctified church, and we would set out on Sunday, me and my brothers, and listen to the gospel music coming out of the church on the corner. And it was quite impressive.” But they never went inside. “By that time, I had my horns coming out. But you know, I’m a pretty moral person. I don’t go to church all the time because I believe church is in your heart.”

Alice Hasen & The Blaze

7:00pm to 7:45pm

Alice Hasen is a professional violinist/fiddler specializing in rock, folk, roots, jazz and classical music. Born in Vermont but residing in Memphis, TN, Alice is the leader of Alice Hasen and the Blaze, a fiddle-powered groove band that primarily plays Alice’s original compositions. Alice’s solo project, Alice Hasen & the Blaze, showcases the versatility of her songwriting and playing.  Her “fiddle-powered groove band” is rooted in the Memphis heritage of funk, rock and jazz but can stray into pop, hip-hop and even reggae territory. Alice plans to explore all of these and more in her debut EP, “Violintro,” which will be recorded in Memphis.

Billy Branch & The Sons of Blues

7:00pm to 8:10pm

Billy Branch is a true Chicago blues legacy. He played harmonica with Willie Dixon for six years and has played on more than 150 different recordings with Johnny Winer, Koko Taylor and Taj Mahal.  He was one of the first to develop a blues in the schools program and has made over 70 international tours. A three-time Grammy nominee, he’s backed by The Sons of The Blues, a band of veterans that includes: bass player Nick Charles (Howlin’ Wolf, B.B. King, Tina Turner, Eddie Shaw, Valerie Wellington and the Rolling Stones), drummer Mose Rutues Jr. with the band 25 years, and pianist Sumito Ariyoshi, aka Ariyo (Otis Rush, Jimmy Rogers, Robert Jr. Lockwood, Eddie Shaw.)

Rev. John Wilkins Band

7:00pm to 7:45pm

Known as the biker preacher in his role as chaplin of the King Riders Motorcycle Club, Wilkins walks the line between the sacred and profane in the tradition of his father the famed bluesman Robert Wilkins, who was himself a bluesman turned preacher and whose song Prodigal Son was covered by the Rolling Stones. Wilkins is preacher for the Hunter’s Chapel in Como, Mississippi, where Hill Country bluesman Fred McDowell and his wife Annie Mae were once members, as well as the late Otha Turner. He fingerpicks in a rural blues style. You Can’t Hurry God is his debut album.

Paul Thorn

7:10pm to 8:20pm

Paul Thorn all but stole the show from B.B. King at King Biscuit in 2010. His 2018 album, Don’t Let The Devil Ride debuted in the Billboard Top 100 the first week of release.  Thorn calls the music on the album dance pole gospel: “If you listen to the music that’s really sexy sounding, it sounds exactly like the music we sang in church when I was growing up. When we’d go visit the black churches, it was raunchy, man. It was spiritual, but it almost had a sexual undertone to it, and that’s what you hear on some of these songs on this record.”  “Every time I play a festival, I don’t want the last slot. You get more people to see you when you go on next to last ’cause when you go on last, they’re gonna be leavin’ on your last song which is a bummer. When you’re playing that last song, and you’re the headliner, you’re watching people walk out as you’re singing. That’s a bummer, man!”

New Haven Choir

7:15pm to 7:35pm

Pastor Austin Hill & Renewed

7:15pm to 7:40pm

Eb Davis (HEADLINER)

7:20pm to 8:30pm

Singer EB Davis has made 19 records of his own and been a guest on many others. Performing at more than 7000 concerts in 60 different countries, but originally from Elaine, Arkansas, he was inducted into the Blues Hall of fame as an official Blues Ambassador to the state. In 2008, he was voted by The Deutsche Rock as the best R&B singer in Europe. In the same year he was invited by The 52-piece Jobst Liebrecht classical orchestra to headline the classical open-air festival in Hellersdorf, Germany. He has appeared in five movies to which he contributed songs to the soundtrack including ‘The Innocent’ with Anthony Hopkins, and his music has been covered by Mick Taylor of the Rolling Stones.

Mr. Sipp “The Mississippi Blues Child” (HEADLINER)

7:20pm to 8:30pm

Mr. Sipp spent 22 years in the gospel music business as a recording artist and a producer of more than 50 recordings.  In 2013, he jumped into blues making a big splash at The Blues Foundation’s International Blues Challenge with his dynamic and energetic stage presence and a guitar sound marked by its B. B. King-like tone. He wears black framed glasses taped at the nose. He told blues journalist Don Wilcock he did that help his daughter who was being teased in school about her glasses. “I’ll tell you what I’m gonna do. I’m gonna buy some frames just like yours. I’m gonna pop the lenses out, and I’m gonna put tape in the middle and make it cool.” He’s still defining colon his new album Back to the Roots with his group The True Believers.

Second Baptist Choir

7:40pm to 8:00pm

Kaiser Singers (HEADLINER)

7:50pm to 8:35pm

Yazoo City, MS

Jimmy Burns Band (HEADLINER)

8:00pm to 9:00pm

He sings “Beast of Burden” on the Chicago Plays The Stones album, but Jimmy Burns is best known for his Chicago blues albums for Delmark Records including his Delmark debut Leaving Here Walking in 1996 which was awarded the ‘Best Blues Record of the Year’ title by the National Association of Independent Record Distributors and received two W.C. Handy Award nominations. His unique and velvety voice, unusual in Chicago blues, may have been influenced by his work in the folk scene in the early 60s. He sang and played guitar at The Fickle Pickle, (booked at that time by Mike Bloomfield), the Gate of Horn, and coffeehouses around town. His band includes Anthony Palmer (guitar), E.G. McDaniel (bass), and James Carter (drums).

Oxford Allstars (HEADLINER)

8:00pm to 9:00pm

The Oxford All-Stars Band from Oxford, MS, play a variety of music-Motown, blues, old school, R&B, and country. They collectively bring years of training and live performances to the table with a variety of styles and genres blended together to form the unique sound the Oxford All-Stars.

Silver Cloud Choir

8:05pm to 8:25pm

G-Hope Choir (HEADLINER)

8:30pm to 9:00pm

Clarksdale, MS

Ruthie Foster (HEADLINER)

8:30pm to TBD

“I’m not just singing the blues, I singing my own story,” says three-time blues GRAMMY nominee Ruthie Foster. And what a story she has to tell. She’s honed her style playing with everyone from The North Mississippi Allstars to The Blind Boys of Alabama, from Warren Haynes to The Funky Meters. She’s just been nominated the Blues Foundation’s Koko Taylor Award for Best Traditional Blues Female Artist of The Year and in February was inducted into the Texas Music Hall of Fame. The AllMusic Guide compares her to Aretha Franklin and Ella Fitzgerald “with a wide palette of American song forms — gospel and blues to jazz, folk, and soul — and her live performances are powerfully transfiguring.” Rolling Stone says she’s “pure magic to watch and hear.” When she played the Biscuit in 2015, she said it felt like home. It’s very warm. It feels like I’m with my people.” Come home again with Ruthie. “It’s my story as a woman that’s grown up with gospel music. It’s really all these different types of genres being raised in Texas.  I look at music as in the beginning it really was a way of kind of a healing for me in a lotta ways.”

Kenny Wayne Shepherd (HEADLINER)

8:40pm to TBD

With eight number one blues albums and a string of number one rock singles, Saturday night headliner Kenny Wayne Shepherd is arguably the most successful blues/rock crossover act since Stevie Ray Vaughan. “It’s been my approach to take blues from the foundation and try to take it elsewhere,” says Shepherd, “because you don’t have rock without blues.” His tenth album, Lay It on Down, debuted at number one on the blues charts. He released his first at age 16, making him a 26-year veteran at age 41. Guitar World called the release “a king-size helping of Shepherd’s trademark roots-rocking fireworks.”

Delbert McClinton (HEADLINER)

8:45pm to TBD

More than half a century into his career, Friday night headliner Delbert McClinton is a transformative live performer. He’s earned two Grammys in the blues category; He taught John Lennon how to play harp; He duets with Bonnie Raitt on “Good Man, Good Woman” which won a Grammy in Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group. “Giving It Up for Your Love” was number 8 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and number 35 Adult Contemporary. His duet with Tanya Tucker went top 5 country. But more important than that, he gives his audience an out of body concert experience.

The son of a railroad switchman and a beautician, McClinton has risen to the kind of iconic respect few roadhouse rockers ever see. Songs like “Giving It Up for Your Love” and his cover of Otis Redding’s “Dreams to Remember” transcend genres like R&B, country and rock. They become his in the same way that Ray Charles puts his imprint on numbers like “What’d I Say.” Nobody ever asks who wrote “What’d I Say.” Nor do they worry about whether it’s blues, jazz or R&B.

He told music journalist Don Wilcock, “When you get it right, for a few minutes you have your hand on the pulse of this invisible thing. If you can get that six minutes out of two hours (you’re on stage), it’s all worthwhile. It keeps you coming back if nothing else because you can’t get it anywhere else. And I want it all the time.”

Friday, October 11th

Six String Andrew

9:00am to 9:30am

Andrew Sullivan met his music teacher at an Alice Cooper concert when he was six. By the time he was 11 he’d shared the stage with Cheap Trick, performed with Blues Oyster Cult and Gary Hoey and player the Biscuit. He plays keyboards, drums and trumpet, but guitar is his favorite. “They all have different tones, and they’re fun to play, and it’s fun to have a lot ’cause I can experiment with different sounds.”

Grace Kuch

9:45am to 10:15am

This 16-year-old guitarist was named Youth Performer of The Year in 2018 and 2017 by the Colorado Blues Society in their Member’s Choice Awards. She’s played the Biscuit as well as Blues Foundation’s International Blues Challenge, The Big Blues Bender and The Greeley Blues Jam. She satin with The North Mississippi Allstars in 2016.

D.R. Diamond & Birthright Blues Project

10:30am to 11:00am

The Biscuit welcomes this family band from Sulphur Springs which plays Texas blues. Singer and guitarist “Diamond” Jack Holdsworth has recruited the whole family into the act, with wife Elan on bass, daughter Dani at the drums, and son DR showing talent beyond his years on vocals and guitar. They list their influences as Stevie Ray Vaughn, Albert King, Howlin’ Wolf, BB King, Freddie King, Jimmy Vaughn, Buddy Guy, Hubert Sumlin, Son House, Muddy Waters, Lightnin Hopkins, Sam Carr, Jack Johnson, Frank Frost, and Pinetop Perkins.

Jamiah “Blues Superman” Rogers Band (HEADLINER)

11:15am to 12:00pm

According to Blues Blast Magazine, “he’s one part soul crooner (as on the title track), one part guitar hero (as on ‘Blues Mama’ and ‘Gone Too Long’) and one part dance-track master (as on ‘Bourbon Street Bounce’).” Jamiah grew up in a household of musicians. The first hands-on experience with music came at the age of three. Jamiah’s father and guitarist, Tony Rogers, had a band that rehearsed every now and then in the basement of [their] home. On ten of his original songs, he brings out the best of his blues abilities and those of his co-musicians.

Mighty Souls Brass Band - 11:15 procession begins at Courtyard Square

11:15am to TBD

A collective of professional, multi-talented composers and players with funk, marching and swing band influences. They promise tight, polished work of Motown’s session horns; the gritty, dirty inflections of New Orleans’ funky Meters; and the slippery R&B of Booker T. and the M.G.’s. The invention of Tuba player and composer Sean Murphy, this Memphis band together for two decades provides a uniquely Memphis spin on a tradition that’s as global in its scope as it is root-deep in American popular music.

Big George Brock

12:00pm to 12:55pm

He told blues journalist Don Wilcock he saw Muddy Waters dive into the Mississippi the day he broke away from the plantation. One of his albums Heavyweight is aptly named. Big George once sparred with boxer Sonny Liston who hit him so hard he can still feel the headache today. And when England’s Blues & Rhythm magazine called him “the real deal,” it wasn’t hyperbole. And when Buddy Guy says he’s the last of the old guard, he’s forgetting Big George Brock.

Libby Rae Watson

12:00pm to 12:45pm

Libby Rae Watson grew up in Pascagoula, Mississippi a few blocks from the Gulf of Mexico. She became captivated by Blues music when in her teens after stumbling across a songbook in a local music store. It was full of songs and photos of Blues greats! Son House, Mississippi John Hurt, Elizabeth Cotten…. legends of the early Blues. It was the beginning of a life long infatuation of the music, the people who made it, and the culture of her own State. She later searched for and became friends with several Blues musicians. She was mentored by the great Sam Chatmon who was the last surviving member of the Mississippi Sheiks.   “I didn’t plan to go ‘find’ the Blues. The Blues found me. I’ve been consumed by it for over 40 years! Like Sam Chatmon said, “ The Blues is my daily occupation!”

Marcus “Mookie” Cartwright

12:00pm to 12:55pm

Blues renaissance man Roger Stolle describes the Arkansas bluesman as “an impassioned guitarist and singer. He is also one of a small-but-mighty group of young African-American blues players keeping the music alive in the land where it was born. Cartwright told Living Blues, “My momma made sure I finished high school, but when the money started coming in I started playing professionally at age 14 and I kept going with it. Somehow everybody likes me. I don’t know why.”

SBBS IBC Bands Winner (band) - Fonky Donkey

12:00pm to 12:50pm

SBBS IBC Bands Winner (solo) - Logan Ramp

12:00pm to 12:45pm

Diamond Jack Blues Band

1:00pm to 1:45pm

Eric Hughes

1:00pm to 1:45pm

Eric Hughes has been called a “guaranteed crowd-pleaser” by Living Blues Magazine; his enthusiasm for Memphis music, and his authenticity, are obvious.

Hughes was born and raised in Memphis and spent his weekends in Mississippi, where he came to cherish blues music. After a couple of years at Mississippi College, Hughes joined the Marines, and found himself stationed far from home. Hughes bought a guitar, hoping that learning some blues might ease his homesickness. That guitar did more than that. A decade of learning followed, traveling and learning from various bluesmen. Eric first began performing in the clubs on Beale Street in 2001, where he continues to play several nights a week as a solo entertainer, with a duo, or in front of the Eric Hughes Band. Hughes was recently awarded a Muddy Mojo Award, won “Best Self-Produced CD” by Memphis Blues Society, and recorded the “Coolest Blues Song of 2013” by Big City Blues Magazine.

Eric is joined by his brother Walter on guitar, bassist Leo Goff, and Brian Aylor on drums. Songs from Eric’s four CD releases continue to enjoy regular airplay on blues radio programs throughout the world.

Front Porch Blues Jam hosted by Brotha Ric Patton

1:00pm to 3:00pm

Alabama Bluesman Brotha Ric Patton will host Thursday’s Front Porch Blues Bash Jam to kick off the 5th Annual Front Porch Blues Bash at the DCC Miller Annex.

The jam provides the perfect opportunity for many of King Biscuit’s festival-goers to show off their own talents as musicians.

Everyone interested is invited to participate in the annual free event, sign the participation sheet, and demonstrate their blues skills to their fellow fans during the 2 hour affair.

Little Joe Ayers

1:00pm to 1:45pm

Earl “Little Joe” Ayers is a blues guitarist and singer based in Holly Springs, Mississippi. For over thirty years, he was a member of the Soul Blues Boys, Junior Kimbrough’s long-time backing band.

Ayers toured extensively in the region with Kimbrough and company, but drew the line on playing overseas as he doesn’t care for flying. They made the rounds of the festival circuits in the summertime, and played at house parties and local jukes such as Marshall Scruggs’ in winter. They also frequently performed with members of the Burnside family. “It became almost like a combining thing,“ Ayers recalls. “Whenever they’d have a gig, we’d get one; whenever we’d get a gig, they’d get one.“ In 1991 Ayers played bass behind Kimbrough in Robert Palmer’s documentary Deep Blues; their performance of “All Night Long” was filmed before the release of Kimbrough’s debut album of the same name on Fat Possum Records, which was also produced by Palmer.

In recent years he has made appearances at the North Mississippi Hill Country Picnic in Potts Camp, as well as at Red’s in Clarksdale. He also occasionally sits in with fellow Hill Country blues musicians such as Kenny Brown. Ayers released “Backatchya”, a solo album, on Devil Down Records in September 2011.

Sean McDonald

1:00pm to 1:45pm

Veronika Jackson

1:00pm to 1:45pm

This folk blues artist from Atlanta performs classic songs by Odetta, Nina Simone and Elizabeth Cotton with a reverent velvety voice and plays acoustic guitar. She also does original material rich in its references to the joys and struggles of contemporary life as a blues woman. Inspired by Diamond Teeth Mary, a blues performer at the Florida Folk Festival, Veronika does a version of Elizabeth Cotton’s “Freight Train” that rivals the original.

Altered Five Blues Band

1:10pm to 2:10pm

Both guitarist Jeff Schroedl and vocalist Jeff Taylor laugh at that image. Their band, The Altered Five, creates hard driving electric blues that pays homage to the music’s colorful past while referencing contemporary life. It’s a balancing act. Taylor’s day job is Principal of a school in Wisconsin.  Schroedl’s day job is being executive vice president of Hal Leonard Corporation, the world’s largest creator of music publications and music education materials. Schroedl writes most of the lyrics and Taylor is credited with co-writing the songs sometimes along with the rest of the band. He has a rich baritone voice brimming with bragadocio in the tradition of Muddy Waters and Bo Diddley and can pull off lines about being a wanted man with a double-barreled chest and a ring tattoo who is “Charmed and Dangerous” and wants to be “your bad boy.” Schroedl’s guitar has a B.B. King tone, is a bit busier than Luther Allison, but nicely propels the songs.

Cedric Burnside Band

1:10pm to 2:15pm

Noted music journalist Ted Drozdowski called him “The Lion of Mississippi Hill Country guitar.” The grandson of Hill Country patriarch R. L. Burnside, his album Benton County Relic was nominated for this year’s Best Traditional Blues Grammy, and he took home a Blues Music Award for best drummer four years in a row. Often mentioned in the same breath as The North Mississippi Allstars with whom he’s played, he is bringing the hill country sound into a contemporary context.

Kenny “Beedy Eyes” Smith, Bob Margolin & Bob Stroger

1:10pm to 2:15pm

This act is as close as we’ll ever get to capturing the treasure of a Muddy Waters performance in Muddy’s heyday. Bob on lead guitar, Kenny on drums and Bob on bass each has an up close and intimate tie to the heritage of Muddy Waters’ Chicago blues royalty extending back to the ’50s and ’60s. Each walks the tightrope between that electric legacy sound that changed American popular music for the next 60 years and today’s contemporary blues. Living history performed with consummate style.

Bill "Howl-N-Madd" Perry

2:00pm to 2:45pm

Bill “Howl-n-Madd” Perry is the delta blues musician who’s incredible story find him rubbing shoulders and playing behind Little Richard, J.J Taylor, & Little Milton, working as a session musician on Chess Records, honored with a blues trail marker, and being an integral part of the blues for decades. The latest from Perry, The Clarksdale Sessions, finds the singer exploring his depths while keeping a familiar feel to his trademark sound.

“Saturday Night” is a righteous cross between jump blues and a rock n roll throwback –all around a lot of fun to listen to. The combination of Mandolin and harmonica on “Oh what a Feeling” make the track a valuable & powerful addition to the album. Several of the tracks are staunchly traditional blues. “Delta Woman”, which Perry performed live at the recent celebrated Blessissippi Crossroads Concert, is a great little number about, what else?! A number of tracks are deftly enhanced by a horn presence, which graces the album with a soulful feeling.

Overall, The Clarksdale Sessions are both a representation of Perry’s well-known live energy, and a further exploration of the depth of the artist’s abilities. Two standout tracks are a pair of brilliantly picked covers, “Reason to Believe”, made famous by Rod Stewart, and “Over the Rainbow”, which was a fitting choice for Perry’s unique vocals and personality, accented by a beautiful piano backing. “Believe”, with it’s pronounced horn, B3, and backing vocals, is the perfect fit for Perry’s  endearing, gravelly voice. The album was recorded in the heart of downtown Clarksdale at Clarksdale Soundstage Recording Studio, which is owned by Gary Vincent, who also produced Sessions and contributed to several tracks. Perry’s band is a family affair, with his daughter, Sharo Perry and son, Bill Perry, Jr. contributing on vocals and piano!

Clarence Davis with Jock Webb

2:00pm to 2:45pm

This duo is a perfect combination of some good ole juke joint Delta Blues. You will never experience a harmonic player like Jock Webb again! MORE INFO

Jimmy "Duck" Holmes

2:00pm to 2:45pm

Bentonia, MS: home to the legendary Skip James, famous for his falsetto vocals and his mastery of a rare blues guitar style that has become known as the “Bentonia style”.

The origin of the style goes back to a chance meeting between Bentonian Henry Stuckey and black Bahamian soldiers in France during World War I. Stuckey learned an odd E-minor guitar tuning from the Bahamians and when he returned home taught it to his brother Jacob and to Skip James and the younger Jack Owens.

As these musicians traded ideas in the semi-isolated area of Bentonia, James and Owens perfected the style by adding dark, introspective lyrics. With his overwhelming personality coming through his recordings, James created a haunting and unique sound that continues to influence blues and folk music today. Though James died in 1969 and Owens in 1997, this local style is preserved in the playing of Duck Holmes.

While Duck comes from a much younger generation, it seems he was destined to soak up the sounds and feel of the Bentonia style whether he was trying to or not. Born Jimmy Charles Holmes on July 28, 1947, Duck grew up two houses down from Henry and Jacob Stuckey. In 1948, his mother and father opened the Blue Front Café where they served cold drinks and offered live music. This music was often provided by the Stuckeys or Jack Owens and harmonica player Bud Spires.

When Duck took over the Blue Front in 1970, he began arranging for Jack and Bud to play more regularly at the café. With the encouragement of Jack, Duck began honing his skills and has emerged as one of, if not the only living practitioners of the Bentonia style.

And you can still hear it played today at The Blue Front Café.

Jontavious Willis

2:00pm to 2:45pm

Finger-picker, flat-picker, slide player, and plays harmonica, banjo and cigar box? Soon into his career, Quon was playing on Taj Mahal’s stage. Currently he is finishing his studies at Columbus State University, majoring in sociology. But on most week-ends you can find him playing a small house show, up on the main stage or posting music videos for his friends and fans around the world.

Wampus Cats

2:10pm to 2:45pm

The Wampus Cats is a blues and R&B band started in 1978 by keyboardist Robert “Nighthawk” Tooms. They have played on Beale Street since 1984 and have traveled the world bringing Memphis Music to all.

Greg Martinez

2:30pm to 3:40pm

Gregg “Mac Daddy” Martinez—is Louisiana’s premier Blues/R&B/Swamp Pop artist and a member of the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame. His blend of blues, R&B and swamp pop music he describes as “bayou blues and Creole soul.” Gregg was born and raised and still lives in the Cajun country of south Louisiana.

Sterling Billingsley Band

2:35pm to 3:40pm

A Helena, Arkansas native, Sterling was born into the blues, is a walking encyclopedia of the genre, and a talented guitarist who loves to showcase others in his band. He also happens to be President of The Sonny Boy Blues Society and Music Chairman of The King Biscuit Blues Festival. He does not consider it hyperbole when he calls the Biscuit The Holy Grail of blues festivals.

The Cate Brothers

2:35pm to 3:40pm

Beloved Arkansas natives, these twin brothers have careers that thread through involvement with Ronnie Hawkins, Levon Helm, and The Band since the late ’50s. Their self-titled debut album in 1976 was produced by 2018’s Biscuit headliner Steve Cropper, Levon Helm, and yielded their biggest hit “Union Man.” Fiercely independent, and keepers of hickory-stoked sound that defines The Band and Arkansas. They are frequent Biscuit performers.

Akeem Kemp

3:00pm to 3:45pm

Akeem Kemp is a natural prodigy who is a singer, guitarist, and songwriter from Arkansas.  He grew up performing in a gospel quartet, but branched out as a blues solo artist releasing his first album, “I Like It All,” followed by his second album, “A Woman Needs Love,” right after high school.  Influenced by Albert King’s string bending and soulful, smoky vocals as well as Jimi Hendrix’s overdriven amplifiers with high volume and gain, Akeem has managed to create his own style and unique tone.  Through the inspiration of life experiences, he uses his music to connect with all walks of life.  Akeem is on a journey to create memories, conceive feelings, and communicate lyrics people may feel they cannot say any other way except through music.

Blind Boy Paxton

3:00pm to 3:45pm

[caption id="attachment_867" align="alignleft" width="300"] Jerron “Blind Boy” Paxton performs at the 2013 Blues and BBQ Festival in New Orleans, LA.[/caption]

Still in his 20s, Jerron “Blind Boy” Paxton sings and plays banjo, guitar, piano, fiddle, harmonica, Cajun accordion, and the bones (percussion). Paxton has an eerie ability to transform traditional jazz, blues, folk, and country into the here and now, and make it real. In addition, he mesmerizes audiences with his humor and storytelling. He’s a world-class talent and a uniquely colorful character that has been on the cover of Living Blues Magazine and the Village Voice, and has been interviewed on FOX News. Paxton’s sound is influenced by the likes of Fats Waller and “Blind” Lemon Jefferson. According to Will Friedwald in the Wall Street Journal, Paxton is “virtually the only music-maker of his generation—play-ing guitar, banjo, piano and violin, among other implements—to fully assimilate the blues idiom of the 1920s and ‘30s.”

CW Gatlin Band

3:00pm to 3:45pm

CW Gatlin is an Arkansas Delta native and a regular at the Biscuit. A lifelong friend of Levon Helm, he’s also performed with The Band, appearing on their 1993 Jericho album. Like The Band, his music has elements of rock, country and he’s a member of The Rockabilly Hall of Fame. In his long career he has performed with Mack Self, W.S. Holland of Johnny Cash’s band The Tennessee Three, Robert Nighthawk, Ace Cannon, Paul Burlison, Frank Frost and Sam Carr of The Jelly Roll Kings.

Delta Legends

3:00pm to 3:50pm

Fillmore Slim

3:00pm to 3:45pm

“She may have played with James Brown, B.B. King and Otis Redding back in the day, but Beverly ‘Guitar’ Watkins of the Music Maker Relief Foundation has a style and legacy all her own,” writes Great Big Story. “At 76, she’s still the queen of blues guitar.”

Watkins, who has had a long and continuous musical career, got her start in the late Fifties playing with Piano Red in the Atlanta area. Although she was well known for years within the blues community, like many roots musicians, she found it difficult to crack the airwaves or get noticed by the masses—until the advent of the Internet. In the Nineties, she was re-discovered by Music Maker Relief Foundation founder Tim Duffy, who started booking her in package shows.

In 1998, she was part of the Women of the Blues “Hot Mamas” tour with Koko Taylor and Rory Block.

Her 1999 CD debut, Back in Business, earned a W. C. Handy Award nomination in 2000.

Frank “Guitar” Rimmer Band with Cadillac John

3:00pm to 3:45pm

There is a blues marker in front of the shotgun house where he grew up in Grenada, Mississippi, and he performed at the blues marker unveiling at Holy Ridge. His influences range from the deepest traditional blues to disco, funk, hip-hop, and southern soul.  Frank recorded many songs with Bill Howl-n-Madd Perry and Shy Perry, The New School Blues’ Narvel Echols, Frank and Bill Perry and played in many gospel groups including The Spirit of Grenada, The Gospel Tones of Water Valley, and The Smith Brothers of Holcomb, Ms. He describes himself as “representing the current state of Blues in the hills and valleys in Grenada, Mississippi.

Andy T with Alabama Mike

4:00pm to 5:10pm

Andy Talamantez spent 23 years in the aerospace industry before becoming a fulltime blues guitarist, first with Nick Nixon, a veteran Nashville blues singer whose background included jamming with a young Jimi Hendrix. When Nixon retired in 2016, Andy T. teamed with Alabama Mike releasing his fourth album Double Strike co-produced with Anson Funderburgh, the only artist to have appeared at all the King Biscuit Blues Festivals. Both Nixon and Alabama Mike handled vocals reminiscent of Sam Myers, Funderburgh’s late vocalist. Andy T.’s early influence was Eric Clapton, but he honed his style playing with Smokey Wilson and Guitar Shorty in the late ’90s.

BB Queen Band

4:00pm to 4:45pm

America’s B.B. Queen CAN play the blues! There are others who lay claim to this name, but no one else but OUR B.B. Queen can deliver the goods. BB is a Detroit native now in Nashville. She started her music career at the young age of five years old; playing her clarinet and entertaining at juke joints with her younger sister and father. She picked up the guitar at thirteen years of age after watching B.B. King and Jimi Hendrix perform on television. She was able to watch the fingers glide, like a time frame within time. It was destiny for B.B. Queen. She was born to play the blues.

The legendary Koko Taylor had been a mentor to BB and they co-wrote a song together on B.B. Queen’s Album, “Everybody’s Favorite”(Qualified and Able) of the same title as the album.  Koko Taylor performs with BB putting her signature vocal style on a song entitled;  “Nowhere Road” on this same album. Her current album is entitled, ” I Can Play Da Blues”  B.B. Queen has won a Tennessee Rhythm and Blues Award 2014 and a Midwest Video Nomination 2014; Category: best video blues from the” I Can Play Da Blues” CD  for the crowd pleasing song, “Wobble Wiggle.” B.B. Queen is currently working on a new album co-writing with award winning songwriter/ producer Marshall McQueen in a collaborative effort with Rowe Entertainment in LA.

There are some great things going on for our favorite female guitarist/vocalist/entertainer. Such as: ” The Lady Fingerz Project.”  According to B.B. Queen, “the Lady Fingerz Project’s mission is mainly to draw attention to the fact that I (we) women guitarists are not just novelty items to make the band look good….we are serious and capable players. We sell tickets and are and can be headliners. The Lady Fingerz Project wants to increase the visibility of women guitarists in the music industry. The Lady Fingerz Project will be used as a vehicle to increase our visibility such as Lady Fingerz Concerts, Guitar Retreats, recording opportunities and so much more.”

Chris O’Leary Band

4:00pm to 5:10pm

Chris was singer and front man for Levon Helm’s Barnburners for six years. His latest album 7 Minutes Late is getting airplay on Sirius/XM. He’s recorded with Hubert Sumlin and appeared on stage with James Cotton, the Fabulous Thunderbirds and Dan Akroyd. He’s a hoot!

Jesse Cotton Stone

4:00pm to 4:45pm

Jesse Cotton Stone weaves together the stylistic threads of definitive regional styles of the Blues ranging from Pre-War Acoustic Delta Blues, Electric Juke Joint Boogie, North Mississippi Hill Country, and Cotton Patch Soul Blues to the Urban Chicago Blues Roots of Soul-Funk and Psychedelic Rock, bringing his listeners through the doors of a Heart-Wrenching Boutique of Vintage-Toned American Blues Music with relentless showmanship  of a True Entertainer.

Jesse Cotton Stone creates a comprehensive scope of the Original American Music, not only by playing his role in keeping the traditions of Blues music alive, but also by contributing to the evolution of this Storytelling Tradition with his own Original Flavor of what he calls “HELLCOUNTRY” and “Electric-Cotton Soul” Blues.

Keith Johnson

4:00pm to 4:45pm

With her powerful voice and dynamic stage presence, Miz Renae a.k.a. Renee Smith has camed the nickname “Queen of St. Louis Soul” on both sides of the Mississippi. Bom in St. Louis and raised in East St. Louis, Renco began singing at age 12 in the Mounit Zion Missionary Baptist Church where she is currently the lead vocalist for the Voices of Zion.

Renee has opened shows for national recording artists including Aretha Franklin, Jerry Butler, Little Milton, Bobby “Blue” Bland and Shirley Brown. She has performed at the Apollo Theater in New York City, and on ABC.TV’s Good Morning America. Renee was also nominated in the “Best R&B” category of the Riverfront Times Music Awards in 2003 and 2004.

As a three time cancer survivor, Renee Smith is a passionate activist in the fight against cancer, and is an active participant in the Annual East Saint Louis Relay for Life and the Susan B. Komen Race for the Cure.

Mr. Sipp "The Mississippi Blues Child"

4:00pm to 4:45pm

Mr. Sipp spent 22 years in the gospel music business as a recording artist and a producer of more than 50 recordings.  In 2013, he jumped into blues making a big splash at The Blues Foundation’s International Blues Challenge with his dynamic and energetic stage presence and a guitar sound marked by its B. B. King-like tone. He wears black framed glasses taped at the nose. He told blues journalist Don Wilcock he did that help his daughter who was being teased in school about her glasses. “I’ll tell you what I’m gonna do. I’m gonna buy some frames just like yours. I’m gonna pop the lenses out, and I’m gonna put tape in the middle and make it cool.” He’s still defining colon his new album Back to the Roots with his group The True Believers.

Phillip Stackhouse Band

4:00pm to 4:45pm

His soulful sax backed by his tight band have been perennial favorites at the Biscuit. He is the grandson of Houston Stackhouse who was one of the King Biscuit Boys on King Biscuit Time radio show from 1946 into the ’60s. The third generation of Stackhouses to call Helena home, Phillip carries on a family tradition of blues artists who’ve played with Delta royalty from Sonny Boy Williamson and Pinetop Perkins to Robert Nighthawk.

Phillips County Quartet Choir

4:00pm to 4:25pm

Reba Russell

4:00pm to 5:10pm

Reba’s “Heaven Came to Helena” has become the festival’s unofficial signature song. Reba was Memphis’ top rocker until Rufus Thomas heard her in a cover band in 1992 and told her, ‘Ya got it! You use it! Do it!’ She’s done background vocals for John Nemeth, Tracy Nelson, Huey Lewis & The News, Jimmy Thackery, and Jim Dickinson. That’s Reba on background vocals for U2 and B.B. King on “When Love Comes to Town” on Rattle & Hum recorded in 1990 at Sun Studios. But it’s the Biscuit that puts the fire in her belly. “Being here made me realize that there’s a lot more to this music stuff than I ever expected, and everybody that plays here can kick ass. So, it was like, yeah, I’m doing this come hell or high water. I don’t care, but until I kinda gave myself over to (realizing) Delta roots music was what was moving me, I was just peddling till then. Memphis is blues, but King Biscuit is the freaking deal. This is it. It’s like are you kidding me?”

Spoonfed Blues ft. Mississippi Spoonman

4:00pm to 4:45pm

Blues journalist Stacy Jeffress has described The Mississippi Spoonman a.k.a Bob Rowell as “a man who can coax more music out of a pair of spoons than she can out of radio.” An annual performer at the Biscuit, he’s lived in Helena for a decade and a half. He told Stacy, “I wanted to listen to blues, I wanted to be where the blues is really from. The real deal’s here. It’s life. I see it. I know what it’s about. Hopefully I can write about it and make it real for somebody.” He’s been in rock bands and heavy metal bands where he’d entertain the other band members by setting his spoons on fie and then play them. He’s still an incendiary performer.

Gospel Wonders

4:30pm to 4:55pm

Brinkley, AR

Brotha Ric Patton & Chicken Bone Reunion

5:00pm to 5:45pm

Ricky L. “Brotha Ric” Patton, Sr. was born in Huntsville, AL, but was raised up in Triana, AL.  He is the grandson of blues and whiskey man, Paper Thomas Patton. In an interview Ric says, “Playing the blues is nothing I found, it found me. I’ve been doing so long, I just do it.  When I play and sing it is like painting pictures with people in it.  I have fun and amuse myself with the pain and sound;  I think it is what folks enjoy about my blues, I play in a colorful way.  Every summer I go down South to the Mississippi Delta and play.  But it doesn’t take the place of that Alabama Front Porch style blues”.

Ric also has a trio band called the “Chickenbone Reunion Band, the band members are Ric, (vocals, guitar, harmonica), Mac Barnes (bass), Kenneth Epps (drums).  Ric mostly play solo and bring along kazoos, a shaker, washboard, hula hoops and ask for help with these instruments from his crowd. “What I do is plain Southern Style Funky Blues” says Ric.

Charles Woods Band

5:00pm to 5:45pm

This Little Rock native began playing the harmonica at the age of eight and electric guitar at 12. He’s played electric guitar with such notable acts as the Staple Singers, Rufus Thomas, Little Johnny Taylor, Fenton Robinson, Larry Totsie Davis, and bass with Freddie King. Although Charles Woods has traveled the world and performed with a number of world-class entertainers, he has remained true to his roots, his heritage, and his hometown of Little Rock where he still entertains to this day and is known to his fans and his musical peers as the “Best Kept Secret in Arkansas.”

Dixie Wonders

5:00pm to 5:20pm

Excelleauxs Blues Band

5:00pm to 5:45pm

Formed this year to perform music from the Excello catalog (Slim Harpo, Lightnin’ Slim, Lonesome Sundown), the group is made up of veteran New Orleans musicians. Wavelength Magazine describes vocalist and harmonica player Ben Maygarden’s music as “blues for crying and blues for dancing… (His) good-humored vocals tell you his lover may have trashed him, but he’s not going to let it keep him from having a good time…” Guitarist and drummer Sam Hogan is the son of swamp boogie man Silas Hogan, one of the last Louisiana artists signed to Excello in 1965. Johnny J and Jack Kolb also play guitar.

Front Porch Youth Jam

5:00pm to 5:45pm

These kids first perform on the Bit-O-Blues stage on Friday. Then later in the day Friday, the youth take on an ultimate jam session for the Delta Cultural Center’s Front Porch Stage Youth Jam.

Kenny "Beedy Eyes" Smith Band

5:00pm to 5:45pm

Kenny “Beedy Eyes” Smith was unquestionably born into blues royalty. He grew up in the same house where Muddy Waters once lived in Chicago, the home of the blues. Throughout his childhood, Kenny was surrounded by Muddy and his friends, which included his own father, Willie “Big Eyes” Smith (1936-2011). These same blues icons helped mold him into the person and drummer he is today and later in life asked him to provide his famous backbeat on some of the largest and most respected stages and recordings in the world. Kenny has played over 7,500 live performances to date and has earned the right to wear that royal blues crown. His father, Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, played drums for the Muddy Waters’ Band in the early 1960’s and then again from 1968 through 1980 and was featured on all of Muddy’s Grammy winning albums. Kenny “Beedy Eyes” Smith, one of the best known living blues drummers today, learned 99% of what he knows about drumming from his father and was also inspired by acclaimed drummers: Odie Payne, Fred Below, Earl Phillips, S. P. Leary, Francis Clay and Art Blakey and many others who paved the way.

Linsey Alexander Band

5:00pm to 5:45pm

This Chicago South Side veteran songwriter, vocalist and guitarist nicknamed “Hoochie Man” is a regular at the Windy City’s Kingston Mines. He won Big City Blues’ “Best Fan Interaction Award” in 2012 and was inducted into the Chicago Blues Hall of Fame in 2014. Respected Chicago blues journalist David Whiteis credits Alexander with “lively improvisational imagination,” “good taste” and “in command of a lyric vividness.”

Kirk Fletcher

5:30pm to 6:35pm

A four-time Blues Music Award nominee, guitarist singer and songwriter Fletcher spent three years with the Fabulous Thunderbirds, played on Kim Wilson’s Grammy-nominated Smokin’ Joint live LP. In 2018, Fletcher recorded a video with Josh Smith and Joe Bonamassa, performing the Albert King track “Crosscut Saw.” Released in October, his third solo LP, Hold On, entered at number 15 in the Billboard Blues Albums chart and has been nominated for a Blues Music Award in the Contemporary Blues Album category.

Minister Rick Burton & 4Ever Grateful

5:30pm to 5:50pm

Southaven, MS

Zac Harmon Band

5:30pm to 6:40pm

Zac wowed the Biscuit in 2015 with his energetic take on Chicago blues.  He’s the son of Mississippi’s first African American pharmacist who counted Muddy Waters among his customers. Zac Harmon is a Renaissance man. He toured with B. B. King, and took voice lessons from Sam Myers. A Singer, songwriter, guitarist, and producer, he’s written songs for artists as disparate as Evelyn “Champagne” King, Freddie Jackson, The Whispers, K-Ci & Jo Jo, and The O’Jays and was a staff writer for Michael Jackson’s publishing company. He’s working on his sixth blues album, co-writing songs with John Hahn, Shemekia Copeland’s manger and principle songwriter.

Anson Funderburg & The Rockets

5:35pm to 6:45pm

There’s a yin and a yang to Anson Funerburgh. His electric guitar burns with Texas fire that Guitar Player Magazine compared to Otis Rush and Magic Sam. But his guitar can also soothe as the subtle support for Delta blues vocalists who have included Sam Myers, Nick Nixon, and Alabama Mike. Anson has that Austin strut, but his Delta creds are highlighted by being the only artist to have played all of Arkansas’ King Biscuit Blues Festivals.

A-1 Gospel Singers

5:50pm to 6:20pm

Little Rock, AR

Fillmore Slim

6:00pm to 7:00pm

Eighty-four-year-old Clarence Sims, aka The West Coast Godfather of The Game, aka The Pope of Pimping is an ex-pimp who estimates in his 1999 documentary American Pimp that in his entire career he had more than 9000 prostitutes working for him. The 14 originals on Fillmore Slim’s 2007 The Legend of Fillmore Slim album profile a character whose music is somewhere between Bo Diddley’s “I’m A Man” braggadocio and Snoop Dogg shout outs. His music is full of colorful references to the kind of scenes Willie Dixon could only imagine. Slim’s lived them. “I got a knock at the door,” he sings on the title cut. “I looked up and there was the man. I was put away for a long time. I paid my dues, and now I play the guitar in my hand.”

Marquise Knox

6:00pm to 7:00pm

Perhaps more than any other artist at this year’s Biscuit there is an anticipatory buzz about this guitar phenom from St. Louis. Veteran blues journalist Jim O’Neil calls him “the whole package. A throwback blues master on the rise. Anybody believe in reincarnation?”  Blues Blast raves that “he’s a modern-day bluesman with old-school temperament and stylings.” His familial blues creds go back several generations, and he’s been mentored by the late GRAMMY-winning Henry James Townsend among many others. His debut album Manchild was nominated for a Blues Music Award for Best New Artist Debut and earned Living Blues’ Best Debut Artist Award and a Blues Music Award nomination for Best Debut Artist. His second album, Here I Am, was recorded at the legendary Blue Heaven Studios in Salina, Kansas.

Mary Lane Band

6:00pm to 6:45pm

At 82, Mary Lane is one of the last legendary blues musicians that made the Great Migration from America’s south. A longtime staple of Chicago’s West Side Blues circuit, singer Mary Lane was born November 23, 1935 in Clarendon, virtually unknown outside of the Chicago Blues faithful.

Michael Burks Memorial Jam

6:00pm to TBD

Robert Finley

6:00pm to 7:00pm

St. Peter Choir

6:00pm to 6:20pm

Tyrannosaurus Chicken

6:00pm to 6:45pm

Smilin’ Bob Lewis & Rachel Ammons call their music Arkansas hill stomp. One journalist called the duo also been described asmadcap sonic alchemists, fusing Delta blues, psychedelia and trance music with reckless enthusiasm.” Officially, their Facebook entry describes the music as delta blues trance freestyle. They’re multi-instrumentalists whose bag of tricks includes guitars in a handful of alternate tunings, harmonicas, cello, and a Theremin. Rachel is a classically trained violinist. Their repertoire is a mixture of original compositions and repurposed folk songs well suited to their slide-guitar work.

Hughes Singers

6:25pm to 6:40pm

Wofford Chapel Choir

6:25pm to 6:45pm

Bishop Carter & Carter Family

6:45pm to 7:05pm

First St. Paul Choir

6:50pm to 7:10pm

Larry McCray

6:55pm to 8:10pm

He’s fire and ice. He may have learned the fire working on the Detroit assembly line, but the ice came from sitting outside the church in Arkansas listening to Sunday gospel. He never went inside. And the fire usually wins out. He’s a blues artist, but he could win a cutting contest with just about any rocker on the arena circuit today. And if you don’t believe me ask Derek Trucks and Dickie Betts of the Allman Brothers, Los Lobos’ David Hidalgo or Jimmy Herring of the Aquarium Rescue Unit and the Grateful Dead. All of them appear on McCray’s 2015 album the Gibson Sessions. That album features numbers by The Rolling Stones, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Bob Seger, and Joe Cocker. Detroit rock certainly has fired McCray’s guitarist’s muse, but his voice is Arkansas born. “That’s the Bible Belt,” he told blues journalist Don Wilcock. “We lived on the corner from a sanctified church, and we would set out on Sunday, me and my brothers, and listen to the gospel music coming out of the church on the corner. And it was quite impressive.” But they never went inside. “By that time, I had my horns coming out. But you know, I’m a pretty moral person. I don’t go to church all the time because I believe church is in your heart.”

Alice Hasen & The Blaze

7:00pm to 7:45pm

Alice Hasen is a professional violinist/fiddler specializing in rock, folk, roots, jazz and classical music. Born in Vermont but residing in Memphis, TN, Alice is the leader of Alice Hasen and the Blaze, a fiddle-powered groove band that primarily plays Alice’s original compositions. Alice’s solo project, Alice Hasen & the Blaze, showcases the versatility of her songwriting and playing.  Her “fiddle-powered groove band” is rooted in the Memphis heritage of funk, rock and jazz but can stray into pop, hip-hop and even reggae territory. Alice plans to explore all of these and more in her debut EP, “Violintro,” which will be recorded in Memphis.

Billy Branch & The Sons of Blues

7:00pm to 8:10pm

Billy Branch is a true Chicago blues legacy. He played harmonica with Willie Dixon for six years and has played on more than 150 different recordings with Johnny Winer, Koko Taylor and Taj Mahal.  He was one of the first to develop a blues in the schools program and has made over 70 international tours. A three-time Grammy nominee, he’s backed by The Sons of The Blues, a band of veterans that includes: bass player Nick Charles (Howlin’ Wolf, B.B. King, Tina Turner, Eddie Shaw, Valerie Wellington and the Rolling Stones), drummer Mose Rutues Jr. with the band 25 years, and pianist Sumito Ariyoshi, aka Ariyo (Otis Rush, Jimmy Rogers, Robert Jr. Lockwood, Eddie Shaw.)

Rev. John Wilkins Band

7:00pm to 7:45pm

Known as the biker preacher in his role as chaplin of the King Riders Motorcycle Club, Wilkins walks the line between the sacred and profane in the tradition of his father the famed bluesman Robert Wilkins, who was himself a bluesman turned preacher and whose song Prodigal Son was covered by the Rolling Stones. Wilkins is preacher for the Hunter’s Chapel in Como, Mississippi, where Hill Country bluesman Fred McDowell and his wife Annie Mae were once members, as well as the late Otha Turner. He fingerpicks in a rural blues style. You Can’t Hurry God is his debut album.

Paul Thorn

7:10pm to 8:20pm

Paul Thorn all but stole the show from B.B. King at King Biscuit in 2010. His 2018 album, Don’t Let The Devil Ride debuted in the Billboard Top 100 the first week of release.  Thorn calls the music on the album dance pole gospel: “If you listen to the music that’s really sexy sounding, it sounds exactly like the music we sang in church when I was growing up. When we’d go visit the black churches, it was raunchy, man. It was spiritual, but it almost had a sexual undertone to it, and that’s what you hear on some of these songs on this record.”  “Every time I play a festival, I don’t want the last slot. You get more people to see you when you go on next to last ’cause when you go on last, they’re gonna be leavin’ on your last song which is a bummer. When you’re playing that last song, and you’re the headliner, you’re watching people walk out as you’re singing. That’s a bummer, man!”

New Haven Choir

7:15pm to 7:35pm

Pastor Austin Hill & Renewed

7:15pm to 7:40pm

Eb Davis (HEADLINER)

7:20pm to 8:30pm

Singer EB Davis has made 19 records of his own and been a guest on many others. Performing at more than 7000 concerts in 60 different countries, but originally from Elaine, Arkansas, he was inducted into the Blues Hall of fame as an official Blues Ambassador to the state. In 2008, he was voted by The Deutsche Rock as the best R&B singer in Europe. In the same year he was invited by The 52-piece Jobst Liebrecht classical orchestra to headline the classical open-air festival in Hellersdorf, Germany. He has appeared in five movies to which he contributed songs to the soundtrack including ‘The Innocent’ with Anthony Hopkins, and his music has been covered by Mick Taylor of the Rolling Stones.

Mr. Sipp “The Mississippi Blues Child” (HEADLINER)

7:20pm to 8:30pm

Mr. Sipp spent 22 years in the gospel music business as a recording artist and a producer of more than 50 recordings.  In 2013, he jumped into blues making a big splash at The Blues Foundation’s International Blues Challenge with his dynamic and energetic stage presence and a guitar sound marked by its B. B. King-like tone. He wears black framed glasses taped at the nose. He told blues journalist Don Wilcock he did that help his daughter who was being teased in school about her glasses. “I’ll tell you what I’m gonna do. I’m gonna buy some frames just like yours. I’m gonna pop the lenses out, and I’m gonna put tape in the middle and make it cool.” He’s still defining colon his new album Back to the Roots with his group The True Believers.

Second Baptist Choir

7:40pm to 8:00pm

Kaiser Singers (HEADLINER)

7:50pm to 8:35pm

Yazoo City, MS

Jimmy Burns Band (HEADLINER)

8:00pm to 9:00pm

He sings “Beast of Burden” on the Chicago Plays The Stones album, but Jimmy Burns is best known for his Chicago blues albums for Delmark Records including his Delmark debut Leaving Here Walking in 1996 which was awarded the ‘Best Blues Record of the Year’ title by the National Association of Independent Record Distributors and received two W.C. Handy Award nominations. His unique and velvety voice, unusual in Chicago blues, may have been influenced by his work in the folk scene in the early 60s. He sang and played guitar at The Fickle Pickle, (booked at that time by Mike Bloomfield), the Gate of Horn, and coffeehouses around town. His band includes Anthony Palmer (guitar), E.G. McDaniel (bass), and James Carter (drums).

Oxford Allstars (HEADLINER)

8:00pm to 9:00pm

The Oxford All-Stars Band from Oxford, MS, play a variety of music-Motown, blues, old school, R&B, and country. They collectively bring years of training and live performances to the table with a variety of styles and genres blended together to form the unique sound the Oxford All-Stars.

Silver Cloud Choir

8:05pm to 8:25pm

G-Hope Choir (HEADLINER)

8:30pm to 9:00pm

Clarksdale, MS

Ruthie Foster (HEADLINER)

8:30pm to TBD

“I’m not just singing the blues, I singing my own story,” says three-time blues GRAMMY nominee Ruthie Foster. And what a story she has to tell. She’s honed her style playing with everyone from The North Mississippi Allstars to The Blind Boys of Alabama, from Warren Haynes to The Funky Meters. She’s just been nominated the Blues Foundation’s Koko Taylor Award for Best Traditional Blues Female Artist of The Year and in February was inducted into the Texas Music Hall of Fame. The AllMusic Guide compares her to Aretha Franklin and Ella Fitzgerald “with a wide palette of American song forms — gospel and blues to jazz, folk, and soul — and her live performances are powerfully transfiguring.” Rolling Stone says she’s “pure magic to watch and hear.” When she played the Biscuit in 2015, she said it felt like home. It’s very warm. It feels like I’m with my people.” Come home again with Ruthie. “It’s my story as a woman that’s grown up with gospel music. It’s really all these different types of genres being raised in Texas.  I look at music as in the beginning it really was a way of kind of a healing for me in a lotta ways.”

Kenny Wayne Shepherd (HEADLINER)

8:40pm to TBD

With eight number one blues albums and a string of number one rock singles, Saturday night headliner Kenny Wayne Shepherd is arguably the most successful blues/rock crossover act since Stevie Ray Vaughan. “It’s been my approach to take blues from the foundation and try to take it elsewhere,” says Shepherd, “because you don’t have rock without blues.” His tenth album, Lay It on Down, debuted at number one on the blues charts. He released his first at age 16, making him a 26-year veteran at age 41. Guitar World called the release “a king-size helping of Shepherd’s trademark roots-rocking fireworks.”

Delbert McClinton (HEADLINER)

8:45pm to TBD

More than half a century into his career, Friday night headliner Delbert McClinton is a transformative live performer. He’s earned two Grammys in the blues category; He taught John Lennon how to play harp; He duets with Bonnie Raitt on “Good Man, Good Woman” which won a Grammy in Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group. “Giving It Up for Your Love” was number 8 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and number 35 Adult Contemporary. His duet with Tanya Tucker went top 5 country. But more important than that, he gives his audience an out of body concert experience.

The son of a railroad switchman and a beautician, McClinton has risen to the kind of iconic respect few roadhouse rockers ever see. Songs like “Giving It Up for Your Love” and his cover of Otis Redding’s “Dreams to Remember” transcend genres like R&B, country and rock. They become his in the same way that Ray Charles puts his imprint on numbers like “What’d I Say.” Nobody ever asks who wrote “What’d I Say.” Nor do they worry about whether it’s blues, jazz or R&B.

He told music journalist Don Wilcock, “When you get it right, for a few minutes you have your hand on the pulse of this invisible thing. If you can get that six minutes out of two hours (you’re on stage), it’s all worthwhile. It keeps you coming back if nothing else because you can’t get it anywhere else. And I want it all the time.”

Saturday, October 12th

Six String Andrew

9:00am to 9:30am

Andrew Sullivan met his music teacher at an Alice Cooper concert when he was six. By the time he was 11 he’d shared the stage with Cheap Trick, performed with Blues Oyster Cult and Gary Hoey and player the Biscuit. He plays keyboards, drums and trumpet, but guitar is his favorite. “They all have different tones, and they’re fun to play, and it’s fun to have a lot ’cause I can experiment with different sounds.”

Grace Kuch

9:45am to 10:15am

This 16-year-old guitarist was named Youth Performer of The Year in 2018 and 2017 by the Colorado Blues Society in their Member’s Choice Awards. She’s played the Biscuit as well as Blues Foundation’s International Blues Challenge, The Big Blues Bender and The Greeley Blues Jam. She satin with The North Mississippi Allstars in 2016.

D.R. Diamond & Birthright Blues Project

10:30am to 11:00am

The Biscuit welcomes this family band from Sulphur Springs which plays Texas blues. Singer and guitarist “Diamond” Jack Holdsworth has recruited the whole family into the act, with wife Elan on bass, daughter Dani at the drums, and son DR showing talent beyond his years on vocals and guitar. They list their influences as Stevie Ray Vaughn, Albert King, Howlin’ Wolf, BB King, Freddie King, Jimmy Vaughn, Buddy Guy, Hubert Sumlin, Son House, Muddy Waters, Lightnin Hopkins, Sam Carr, Jack Johnson, Frank Frost, and Pinetop Perkins.

Jamiah “Blues Superman” Rogers Band (HEADLINER)

11:15am to 12:00pm

According to Blues Blast Magazine, “he’s one part soul crooner (as on the title track), one part guitar hero (as on ‘Blues Mama’ and ‘Gone Too Long’) and one part dance-track master (as on ‘Bourbon Street Bounce’).” Jamiah grew up in a household of musicians. The first hands-on experience with music came at the age of three. Jamiah’s father and guitarist, Tony Rogers, had a band that rehearsed every now and then in the basement of [their] home. On ten of his original songs, he brings out the best of his blues abilities and those of his co-musicians.

Mighty Souls Brass Band - 11:15 procession begins at Courtyard Square

11:15am to TBD

A collective of professional, multi-talented composers and players with funk, marching and swing band influences. They promise tight, polished work of Motown’s session horns; the gritty, dirty inflections of New Orleans’ funky Meters; and the slippery R&B of Booker T. and the M.G.’s. The invention of Tuba player and composer Sean Murphy, this Memphis band together for two decades provides a uniquely Memphis spin on a tradition that’s as global in its scope as it is root-deep in American popular music.

Big George Brock

12:00pm to 12:55pm

He told blues journalist Don Wilcock he saw Muddy Waters dive into the Mississippi the day he broke away from the plantation. One of his albums Heavyweight is aptly named. Big George once sparred with boxer Sonny Liston who hit him so hard he can still feel the headache today. And when England’s Blues & Rhythm magazine called him “the real deal,” it wasn’t hyperbole. And when Buddy Guy says he’s the last of the old guard, he’s forgetting Big George Brock.

Libby Rae Watson

12:00pm to 12:45pm

Libby Rae Watson grew up in Pascagoula, Mississippi a few blocks from the Gulf of Mexico. She became captivated by Blues music when in her teens after stumbling across a songbook in a local music store. It was full of songs and photos of Blues greats! Son House, Mississippi John Hurt, Elizabeth Cotten…. legends of the early Blues. It was the beginning of a life long infatuation of the music, the people who made it, and the culture of her own State. She later searched for and became friends with several Blues musicians. She was mentored by the great Sam Chatmon who was the last surviving member of the Mississippi Sheiks.   “I didn’t plan to go ‘find’ the Blues. The Blues found me. I’ve been consumed by it for over 40 years! Like Sam Chatmon said, “ The Blues is my daily occupation!”

Marcus “Mookie” Cartwright

12:00pm to 12:55pm

Blues renaissance man Roger Stolle describes the Arkansas bluesman as “an impassioned guitarist and singer. He is also one of a small-but-mighty group of young African-American blues players keeping the music alive in the land where it was born. Cartwright told Living Blues, “My momma made sure I finished high school, but when the money started coming in I started playing professionally at age 14 and I kept going with it. Somehow everybody likes me. I don’t know why.”

SBBS IBC Bands Winner (band) - Fonky Donkey

12:00pm to 12:50pm

SBBS IBC Bands Winner (solo) - Logan Ramp

12:00pm to 12:45pm

Diamond Jack Blues Band

1:00pm to 1:45pm

Eric Hughes

1:00pm to 1:45pm

Eric Hughes has been called a “guaranteed crowd-pleaser” by Living Blues Magazine; his enthusiasm for Memphis music, and his authenticity, are obvious.

Hughes was born and raised in Memphis and spent his weekends in Mississippi, where he came to cherish blues music. After a couple of years at Mississippi College, Hughes joined the Marines, and found himself stationed far from home. Hughes bought a guitar, hoping that learning some blues might ease his homesickness. That guitar did more than that. A decade of learning followed, traveling and learning from various bluesmen. Eric first began performing in the clubs on Beale Street in 2001, where he continues to play several nights a week as a solo entertainer, with a duo, or in front of the Eric Hughes Band. Hughes was recently awarded a Muddy Mojo Award, won “Best Self-Produced CD” by Memphis Blues Society, and recorded the “Coolest Blues Song of 2013” by Big City Blues Magazine.

Eric is joined by his brother Walter on guitar, bassist Leo Goff, and Brian Aylor on drums. Songs from Eric’s four CD releases continue to enjoy regular airplay on blues radio programs throughout the world.

Front Porch Blues Jam hosted by Brotha Ric Patton

1:00pm to 3:00pm

Alabama Bluesman Brotha Ric Patton will host Thursday’s Front Porch Blues Bash Jam to kick off the 5th Annual Front Porch Blues Bash at the DCC Miller Annex.

The jam provides the perfect opportunity for many of King Biscuit’s festival-goers to show off their own talents as musicians.

Everyone interested is invited to participate in the annual free event, sign the participation sheet, and demonstrate their blues skills to their fellow fans during the 2 hour affair.

Little Joe Ayers

1:00pm to 1:45pm

Earl “Little Joe” Ayers is a blues guitarist and singer based in Holly Springs, Mississippi. For over thirty years, he was a member of the Soul Blues Boys, Junior Kimbrough’s long-time backing band.

Ayers toured extensively in the region with Kimbrough and company, but drew the line on playing overseas as he doesn’t care for flying. They made the rounds of the festival circuits in the summertime, and played at house parties and local jukes such as Marshall Scruggs’ in winter. They also frequently performed with members of the Burnside family. “It became almost like a combining thing,“ Ayers recalls. “Whenever they’d have a gig, we’d get one; whenever we’d get a gig, they’d get one.“ In 1991 Ayers played bass behind Kimbrough in Robert Palmer’s documentary Deep Blues; their performance of “All Night Long” was filmed before the release of Kimbrough’s debut album of the same name on Fat Possum Records, which was also produced by Palmer.

In recent years he has made appearances at the North Mississippi Hill Country Picnic in Potts Camp, as well as at Red’s in Clarksdale. He also occasionally sits in with fellow Hill Country blues musicians such as Kenny Brown. Ayers released “Backatchya”, a solo album, on Devil Down Records in September 2011.

Sean McDonald

1:00pm to 1:45pm

Veronika Jackson

1:00pm to 1:45pm

This folk blues artist from Atlanta performs classic songs by Odetta, Nina Simone and Elizabeth Cotton with a reverent velvety voice and plays acoustic guitar. She also does original material rich in its references to the joys and struggles of contemporary life as a blues woman. Inspired by Diamond Teeth Mary, a blues performer at the Florida Folk Festival, Veronika does a version of Elizabeth Cotton’s “Freight Train” that rivals the original.

Altered Five Blues Band

1:10pm to 2:10pm

Both guitarist Jeff Schroedl and vocalist Jeff Taylor laugh at that image. Their band, The Altered Five, creates hard driving electric blues that pays homage to the music’s colorful past while referencing contemporary life. It’s a balancing act. Taylor’s day job is Principal of a school in Wisconsin.  Schroedl’s day job is being executive vice president of Hal Leonard Corporation, the world’s largest creator of music publications and music education materials. Schroedl writes most of the lyrics and Taylor is credited with co-writing the songs sometimes along with the rest of the band. He has a rich baritone voice brimming with bragadocio in the tradition of Muddy Waters and Bo Diddley and can pull off lines about being a wanted man with a double-barreled chest and a ring tattoo who is “Charmed and Dangerous” and wants to be “your bad boy.” Schroedl’s guitar has a B.B. King tone, is a bit busier than Luther Allison, but nicely propels the songs.

Cedric Burnside Band

1:10pm to 2:15pm

Noted music journalist Ted Drozdowski called him “The Lion of Mississippi Hill Country guitar.” The grandson of Hill Country patriarch R. L. Burnside, his album Benton County Relic was nominated for this year’s Best Traditional Blues Grammy, and he took home a Blues Music Award for best drummer four years in a row. Often mentioned in the same breath as The North Mississippi Allstars with whom he’s played, he is bringing the hill country sound into a contemporary context.

Kenny “Beedy Eyes” Smith, Bob Margolin & Bob Stroger

1:10pm to 2:15pm

This act is as close as we’ll ever get to capturing the treasure of a Muddy Waters performance in Muddy’s heyday. Bob on lead guitar, Kenny on drums and Bob on bass each has an up close and intimate tie to the heritage of Muddy Waters’ Chicago blues royalty extending back to the ’50s and ’60s. Each walks the tightrope between that electric legacy sound that changed American popular music for the next 60 years and today’s contemporary blues. Living history performed with consummate style.

Bill "Howl-N-Madd" Perry

2:00pm to 2:45pm

Bill “Howl-n-Madd” Perry is the delta blues musician who’s incredible story find him rubbing shoulders and playing behind Little Richard, J.J Taylor, & Little Milton, working as a session musician on Chess Records, honored with a blues trail marker, and being an integral part of the blues for decades. The latest from Perry, The Clarksdale Sessions, finds the singer exploring his depths while keeping a familiar feel to his trademark sound.

“Saturday Night” is a righteous cross between jump blues and a rock n roll throwback –all around a lot of fun to listen to. The combination of Mandolin and harmonica on “Oh what a Feeling” make the track a valuable & powerful addition to the album. Several of the tracks are staunchly traditional blues. “Delta Woman”, which Perry performed live at the recent celebrated Blessissippi Crossroads Concert, is a great little number about, what else?! A number of tracks are deftly enhanced by a horn presence, which graces the album with a soulful feeling.

Overall, The Clarksdale Sessions are both a representation of Perry’s well-known live energy, and a further exploration of the depth of the artist’s abilities. Two standout tracks are a pair of brilliantly picked covers, “Reason to Believe”, made famous by Rod Stewart, and “Over the Rainbow”, which was a fitting choice for Perry’s unique vocals and personality, accented by a beautiful piano backing. “Believe”, with it’s pronounced horn, B3, and backing vocals, is the perfect fit for Perry’s  endearing, gravelly voice. The album was recorded in the heart of downtown Clarksdale at Clarksdale Soundstage Recording Studio, which is owned by Gary Vincent, who also produced Sessions and contributed to several tracks. Perry’s band is a family affair, with his daughter, Sharo Perry and son, Bill Perry, Jr. contributing on vocals and piano!

Clarence Davis with Jock Webb

2:00pm to 2:45pm

This duo is a perfect combination of some good ole juke joint Delta Blues. You will never experience a harmonic player like Jock Webb again! MORE INFO

Jimmy "Duck" Holmes

2:00pm to 2:45pm

Bentonia, MS: home to the legendary Skip James, famous for his falsetto vocals and his mastery of a rare blues guitar style that has become known as the “Bentonia style”.

The origin of the style goes back to a chance meeting between Bentonian Henry Stuckey and black Bahamian soldiers in France during World War I. Stuckey learned an odd E-minor guitar tuning from the Bahamians and when he returned home taught it to his brother Jacob and to Skip James and the younger Jack Owens.

As these musicians traded ideas in the semi-isolated area of Bentonia, James and Owens perfected the style by adding dark, introspective lyrics. With his overwhelming personality coming through his recordings, James created a haunting and unique sound that continues to influence blues and folk music today. Though James died in 1969 and Owens in 1997, this local style is preserved in the playing of Duck Holmes.

While Duck comes from a much younger generation, it seems he was destined to soak up the sounds and feel of the Bentonia style whether he was trying to or not. Born Jimmy Charles Holmes on July 28, 1947, Duck grew up two houses down from Henry and Jacob Stuckey. In 1948, his mother and father opened the Blue Front Café where they served cold drinks and offered live music. This music was often provided by the Stuckeys or Jack Owens and harmonica player Bud Spires.

When Duck took over the Blue Front in 1970, he began arranging for Jack and Bud to play more regularly at the café. With the encouragement of Jack, Duck began honing his skills and has emerged as one of, if not the only living practitioners of the Bentonia style.

And you can still hear it played today at The Blue Front Café.

Jontavious Willis

2:00pm to 2:45pm

Finger-picker, flat-picker, slide player, and plays harmonica, banjo and cigar box? Soon into his career, Quon was playing on Taj Mahal’s stage. Currently he is finishing his studies at Columbus State University, majoring in sociology. But on most week-ends you can find him playing a small house show, up on the main stage or posting music videos for his friends and fans around the world.

Wampus Cats

2:10pm to 2:45pm

The Wampus Cats is a blues and R&B band started in 1978 by keyboardist Robert “Nighthawk” Tooms. They have played on Beale Street since 1984 and have traveled the world bringing Memphis Music to all.

Greg Martinez

2:30pm to 3:40pm

Gregg “Mac Daddy” Martinez—is Louisiana’s premier Blues/R&B/Swamp Pop artist and a member of the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame. His blend of blues, R&B and swamp pop music he describes as “bayou blues and Creole soul.” Gregg was born and raised and still lives in the Cajun country of south Louisiana.

Sterling Billingsley Band

2:35pm to 3:40pm

A Helena, Arkansas native, Sterling was born into the blues, is a walking encyclopedia of the genre, and a talented guitarist who loves to showcase others in his band. He also happens to be President of The Sonny Boy Blues Society and Music Chairman of The King Biscuit Blues Festival. He does not consider it hyperbole when he calls the Biscuit The Holy Grail of blues festivals.

The Cate Brothers

2:35pm to 3:40pm

Beloved Arkansas natives, these twin brothers have careers that thread through involvement with Ronnie Hawkins, Levon Helm, and The Band since the late ’50s. Their self-titled debut album in 1976 was produced by 2018’s Biscuit headliner Steve Cropper, Levon Helm, and yielded their biggest hit “Union Man.” Fiercely independent, and keepers of hickory-stoked sound that defines The Band and Arkansas. They are frequent Biscuit performers.

Akeem Kemp

3:00pm to 3:45pm

Akeem Kemp is a natural prodigy who is a singer, guitarist, and songwriter from Arkansas.  He grew up performing in a gospel quartet, but branched out as a blues solo artist releasing his first album, “I Like It All,” followed by his second album, “A Woman Needs Love,” right after high school.  Influenced by Albert King’s string bending and soulful, smoky vocals as well as Jimi Hendrix’s overdriven amplifiers with high volume and gain, Akeem has managed to create his own style and unique tone.  Through the inspiration of life experiences, he uses his music to connect with all walks of life.  Akeem is on a journey to create memories, conceive feelings, and communicate lyrics people may feel they cannot say any other way except through music.

Blind Boy Paxton

3:00pm to 3:45pm

[caption id="attachment_867" align="alignleft" width="300"] Jerron “Blind Boy” Paxton performs at the 2013 Blues and BBQ Festival in New Orleans, LA.[/caption]

Still in his 20s, Jerron “Blind Boy” Paxton sings and plays banjo, guitar, piano, fiddle, harmonica, Cajun accordion, and the bones (percussion). Paxton has an eerie ability to transform traditional jazz, blues, folk, and country into the here and now, and make it real. In addition, he mesmerizes audiences with his humor and storytelling. He’s a world-class talent and a uniquely colorful character that has been on the cover of Living Blues Magazine and the Village Voice, and has been interviewed on FOX News. Paxton’s sound is influenced by the likes of Fats Waller and “Blind” Lemon Jefferson. According to Will Friedwald in the Wall Street Journal, Paxton is “virtually the only music-maker of his generation—play-ing guitar, banjo, piano and violin, among other implements—to fully assimilate the blues idiom of the 1920s and ‘30s.”

CW Gatlin Band

3:00pm to 3:45pm

CW Gatlin is an Arkansas Delta native and a regular at the Biscuit. A lifelong friend of Levon Helm, he’s also performed with The Band, appearing on their 1993 Jericho album. Like The Band, his music has elements of rock, country and he’s a member of The Rockabilly Hall of Fame. In his long career he has performed with Mack Self, W.S. Holland of Johnny Cash’s band The Tennessee Three, Robert Nighthawk, Ace Cannon, Paul Burlison, Frank Frost and Sam Carr of The Jelly Roll Kings.

Delta Legends

3:00pm to 3:50pm

Fillmore Slim

3:00pm to 3:45pm

“She may have played with James Brown, B.B. King and Otis Redding back in the day, but Beverly ‘Guitar’ Watkins of the Music Maker Relief Foundation has a style and legacy all her own,” writes Great Big Story. “At 76, she’s still the queen of blues guitar.”

Watkins, who has had a long and continuous musical career, got her start in the late Fifties playing with Piano Red in the Atlanta area. Although she was well known for years within the blues community, like many roots musicians, she found it difficult to crack the airwaves or get noticed by the masses—until the advent of the Internet. In the Nineties, she was re-discovered by Music Maker Relief Foundation founder Tim Duffy, who started booking her in package shows.

In 1998, she was part of the Women of the Blues “Hot Mamas” tour with Koko Taylor and Rory Block.

Her 1999 CD debut, Back in Business, earned a W. C. Handy Award nomination in 2000.

Frank “Guitar” Rimmer Band with Cadillac John

3:00pm to 3:45pm

There is a blues marker in front of the shotgun house where he grew up in Grenada, Mississippi, and he performed at the blues marker unveiling at Holy Ridge. His influences range from the deepest traditional blues to disco, funk, hip-hop, and southern soul.  Frank recorded many songs with Bill Howl-n-Madd Perry and Shy Perry, The New School Blues’ Narvel Echols, Frank and Bill Perry and played in many gospel groups including The Spirit of Grenada, The Gospel Tones of Water Valley, and The Smith Brothers of Holcomb, Ms. He describes himself as “representing the current state of Blues in the hills and valleys in Grenada, Mississippi.

Andy T with Alabama Mike

4:00pm to 5:10pm

Andy Talamantez spent 23 years in the aerospace industry before becoming a fulltime blues guitarist, first with Nick Nixon, a veteran Nashville blues singer whose background included jamming with a young Jimi Hendrix. When Nixon retired in 2016, Andy T. teamed with Alabama Mike releasing his fourth album Double Strike co-produced with Anson Funderburgh, the only artist to have appeared at all the King Biscuit Blues Festivals. Both Nixon and Alabama Mike handled vocals reminiscent of Sam Myers, Funderburgh’s late vocalist. Andy T.’s early influence was Eric Clapton, but he honed his style playing with Smokey Wilson and Guitar Shorty in the late ’90s.

BB Queen Band

4:00pm to 4:45pm

America’s B.B. Queen CAN play the blues! There are others who lay claim to this name, but no one else but OUR B.B. Queen can deliver the goods. BB is a Detroit native now in Nashville. She started her music career at the young age of five years old; playing her clarinet and entertaining at juke joints with her younger sister and father. She picked up the guitar at thirteen years of age after watching B.B. King and Jimi Hendrix perform on television. She was able to watch the fingers glide, like a time frame within time. It was destiny for B.B. Queen. She was born to play the blues.

The legendary Koko Taylor had been a mentor to BB and they co-wrote a song together on B.B. Queen’s Album, “Everybody’s Favorite”(Qualified and Able) of the same title as the album.  Koko Taylor performs with BB putting her signature vocal style on a song entitled;  “Nowhere Road” on this same album. Her current album is entitled, ” I Can Play Da Blues”  B.B. Queen has won a Tennessee Rhythm and Blues Award 2014 and a Midwest Video Nomination 2014; Category: best video blues from the” I Can Play Da Blues” CD  for the crowd pleasing song, “Wobble Wiggle.” B.B. Queen is currently working on a new album co-writing with award winning songwriter/ producer Marshall McQueen in a collaborative effort with Rowe Entertainment in LA.

There are some great things going on for our favorite female guitarist/vocalist/entertainer. Such as: ” The Lady Fingerz Project.”  According to B.B. Queen, “the Lady Fingerz Project’s mission is mainly to draw attention to the fact that I (we) women guitarists are not just novelty items to make the band look good….we are serious and capable players. We sell tickets and are and can be headliners. The Lady Fingerz Project wants to increase the visibility of women guitarists in the music industry. The Lady Fingerz Project will be used as a vehicle to increase our visibility such as Lady Fingerz Concerts, Guitar Retreats, recording opportunities and so much more.”

Chris O’Leary Band

4:00pm to 5:10pm

Chris was singer and front man for Levon Helm’s Barnburners for six years. His latest album 7 Minutes Late is getting airplay on Sirius/XM. He’s recorded with Hubert Sumlin and appeared on stage with James Cotton, the Fabulous Thunderbirds and Dan Akroyd. He’s a hoot!

Jesse Cotton Stone

4:00pm to 4:45pm

Jesse Cotton Stone weaves together the stylistic threads of definitive regional styles of the Blues ranging from Pre-War Acoustic Delta Blues, Electric Juke Joint Boogie, North Mississippi Hill Country, and Cotton Patch Soul Blues to the Urban Chicago Blues Roots of Soul-Funk and Psychedelic Rock, bringing his listeners through the doors of a Heart-Wrenching Boutique of Vintage-Toned American Blues Music with relentless showmanship  of a True Entertainer.

Jesse Cotton Stone creates a comprehensive scope of the Original American Music, not only by playing his role in keeping the traditions of Blues music alive, but also by contributing to the evolution of this Storytelling Tradition with his own Original Flavor of what he calls “HELLCOUNTRY” and “Electric-Cotton Soul” Blues.

Keith Johnson

4:00pm to 4:45pm

With her powerful voice and dynamic stage presence, Miz Renae a.k.a. Renee Smith has camed the nickname “Queen of St. Louis Soul” on both sides of the Mississippi. Bom in St. Louis and raised in East St. Louis, Renco began singing at age 12 in the Mounit Zion Missionary Baptist Church where she is currently the lead vocalist for the Voices of Zion.

Renee has opened shows for national recording artists including Aretha Franklin, Jerry Butler, Little Milton, Bobby “Blue” Bland and Shirley Brown. She has performed at the Apollo Theater in New York City, and on ABC.TV’s Good Morning America. Renee was also nominated in the “Best R&B” category of the Riverfront Times Music Awards in 2003 and 2004.

As a three time cancer survivor, Renee Smith is a passionate activist in the fight against cancer, and is an active participant in the Annual East Saint Louis Relay for Life and the Susan B. Komen Race for the Cure.

Mr. Sipp "The Mississippi Blues Child"

4:00pm to 4:45pm

Mr. Sipp spent 22 years in the gospel music business as a recording artist and a producer of more than 50 recordings.  In 2013, he jumped into blues making a big splash at The Blues Foundation’s International Blues Challenge with his dynamic and energetic stage presence and a guitar sound marked by its B. B. King-like tone. He wears black framed glasses taped at the nose. He told blues journalist Don Wilcock he did that help his daughter who was being teased in school about her glasses. “I’ll tell you what I’m gonna do. I’m gonna buy some frames just like yours. I’m gonna pop the lenses out, and I’m gonna put tape in the middle and make it cool.” He’s still defining colon his new album Back to the Roots with his group The True Believers.

Phillip Stackhouse Band

4:00pm to 4:45pm

His soulful sax backed by his tight band have been perennial favorites at the Biscuit. He is the grandson of Houston Stackhouse who was one of the King Biscuit Boys on King Biscuit Time radio show from 1946 into the ’60s. The third generation of Stackhouses to call Helena home, Phillip carries on a family tradition of blues artists who’ve played with Delta royalty from Sonny Boy Williamson and Pinetop Perkins to Robert Nighthawk.

Phillips County Quartet Choir

4:00pm to 4:25pm

Reba Russell

4:00pm to 5:10pm

Reba’s “Heaven Came to Helena” has become the festival’s unofficial signature song. Reba was Memphis’ top rocker until Rufus Thomas heard her in a cover band in 1992 and told her, ‘Ya got it! You use it! Do it!’ She’s done background vocals for John Nemeth, Tracy Nelson, Huey Lewis & The News, Jimmy Thackery, and Jim Dickinson. That’s Reba on background vocals for U2 and B.B. King on “When Love Comes to Town” on Rattle & Hum recorded in 1990 at Sun Studios. But it’s the Biscuit that puts the fire in her belly. “Being here made me realize that there’s a lot more to this music stuff than I ever expected, and everybody that plays here can kick ass. So, it was like, yeah, I’m doing this come hell or high water. I don’t care, but until I kinda gave myself over to (realizing) Delta roots music was what was moving me, I was just peddling till then. Memphis is blues, but King Biscuit is the freaking deal. This is it. It’s like are you kidding me?”

Spoonfed Blues ft. Mississippi Spoonman

4:00pm to 4:45pm

Blues journalist Stacy Jeffress has described The Mississippi Spoonman a.k.a Bob Rowell as “a man who can coax more music out of a pair of spoons than she can out of radio.” An annual performer at the Biscuit, he’s lived in Helena for a decade and a half. He told Stacy, “I wanted to listen to blues, I wanted to be where the blues is really from. The real deal’s here. It’s life. I see it. I know what it’s about. Hopefully I can write about it and make it real for somebody.” He’s been in rock bands and heavy metal bands where he’d entertain the other band members by setting his spoons on fie and then play them. He’s still an incendiary performer.

Gospel Wonders

4:30pm to 4:55pm

Brinkley, AR

Brotha Ric Patton & Chicken Bone Reunion

5:00pm to 5:45pm

Ricky L. “Brotha Ric” Patton, Sr. was born in Huntsville, AL, but was raised up in Triana, AL.  He is the grandson of blues and whiskey man, Paper Thomas Patton. In an interview Ric says, “Playing the blues is nothing I found, it found me. I’ve been doing so long, I just do it.  When I play and sing it is like painting pictures with people in it.  I have fun and amuse myself with the pain and sound;  I think it is what folks enjoy about my blues, I play in a colorful way.  Every summer I go down South to the Mississippi Delta and play.  But it doesn’t take the place of that Alabama Front Porch style blues”.

Ric also has a trio band called the “Chickenbone Reunion Band, the band members are Ric, (vocals, guitar, harmonica), Mac Barnes (bass), Kenneth Epps (drums).  Ric mostly play solo and bring along kazoos, a shaker, washboard, hula hoops and ask for help with these instruments from his crowd. “What I do is plain Southern Style Funky Blues” says Ric.

Charles Woods Band

5:00pm to 5:45pm

This Little Rock native began playing the harmonica at the age of eight and electric guitar at 12. He’s played electric guitar with such notable acts as the Staple Singers, Rufus Thomas, Little Johnny Taylor, Fenton Robinson, Larry Totsie Davis, and bass with Freddie King. Although Charles Woods has traveled the world and performed with a number of world-class entertainers, he has remained true to his roots, his heritage, and his hometown of Little Rock where he still entertains to this day and is known to his fans and his musical peers as the “Best Kept Secret in Arkansas.”

Dixie Wonders

5:00pm to 5:20pm

Excelleauxs Blues Band

5:00pm to 5:45pm

Formed this year to perform music from the Excello catalog (Slim Harpo, Lightnin’ Slim, Lonesome Sundown), the group is made up of veteran New Orleans musicians. Wavelength Magazine describes vocalist and harmonica player Ben Maygarden’s music as “blues for crying and blues for dancing… (His) good-humored vocals tell you his lover may have trashed him, but he’s not going to let it keep him from having a good time…” Guitarist and drummer Sam Hogan is the son of swamp boogie man Silas Hogan, one of the last Louisiana artists signed to Excello in 1965. Johnny J and Jack Kolb also play guitar.

Front Porch Youth Jam

5:00pm to 5:45pm

These kids first perform on the Bit-O-Blues stage on Friday. Then later in the day Friday, the youth take on an ultimate jam session for the Delta Cultural Center’s Front Porch Stage Youth Jam.

Kenny "Beedy Eyes" Smith Band

5:00pm to 5:45pm

Kenny “Beedy Eyes” Smith was unquestionably born into blues royalty. He grew up in the same house where Muddy Waters once lived in Chicago, the home of the blues. Throughout his childhood, Kenny was surrounded by Muddy and his friends, which included his own father, Willie “Big Eyes” Smith (1936-2011). These same blues icons helped mold him into the person and drummer he is today and later in life asked him to provide his famous backbeat on some of the largest and most respected stages and recordings in the world. Kenny has played over 7,500 live performances to date and has earned the right to wear that royal blues crown. His father, Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, played drums for the Muddy Waters’ Band in the early 1960’s and then again from 1968 through 1980 and was featured on all of Muddy’s Grammy winning albums. Kenny “Beedy Eyes” Smith, one of the best known living blues drummers today, learned 99% of what he knows about drumming from his father and was also inspired by acclaimed drummers: Odie Payne, Fred Below, Earl Phillips, S. P. Leary, Francis Clay and Art Blakey and many others who paved the way.

Linsey Alexander Band

5:00pm to 5:45pm

This Chicago South Side veteran songwriter, vocalist and guitarist nicknamed “Hoochie Man” is a regular at the Windy City’s Kingston Mines. He won Big City Blues’ “Best Fan Interaction Award” in 2012 and was inducted into the Chicago Blues Hall of Fame in 2014. Respected Chicago blues journalist David Whiteis credits Alexander with “lively improvisational imagination,” “good taste” and “in command of a lyric vividness.”

Kirk Fletcher

5:30pm to 6:35pm

A four-time Blues Music Award nominee, guitarist singer and songwriter Fletcher spent three years with the Fabulous Thunderbirds, played on Kim Wilson’s Grammy-nominated Smokin’ Joint live LP. In 2018, Fletcher recorded a video with Josh Smith and Joe Bonamassa, performing the Albert King track “Crosscut Saw.” Released in October, his third solo LP, Hold On, entered at number 15 in the Billboard Blues Albums chart and has been nominated for a Blues Music Award in the Contemporary Blues Album category.

Minister Rick Burton & 4Ever Grateful

5:30pm to 5:50pm

Southaven, MS

Zac Harmon Band

5:30pm to 6:40pm

Zac wowed the Biscuit in 2015 with his energetic take on Chicago blues.  He’s the son of Mississippi’s first African American pharmacist who counted Muddy Waters among his customers. Zac Harmon is a Renaissance man. He toured with B. B. King, and took voice lessons from Sam Myers. A Singer, songwriter, guitarist, and producer, he’s written songs for artists as disparate as Evelyn “Champagne” King, Freddie Jackson, The Whispers, K-Ci & Jo Jo, and The O’Jays and was a staff writer for Michael Jackson’s publishing company. He’s working on his sixth blues album, co-writing songs with John Hahn, Shemekia Copeland’s manger and principle songwriter.

Anson Funderburg & The Rockets

5:35pm to 6:45pm

There’s a yin and a yang to Anson Funerburgh. His electric guitar burns with Texas fire that Guitar Player Magazine compared to Otis Rush and Magic Sam. But his guitar can also soothe as the subtle support for Delta blues vocalists who have included Sam Myers, Nick Nixon, and Alabama Mike. Anson has that Austin strut, but his Delta creds are highlighted by being the only artist to have played all of Arkansas’ King Biscuit Blues Festivals.

A-1 Gospel Singers

5:50pm to 6:20pm

Little Rock, AR

Fillmore Slim

6:00pm to 7:00pm

Eighty-four-year-old Clarence Sims, aka The West Coast Godfather of The Game, aka The Pope of Pimping is an ex-pimp who estimates in his 1999 documentary American Pimp that in his entire career he had more than 9000 prostitutes working for him. The 14 originals on Fillmore Slim’s 2007 The Legend of Fillmore Slim album profile a character whose music is somewhere between Bo Diddley’s “I’m A Man” braggadocio and Snoop Dogg shout outs. His music is full of colorful references to the kind of scenes Willie Dixon could only imagine. Slim’s lived them. “I got a knock at the door,” he sings on the title cut. “I looked up and there was the man. I was put away for a long time. I paid my dues, and now I play the guitar in my hand.”

Marquise Knox

6:00pm to 7:00pm

Perhaps more than any other artist at this year’s Biscuit there is an anticipatory buzz about this guitar phenom from St. Louis. Veteran blues journalist Jim O’Neil calls him “the whole package. A throwback blues master on the rise. Anybody believe in reincarnation?”  Blues Blast raves that “he’s a modern-day bluesman with old-school temperament and stylings.” His familial blues creds go back several generations, and he’s been mentored by the late GRAMMY-winning Henry James Townsend among many others. His debut album Manchild was nominated for a Blues Music Award for Best New Artist Debut and earned Living Blues’ Best Debut Artist Award and a Blues Music Award nomination for Best Debut Artist. His second album, Here I Am, was recorded at the legendary Blue Heaven Studios in Salina, Kansas.

Mary Lane Band

6:00pm to 6:45pm

At 82, Mary Lane is one of the last legendary blues musicians that made the Great Migration from America’s south. A longtime staple of Chicago’s West Side Blues circuit, singer Mary Lane was born November 23, 1935 in Clarendon, virtually unknown outside of the Chicago Blues faithful.

Michael Burks Memorial Jam

6:00pm to TBD

Robert Finley

6:00pm to 7:00pm

St. Peter Choir

6:00pm to 6:20pm

Tyrannosaurus Chicken

6:00pm to 6:45pm

Smilin’ Bob Lewis & Rachel Ammons call their music Arkansas hill stomp. One journalist called the duo also been described asmadcap sonic alchemists, fusing Delta blues, psychedelia and trance music with reckless enthusiasm.” Officially, their Facebook entry describes the music as delta blues trance freestyle. They’re multi-instrumentalists whose bag of tricks includes guitars in a handful of alternate tunings, harmonicas, cello, and a Theremin. Rachel is a classically trained violinist. Their repertoire is a mixture of original compositions and repurposed folk songs well suited to their slide-guitar work.

Hughes Singers

6:25pm to 6:40pm

Wofford Chapel Choir

6:25pm to 6:45pm

Bishop Carter & Carter Family

6:45pm to 7:05pm

First St. Paul Choir

6:50pm to 7:10pm

Larry McCray

6:55pm to 8:10pm

He’s fire and ice. He may have learned the fire working on the Detroit assembly line, but the ice came from sitting outside the church in Arkansas listening to Sunday gospel. He never went inside. And the fire usually wins out. He’s a blues artist, but he could win a cutting contest with just about any rocker on the arena circuit today. And if you don’t believe me ask Derek Trucks and Dickie Betts of the Allman Brothers, Los Lobos’ David Hidalgo or Jimmy Herring of the Aquarium Rescue Unit and the Grateful Dead. All of them appear on McCray’s 2015 album the Gibson Sessions. That album features numbers by The Rolling Stones, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Bob Seger, and Joe Cocker. Detroit rock certainly has fired McCray’s guitarist’s muse, but his voice is Arkansas born. “That’s the Bible Belt,” he told blues journalist Don Wilcock. “We lived on the corner from a sanctified church, and we would set out on Sunday, me and my brothers, and listen to the gospel music coming out of the church on the corner. And it was quite impressive.” But they never went inside. “By that time, I had my horns coming out. But you know, I’m a pretty moral person. I don’t go to church all the time because I believe church is in your heart.”

Alice Hasen & The Blaze

7:00pm to 7:45pm

Alice Hasen is a professional violinist/fiddler specializing in rock, folk, roots, jazz and classical music. Born in Vermont but residing in Memphis, TN, Alice is the leader of Alice Hasen and the Blaze, a fiddle-powered groove band that primarily plays Alice’s original compositions. Alice’s solo project, Alice Hasen & the Blaze, showcases the versatility of her songwriting and playing.  Her “fiddle-powered groove band” is rooted in the Memphis heritage of funk, rock and jazz but can stray into pop, hip-hop and even reggae territory. Alice plans to explore all of these and more in her debut EP, “Violintro,” which will be recorded in Memphis.

Billy Branch & The Sons of Blues

7:00pm to 8:10pm

Billy Branch is a true Chicago blues legacy. He played harmonica with Willie Dixon for six years and has played on more than 150 different recordings with Johnny Winer, Koko Taylor and Taj Mahal.  He was one of the first to develop a blues in the schools program and has made over 70 international tours. A three-time Grammy nominee, he’s backed by The Sons of The Blues, a band of veterans that includes: bass player Nick Charles (Howlin’ Wolf, B.B. King, Tina Turner, Eddie Shaw, Valerie Wellington and the Rolling Stones), drummer Mose Rutues Jr. with the band 25 years, and pianist Sumito Ariyoshi, aka Ariyo (Otis Rush, Jimmy Rogers, Robert Jr. Lockwood, Eddie Shaw.)

Rev. John Wilkins Band

7:00pm to 7:45pm

Known as the biker preacher in his role as chaplin of the King Riders Motorcycle Club, Wilkins walks the line between the sacred and profane in the tradition of his father the famed bluesman Robert Wilkins, who was himself a bluesman turned preacher and whose song Prodigal Son was covered by the Rolling Stones. Wilkins is preacher for the Hunter’s Chapel in Como, Mississippi, where Hill Country bluesman Fred McDowell and his wife Annie Mae were once members, as well as the late Otha Turner. He fingerpicks in a rural blues style. You Can’t Hurry God is his debut album.

Paul Thorn

7:10pm to 8:20pm

Paul Thorn all but stole the show from B.B. King at King Biscuit in 2010. His 2018 album, Don’t Let The Devil Ride debuted in the Billboard Top 100 the first week of release.  Thorn calls the music on the album dance pole gospel: “If you listen to the music that’s really sexy sounding, it sounds exactly like the music we sang in church when I was growing up. When we’d go visit the black churches, it was raunchy, man. It was spiritual, but it almost had a sexual undertone to it, and that’s what you hear on some of these songs on this record.”  “Every time I play a festival, I don’t want the last slot. You get more people to see you when you go on next to last ’cause when you go on last, they’re gonna be leavin’ on your last song which is a bummer. When you’re playing that last song, and you’re the headliner, you’re watching people walk out as you’re singing. That’s a bummer, man!”

New Haven Choir

7:15pm to 7:35pm

Pastor Austin Hill & Renewed

7:15pm to 7:40pm

Eb Davis (HEADLINER)

7:20pm to 8:30pm

Singer EB Davis has made 19 records of his own and been a guest on many others. Performing at more than 7000 concerts in 60 different countries, but originally from Elaine, Arkansas, he was inducted into the Blues Hall of fame as an official Blues Ambassador to the state. In 2008, he was voted by The Deutsche Rock as the best R&B singer in Europe. In the same year he was invited by The 52-piece Jobst Liebrecht classical orchestra to headline the classical open-air festival in Hellersdorf, Germany. He has appeared in five movies to which he contributed songs to the soundtrack including ‘The Innocent’ with Anthony Hopkins, and his music has been covered by Mick Taylor of the Rolling Stones.

Mr. Sipp “The Mississippi Blues Child” (HEADLINER)

7:20pm to 8:30pm

Mr. Sipp spent 22 years in the gospel music business as a recording artist and a producer of more than 50 recordings.  In 2013, he jumped into blues making a big splash at The Blues Foundation’s International Blues Challenge with his dynamic and energetic stage presence and a guitar sound marked by its B. B. King-like tone. He wears black framed glasses taped at the nose. He told blues journalist Don Wilcock he did that help his daughter who was being teased in school about her glasses. “I’ll tell you what I’m gonna do. I’m gonna buy some frames just like yours. I’m gonna pop the lenses out, and I’m gonna put tape in the middle and make it cool.” He’s still defining colon his new album Back to the Roots with his group The True Believers.

Second Baptist Choir

7:40pm to 8:00pm

Kaiser Singers (HEADLINER)

7:50pm to 8:35pm

Yazoo City, MS

Jimmy Burns Band (HEADLINER)

8:00pm to 9:00pm

He sings “Beast of Burden” on the Chicago Plays The Stones album, but Jimmy Burns is best known for his Chicago blues albums for Delmark Records including his Delmark debut Leaving Here Walking in 1996 which was awarded the ‘Best Blues Record of the Year’ title by the National Association of Independent Record Distributors and received two W.C. Handy Award nominations. His unique and velvety voice, unusual in Chicago blues, may have been influenced by his work in the folk scene in the early 60s. He sang and played guitar at The Fickle Pickle, (booked at that time by Mike Bloomfield), the Gate of Horn, and coffeehouses around town. His band includes Anthony Palmer (guitar), E.G. McDaniel (bass), and James Carter (drums).

Oxford Allstars (HEADLINER)

8:00pm to 9:00pm

The Oxford All-Stars Band from Oxford, MS, play a variety of music-Motown, blues, old school, R&B, and country. They collectively bring years of training and live performances to the table with a variety of styles and genres blended together to form the unique sound the Oxford All-Stars.

Silver Cloud Choir

8:05pm to 8:25pm

G-Hope Choir (HEADLINER)

8:30pm to 9:00pm

Clarksdale, MS

Ruthie Foster (HEADLINER)

8:30pm to TBD

“I’m not just singing the blues, I singing my own story,” says three-time blues GRAMMY nominee Ruthie Foster. And what a story she has to tell. She’s honed her style playing with everyone from The North Mississippi Allstars to The Blind Boys of Alabama, from Warren Haynes to The Funky Meters. She’s just been nominated the Blues Foundation’s Koko Taylor Award for Best Traditional Blues Female Artist of The Year and in February was inducted into the Texas Music Hall of Fame. The AllMusic Guide compares her to Aretha Franklin and Ella Fitzgerald “with a wide palette of American song forms — gospel and blues to jazz, folk, and soul — and her live performances are powerfully transfiguring.” Rolling Stone says she’s “pure magic to watch and hear.” When she played the Biscuit in 2015, she said it felt like home. It’s very warm. It feels like I’m with my people.” Come home again with Ruthie. “It’s my story as a woman that’s grown up with gospel music. It’s really all these different types of genres being raised in Texas.  I look at music as in the beginning it really was a way of kind of a healing for me in a lotta ways.”

Kenny Wayne Shepherd (HEADLINER)

8:40pm to TBD

With eight number one blues albums and a string of number one rock singles, Saturday night headliner Kenny Wayne Shepherd is arguably the most successful blues/rock crossover act since Stevie Ray Vaughan. “It’s been my approach to take blues from the foundation and try to take it elsewhere,” says Shepherd, “because you don’t have rock without blues.” His tenth album, Lay It on Down, debuted at number one on the blues charts. He released his first at age 16, making him a 26-year veteran at age 41. Guitar World called the release “a king-size helping of Shepherd’s trademark roots-rocking fireworks.”

Delbert McClinton (HEADLINER)

8:45pm to TBD

More than half a century into his career, Friday night headliner Delbert McClinton is a transformative live performer. He’s earned two Grammys in the blues category; He taught John Lennon how to play harp; He duets with Bonnie Raitt on “Good Man, Good Woman” which won a Grammy in Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group. “Giving It Up for Your Love” was number 8 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and number 35 Adult Contemporary. His duet with Tanya Tucker went top 5 country. But more important than that, he gives his audience an out of body concert experience.

The son of a railroad switchman and a beautician, McClinton has risen to the kind of iconic respect few roadhouse rockers ever see. Songs like “Giving It Up for Your Love” and his cover of Otis Redding’s “Dreams to Remember” transcend genres like R&B, country and rock. They become his in the same way that Ray Charles puts his imprint on numbers like “What’d I Say.” Nobody ever asks who wrote “What’d I Say.” Nor do they worry about whether it’s blues, jazz or R&B.

He told music journalist Don Wilcock, “When you get it right, for a few minutes you have your hand on the pulse of this invisible thing. If you can get that six minutes out of two hours (you’re on stage), it’s all worthwhile. It keeps you coming back if nothing else because you can’t get it anywhere else. And I want it all the time.”