Saturday, April 24 – From the Delta Blues Museum Stage in Clarksdale, MS, The Thacker Mountain Radio Hour celebrates the 2021 Juke Joint Festival.
Guests: Delta blues pianist, Eden Brent, plus Clarksdale’s own, Miss Gladys and Peggy “Lady Trucker” Hemphill plus Shelley Ritter of the Delta Blues Museum.
Hosts: Jim Dees and our house band, the Yalobushwhackers
Check out the full schedule for the 2021 Juke Joint Festival.
Eden Brent is an award-winning blues pianist from Greenville, Miss. who combines boogie-woogie with elements of blues, jazz, soul, gospel and pop. She records on the independent Yellow Dog Records label and her CDs include Mississippi Number One, Ain’t Got No Troubles (recorded in New Orleans) and Jigsaw Heart, which was recorded in Nashville.
Her latest album is An Eden Brent Christmas.
Brent is a three-time Blues Award winner who toured and played with former Motown session musician, Abie “Boogaloo” Ames, who helped her hone her unique piano style.
Miss Gladys is well-known across the Delta region for her past vocal work with the Wesley Jefferson Band. For her Thacker Juke Joint appearance, Miss Gladys will be backed up by veteran Delta blues players, Terry “Big T” Williams (guitar/second vocals), Britt Sparks (bass) and Lee Williams (drums).
One of the more colorful and forceful, “Ladies of the Blues” is Peggy “Lady Trucker” Hemphill. For her Thacker Juke Joint appearance, Hemphill will be backed up by her crack rhythm section, Sean “Bad” Apple (guitar) and her husband, Artemis Lesueur on drums.
Shelley Ritter has been Director of the Delta Blues Museum since 2003. Before that, Ms. Ritter was the first archivist with Elvis Presley Enterprises from 1990 to 1995, starting it from scratch.
She moved from the Presley Enterprises to work as a field services curator for the Mississippi Department of Archives and History and remained there until 2003. There, she was able to work with the Delta Blues Museum, the Highway 61 Blues Museum in Leland, both the Farish Street Museum and the Alamo Theater in Jackson, and the early stages of the B. B. King Museum in Indianola.
Under her current leadership, the Delta Blues Museum has expanded its permanent collection as well as its physical space in 2012.
In a White House Ceremony on May 8 2013, First Lady Michelle Obama presented the 2013 National Medal for Museum and Library Service to 10 institutions from across the country including the Delta Blues Museum. Clarksdale’s own Christone “Kingfish” Ingram played at that ceremony.
The next year, the Museum won the 2014 National Arts & Humanities Youth Program Award.
The museum celebrated 40 years in 2019.
“We’re the world’s first museum devoted entirely to blues,” Ritter says.
The Delta Blues Museum was formed January 30, 1979. Sid Graves, who was the Carnegie Public Library director at the time, along with the library’s Board of Trustees, created the Delta Blues Museum in the Myrtle Hall Branch of the library. In 1981, the Delta Blues Museum moved from Myrtle Hall to 114 Delta Avenue, inside the main library branch.
In 1999, the museum reorganized into its current status as a stand alone entity.