August 2001 Issue
King Biscuit Blues Festival: Looking Good!
October 4th, 5th & 6th
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Swedish-born, New Orleans' resident and serious student of the blues, Anders Osborne has been added to the Saturday afternoon lineup on the King Biscuit Main Stage. Anders will follow Billy Boy Arnold in the 2:40 - 3:40 p.m. time slot. For more information about Anders, visit the Offbeat Magazine website and read the interview between veteran music correspondent John Swenson and this outstanding guitarist.

The updated lineup for Saturday, October 6th is:

12:00/1:00 Larry Garner
1:20/2:20 Billy Boy Arnold
2:40/3:40 Anders Osborne
4:00/5:00 Jimmy Johnson
5:20/6:40 Robert Lockwood, Jr.
7:05/8:20 Levon Helm & the Barnburners
8:45/10:00 Snooks Eaglin
10:30/11:45 Bobby Rush


One of the treasured rituals of regular festival goers is the "post-game" critique, when we look at each other and ask, "Who really surprised you?" Because the King Biscuit Blues Festival brings out the very best in its performers, much like a friendly, old-fashioned cutting contest, the audience is guaranteed many wonderful surprises. It's part of the King Biscuit magic.

The entertainers regard this festival as a homecoming, which for many, like Robert Lockwood, Jr. and Pinetop Perkins, it truly is. But even among the younger crowd, some of whom learned their chops from CD reissues of the classics, Helena is their spiritual home, and they treasure the opportunity to perform among the legends and before a deeply appreciative audience.

No one is placing any bets yet, but the insiders are really looking forward to seeing many of the scheduled acts. Some are new to Helena; others are returning favorites. Among old friends, of course, are the aforementioned elder statesmen Lockwood (now "Professor" Lockwood after receiving an honorary doctorate from Case Western Reserve University) and the 88 years young Pinetop. This year, Pinetop will be accompanied by guitar wizard Rusty Zinn. This is an exciting new pairing for the Main Stage on Friday afternoon.
Kicking off the fun on Thursday are festival veterans and sure shots Billy Lee Riley, Larry McCray and Anson & the Rockets with Sam Myers. Among the newcomers, Detroit native Janiva Magness has a growing reputation for belting out the blues in vintage style.

On Friday, we have an opportunity on the Main Stage to enjoy two New Orleans legends: Bryan Lee and Marcia Ball. At the Houston Stackhouse Acoustic Stage, we welcome Chicago blues man Jimmie Lee Robinson, whose guitar style, sharpened by playing with artists like Little Walter, Muddy Waters
and Howlin' Wolf, is equaled by his enthusiasm for preserving Maxwell Street in Chicago. Blues Hall of Fame member Sam Lay will establish the beat on the Robert Lockwood Heritage Stage.

On Saturday, the momentum continues to build with performances by famous Chicago blues harp player Billy Boy Arnold, guitar player/vocalist Jimmy Johnson, whose stage show and repertoire have drawn praise from the city slickers at the New York Times and Village Voice, and perennial favorite Bobby Rush. If their recent performance at the BluesAid fundraiser is any indicator, Levon Helm and the Barnburners will set the Main Stage on fire with two powerful young vocalists, and in our last newsletter, Festival Director Liz Harrison tipped you off to the excitement building around Snooks Eaglin's first appearance at the KBBF.

Excellence remains the keyword at the Stackhouse and Lockwood stages on Saturday, as well. The venerable Othar Turner returns with his Rising Star Fife & Drum Band, and our good friend and ally John "So Blue" Weston is back. They welcome newcomers like acoustic virtuoso Paul Geremia and
Chess Records' stalwart Jody Williams.

Gospel fans will certainly not be disappointed, as the best voices of the South ring from the stage at the Malco Theater on Cherry Street from 1:00-8:00 p.m. on Saturday. Sister Coleman Weaver returns to emcee this jubilee featuring the Central High School Chorus, Apostolic Church Choir, Queen Elizabeth & the Christian Harmonizers, the Dixie Wonders, New Life Singers, Judge L.T. Simes' Spiritual Seven, the Shining Stars, Jordan Wonders, Brother Cooks & the Hughes Singers, the Salem Harmonizers, Sons of Wonders, Spirit of Memphis and Fantastic Sounds.

Up and coming talent will have a title shot at the King Biscuit Blues Festival Open Mic Stage on Friday and Saturday from 1:00-8:30. Artists scheduled to appear on Friday are Becc Lester and Hank Sable, and Shannon Brooks & Voodoo Highway. On Saturday artist include: Blues Oreo, Kids n' Blues
(winners of the Blues in School Competition), Native Son, Eric Hughes and Kim Richardson. A few spots remain, so sign up now. Just email Liz for details:

Our efforts to showcase such a wide range of talent at the King Biscuit Blues Festival have not gone unnoticed, and we are proud to be recognized by over 200,000 visitors each month as one of the Top Ten events in the world. Obtaining mention alongside venerable entities like the Mozart Festival in Salzburg is high praise indeed.

If you would like additional information on the artists scheduled for this year's festival, please visit our website for links:

***Other happenings planned for this year's festival include:

SONNY PAYNE TRIBUTE -- Thursday, October 4, 2001.
The Delta Cultural Center is hosting a tribute to the host of the King Biscuit Time radio show "Sunshine" Sonny Payne. Special guests include Robert Lockwood, Levon Helm, Sid Selvidge, Billy Lee Riley, and many more Blues greats. Tickets are $50 per person with proceeds going to the Delta Cultural Center's Blues collection and the King Biscuit Blues Festival. Seating is limited. Call the DCC at 870-338-4350 for more information.

Blues Symposium hosted by the Delta Cultural Center, a museum of the Department of Arkansas Heritage: Saturday, October 6th. 10:30am - Noon, Admission FREE, Delta Cultural Center's Visitor Center, 141 Cherry Street. Topic: The role of local radio in the Delta in popularizing blues music. Guest speakers include historian Louis Cantor, Professor Emeritus at Indiana University and author of the definitive history of WDIA, and blues expert Peter Aschoff, Professor at University
of Mississippi.

Barbeque Cook-Off: Cash and trophy awards to winners. For info call Jay Hollowell (870) 338-6451 or email

5K Run: Saturday Oct. 6, 2001. Kenneth Freemeyer Memorial 5K Run & 2-Mile Walk. Contact Liz Harrison for details: 870-338-8798 Fee: $15.00. Start: 8:00 a.m. The annual run and walk were recently renamed to honor Kenneth Freemeyer, a Helena resident who demonstrated uncommon concern for the public good during a life filled with positive accomplishment.

Sonny Boy's Music Hall: One block north of main stage. Live bands nightly during the festival.

Good News and Blues on Parkinson's Disease: A continuing medical education program presented by The University of Tennessee Health Science Center, College of Medicine, Department of Neurology. Call for info: (901) 448-5547
Thursday, Friday & Saturday at the Malco Theater, 424 Cherry Street.

***If YOU want to be part of the fun,

Teena Levine needs volunteers to staff the beverage booths, and she would be delighted to hear from you. Call Teena at 870-338-8101 or email her:

Join the Friends of the Biscuit. A limited amount of space has been reserved in the VIP area at the front of the Main Stage for Biscuit holders. For your donation of $50 (Single Biscuit), you receive wristband access to the VIP area, a Friend of the Biscuit T-shirt, bumper sticker and semi-annual newsletters complete with sawmill gravy. (Well, that's a slight exaggeration, but you do get the inside track on festival activities, plus discounts on festival merchandise.) Biscuits are also available in the "Couple" and "Few" sizes for $100 and $250, with exponentially desirable perks. Contact Liz to reserve your special spot now! 870-338-8798 or email

Join the Sonny Boy Blues Society and be one of the few and the proud. The backbone of the King Biscuit Blues Festival is made up of dedicated SBBS members who actively seek like-minded souls to join their many blues-oriented initiatives. In addition to the festival, the SBBS operates a Blues in the Schools program, raises money for blues artists in need of health care through BluesAid and hosts special events at the Sonny Boy Music Hall and the Delta Cultural Center in Helena. Membership to this elite squadron is only $15 a year for individuals, $20 for the family, so please consider joining. More information is available at the SBBS website:

We are proud to count among our benefactors the Isle of Capri Casino Entertainment Resort (Primary Sponsor,) and Cable Rep Advertising, Delta Cultural Center, Southwestern Bell, Daily World, Champion Awards, Budweiser, Coco Distributing, Delta Radio, Inc (WROX, WDSK, WDTL, KRKD, WOHT,
KZYQ), Coca-Cola Bottling, Entergy, Mountain Valley Water, First National Bank of Phillips County, Bradfield Printing, John McConnell, Reliant Energy, Xerox, Allied Graphics, Wenzel Landscaping, Cline-Frazier Consulting Engineers, Dr. Leslie Chin, Helena Regional Medical Center, Economy Drugs,
Hickory Hill Pharmacy, Pafford Ambulance, Dr. W. S. Winston, Kelly's Restaurant, Helena National Bank, Cherry Street Deli, Roller-Citizens Funeral Home, Avatar Systems, Morgan Buildings, Bubba's Blues Corner, Chamber of Commerce, Olivers (Corporate Sponsors).

For additional information about KBBF 2001, please visit our website or contact Jerry Wenzel Media & Public Relations Director at