Ray Proetto is an avid photographer who enjoys documenting blues musicians. Ray has been a featured writer for the DELTA BOHEMIAN®. Visit his website BLUES POWER PHOTO and his shop on Etsy. By GUEST BOHEMIAN RAY PROETTO Clarksdale, Mississippi The 2014 Juke Joint Festival in Clarksdale MS had its share of amazing highlights… Reverend Peyton and the Big Damn Band filled the New Roxy Theater to capacity Saturday night; meanwhile, over one hundred fans were turned away to comply with the fire code. Later Robert “Bilbo” Walker sat at piano on the same stage singing beautiful gospel songs to a grateful crowd. Super Chikan and his band, featuring the wild woman La La on piano, whipped the crowd into a frenzy at the Ground Zero Blues Club. Lightnin Malcomb put on Hill Country dance parties all weekend wherever he played. He also surprised his fans by getting married out at Hopson Plantation. Robert Belfour howled his blues to a street full of fans at the Cat Head stage. Lucious Spiller demonstrated his acoustic guitar wizardry at the Wade Walton stage. Blue Mother Tupelo put on another show of their country tinged blues and amazing harmonies at the Delta Amusement Cafe. Little Joe Ayers and LC Ulmer entertained the crowd at the Sun House Gallery.
Of course there were too many highlights to mention with over 100 performances on Saturday alone. The festival schedule included at least twelve stages operating all day Saturday from 10:00am until late in the evening. This did not take into account the events on Thursday, Friday, and Sunday. Despite so many extraordinary and enjoyable performances, the Juke Joint Festival always offers up unexpected experiences from the most unlikely of circumstances. It’s these unforeseen events, performances and “lowlights” which invariably stay embedded in my memory for years to come.