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North Mississippi Blues Project feat. RL Boyce, Kenny Brown, and Robert Kimbrough /USA/
In the last BLUES ALIVE bulletin, you could read the coverage by Brno musician Jan Švihálek (Hoochie Coochie Band, Band of Heysek) from his trip to the South of the United States, where he went to look for authentic blues traditions. Thanks to his contacts there, it was possible to implement this concert project, which is quite unique not only in the frame of our festival, but also in European blues scene at all. The area where the musicians that are going to play in Sumperk come from actually takes up only a few square kilometers, with less than ten villages and small towns. And it is probably the last area on the planet where blues music really lives in the folk-spirit, including handing down the tradition from generation to generation - it's actually the place where blues is lived.

The people who still remember the fourth year of the BLUES ALIVE festival in 1999, which presented guitarists T-Model Ford and Paul "Wine" Jones, the guitars of the old generation of musicians from this area, who recorded at the time with the production of Fat Possum, which was able to come at the right time with this uncompromising music, inspiring the rock stars from Iggy Pop over Robert Planet to Nick Cave. Now, after almost twenty years, we will have the honor of having three major characters in the current scene here.

RL Boyce began with music under the influence of a father of the style called North Mississippi Blues Fred McDowell and he was a direct student of the most famous personality of this 90's scene RL Burnside. We can hear him on one of the albums of 20 Miles, who played in Sumperk in 1999. His solo debut was ten years ago, and he achieved real success last year, being sixty years old, with his second album Roll And Tumble produced by Luther Dickinson of North Mississippi Allstars. The album was nominated for the last Grammy in the traditional blues category, alongside the new albums by Rolling Stones (who eventually got the award), Eric Bibb, Guy Davis, and Elvin Bishop.

Kenny Brown, one of the few white musicians in the area, began his musical footsteps, among others, with RL Burnside, who called him his "white adoptive son." He has given concerts and recorded live with most legends of the area, Junior Kimbrough, Asia Payton, CeDello Davis, and Paul "Wine" Jones. He recorded all the guitar parts for the American musical drama Black Snake Moan (2006) starring Samuel L. Jackson. He made his solo debut in 1996 with Goin 'Back to Mississippi and since than he has released four more albums.

Robert Kimbrough as the son of the cult personality of the North Mississippi Blues scene, Junior Kimbrough, was absorbing blues music every day from his birth. He grew up among all the celebrities whom he met at his father's house, where they used to come to jam at their doorstep, but also at his music club. No wonder he took over the basics of his father's hypnotic way of playing electric guitar, but he deepened and partially modernized it. Robert Kimbrough has been very active in recent years. He debuted solo in 2016 with Wille Woot and last year he was able to release two titles What I'm Gon 'Do? Where I'm Gon 'Go From Here? and My Frog. We can add live recording Live From The Hut, which was recorded in Holly Springs, which is considered to be the musical center of the entire area of Hill Mississippi Blues and which was attended by many veterans from his father's music club.

 

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