The King Biscuit
is always in early October, generally a great
time to head south from St. Louis to grasp one
last warm weekend of weather and great music.
Held in possibly the best environment to enjoy
the blues, along the levee banks of the Delta
The musical heritage that claim these small
Mississippi and Arkansas towns rivals that of
the Texas-Louisiana musical connection, spanning
back to the origin of Blues music in America.
Artists such as Sonny Boy Williamson, Robert
Lockwood Jr, and Honeyboy Edwards claim Helena
as home, as does the radio station KFFA and
'King Biscuit Time' - the longest running Blues
radio show, still hosted by 'Sunshine' Sonny
Payne, a legend himself. Nearby is Clarksdale,
Mississippi, home of so many historical treasures
of Blues history and culture. There's the Delta
Blues Museum, the Ground Zero Blues club, where
you may meet owner Morgan Freeman just hanging
out on a Friday night, and of course find your
way to the 'Crossroads' of Robert Johnson lore.
If tracing the roots of musical history interests
you, check out the Ultimate
Blues Tours of our friend Mac Adamson!
The Thursday music was going strong as we made
our way into the sleepy community of Helena,
Ak. This town seems frozen in time, a look back
at the delta, amidst a landcape of cotton &
river. The community of 7,000 lives for this
event, as over 100,000 musically motivated fans
converge on one of the shining spots of live
music. We decided to try a campout this year
in Tent City, a great place to reside during
fest. The after-party held along the campfire
is one of the festival highlights, as musician
after musician steps out of the shadows to play
a little. Michael Burks was vacationing there
this year, although he was coaxed onstage by
Anson Funderburgh to jam a bit. The weather
was wet, muddy and cold, but as one Tent City
resident proclaimed, 'it ain't fest unless it
pulls your shoes off'! You may not agree with
that philosophy, and prefer your camping includes
room service and a jacuzzi!
The King Biscuit fest remains one of our favorite
festivals, as nowhere else we've been captures
that "Delta feeling" quite like it!
Here's our photo review of our time at 'Da Biscuit',
one of America's finest fests, 19 years young!