Postal Updates

Bentonia Festival entertains blues enthusiasts for 50 years

Jun 26, 2022, 4 PM
The Bentonia Blues Festival featured on this pictorial postmark began as a tiny concert in 1972 and now attracts tens of thousands of blues fans each year.

Postmark Pursuit by Molly Goad

Mississippi’s Bentonia Blues Festival celebrated its 50th anniversary in June, a milestone commemorated on the postmark shown here.

Yazoo County, Miss., says the concert celebrates the style of guitar playing often attributed to blues players from Bentonia, featuring “a shared repertoire of songs, guitar tunings and chord voicings with a distinctively minor tone not found in other styles of blues music.”

The inaugural festival was held in 1972 at legendary bluesman Jimmy “Duck” Holmes’ family farm about a mile north of Bentonia. For most of its 50-year history, the free outdoor event has remained a grassroots effort, coordinated and paid for by Holmes and friends.

The 2022 event featured three days of music, June 16-18. Each day’s lineup of performers differed, but 74-year-old Holmes played all three nights.

To obtain the postmark, address your request to: 50th ANNUAL BENTONIA BLUES FESTIVAL Station, Postmaster, Box 9998, Bentonia, MS 39040-9998, June 18.

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