For 35 years, the King Biscuit Blues Festival has been presenting some of the greatest blues music in the world right in Arkansas. Both legendary musicians and up-and-comers have made the trip to Helena to demonstrate their talents at this annual showcase.
This year will be no different with a full line-up of extraordinary musical talent scheduled to perform. The headliners for the 35thannual King Biscuit Blues Festival will include Mavis Staples, the Allmann Betts Band, and Billy Branch & the Sons of Blues.
Staples is one of the most prominent names and voices in blues and soul music from the last 50 years. She has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Blues Hall of Fame. Her song “I’ll Take You There,” recorded as part of The Staples Singers, was a #1 Billboard Hot 100 hit and was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999.
She will be performing on Friday, Oct. 9, at 8:45 p.m., at the Sonny Boy Williamson Main Stage.
The Allmann Betts Band builds on the legacy of the Allman Brothers Band. Gregg Allman’s son Devon Allman and Dickey Betts’ son Duane Betts are forging their own legacy as talented musicians in their own right. In 2019, the band had a 60-date world tour and release their debut album, “Down to the River.”
The band will be performing on Saturday, Oct. 10, starting at 8:40 p.m., on the Sonny Boy Williamson Main Stage.
The Thursday night headliner, Billy Branch is a treasure of the Chicago blues scene. He’s a three-time Grammy Award nominee and he will be accompanied by the “King of the Chitlin Circuit,” Bobby Rush.
Billy Branch and the Sons of Blues, along with Bobby Rush, will perform on Thursday, Oct. 8, starting at 8:30 p.m., on the Sonny Boy Williamson Main Stage.
Arkansas might not get the attention accorded to other blues scenes, but it has a vibrant tradition and continues to produce tremendous musicians. Some of the homegrown musicians who will be performing are Lonnie Shields, The C.W. Gatlin Band, the Phillip Stackhouse Band, and Spoon- fed Blues featuring Mississippi Spoonman.
Check out the full lineup here.
The King Biscuit Blues Festival will be held from Wednesday, Oct. 7 through Saturday, Oct. 10, in Helena-West Helena.