Jimmy "Duck" Holmes, celebrated country bluesman, has announced the launch of his new label Blue Front Records, and its first release, his own It Is What It Is. Holmes is the last bluesman to have been taught by Henry Stuckey, who also taught Skip James and Jack Owens. The particular dark, haunting brand of blues called Bentonia blues that Stuckey developed involved an open D-minor and E-minor tuning he learned from British soldiers during World War I. Skip James, Jack Owens, and others who followed used this method to create the brooding country blues that Holmes now plays and seeks to release through Blue Front Records.
Blue Front Records is named for the Blue Front Cafe, a juke joint in Mississippi founded by Jimmy's parents Mary and Carey Holmes. The cafe became famous for featuring Bentonia blues when Jimmy took over in 1970 and frequently met with Jack Owens, Bud Spires, and Tommy West to play for each other. Jimmy's goal with Blue Front Records is to help record and preserve the acclaimed Bentonia blues sound for future generations.
It Is What It Is is due out on June 17th. Jimmy frequently tours with his legendary sound, and tour dates are available below.
Jimmy "Duck" Holmes on Tour:
April 16 Juke Joint Festival Clarksdale, MS
April 24 New Orleans Jazz Festival New Orleans, LA
April 24 Chickie Wah Wah New Orleans, LA
April 28 Smoot’s Natchez, MS (Album Preview party)
April 29 Beale Street Music Festival Memphis, TN
June 10 TBA Lexington, KY
June 17 Blue Front Café Bentonia, MS – (Release Party)
June 18 44th Annual Bentonia Blues Festival Bentonia, MS
June 25 – July 3 Tour Bolivia
July 8 – 9 Briggs Farm Blues Festival Nescopeck, PA
July 22, 23 John Brown’s Smokehouse Long Island City, NY
July 31 – Aug 7 Port Townsend Blues School & Festival Port Townsend, WA
August 12-14 Sunflower Blues Festival Clarksdale, MS
October 8 Woodville Music Festival Woodville, MS
October 15 Crescent City Blues & BarBQ New Orleans, LA