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Jimmy ‘Duck’ Holmes to launch album recorded in his juke joint

Jimmy 'Duck' Holmes

Jimmy ‘Duck’ Holmes will this month release an album recorded in his juke joint, he’s confirmed.

It Is What It Is captures the vibe in the Blue Front Cafe, Bentonia, Mississippi – the landmark location he’s been running since 1970, after his parents opened it 22 years earlier.

The inaugural release by Blue Front Records, also named after the venue, is described as presenting “the embodiment of raw country blues.”

The label say: “The record purposefully allows the cinderblock acoustics to be Jimmy’s accompaniment, compelling the listener to close their eyes and experience pulling up a chair in the old juke joint and listening to him play.

“Those same walls have absorbed the haunting music of Skip James, Jack Owens, Henry Stuckey, Bud Spires, Cornelius Bright, Tommy West and others, and provide the perfect feedback to Jimmy’s stark and dissonant blues.”

It Is What It Is – Holmes’ seventh album – will be launched at a gala event in the Blues Front Cafe on June 17, when it’ll also go on general sale in CD, vinyl and digital formats. It’s available for pre-order now.

Jimmy ‘Duck’ Holmes tour dates

Jun 10: Lexington National Avenue Block Party, KY
Jun 13-18: Bentonia Blues Festival, MS
Jun 23: Jackson Iron Horse, MS
Jun 25: New Orleans Ponderosa Stomp, LA
Jun 28: Santa Cruz US Embassy, Bolivia
Jun 30: La Paz US Embassy, Bolivia
Jul 01: La Paz Festiblues, Bolivia
Jul 02: La Paz Festiblues, Bolivia
Jul 08: Nescopeck Briggs Fam Blues Festival, PA
Jul 09: Nescopeck Briggs Fam Blues Festival, PA
Jul 28: Jackson Iron Horse, MS
Jul 31-Aug 07: Port Townsend Centrum Blues School, WA
Aug 08: Lexington Woodsong’s Old Time Radio Hour, KY
Aug 13: Clarksdale Sunflower Blues Festival, MS
Oct 01: Greenville Mighty Mississippi Blues Festival, MS
Oct 15: New Orleans Crescent City Blues & BarBQ, LA

Not only is one-time online news editor Martin an established rock journalist and drummer, but he’s also penned several books on music history. He’s appeared on TV and when not delving intro all things music, can be found travelling along the UK’s vast canal network.