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A Mississippi Delta "juke joint" where the world-famous original Bentonia Blues can be heard. Site of the first Mississippi Blues Trail Marker in Yazoo County, the Blue Front Cafe is the birthplace of the blues style known as "Bentonia Blues" and is considered the oldest active juke joint in the state.
The Blue Front Café is known the world over for a special style of Blues music and for serving a special type of food. The blue cinderblock building has been open since 1948 and was the locale for Bentonia Blues, buffalo fish and moonshine whiskey. Bentonia Blues has a distinctive minor tone quality (A Levi’s commercial featured the legendary Jack Owens performing on the front porch of the Blue Front). Singers sing in falsetto and it overall has an almost eerie quality. Owner Jimmy “Duck” Holmes, whose family has owned the café since its doors opened, is carrying on the tradition of Bentonia Blues. His parents, sharecroppers Carey and Mary Holmes, served locals warm meals as well as selling groceries, gave haircuts and sold bootleg corn liquor out back door to blacks or whites looking for liquid refreshment. Their ingenuity earned money and that money put their kids through college. Many a field laborer would gather at the Blue Front after work for socialization. Nowadays you might not find the moonshine readily available, but you can find plenty of music with the Bentonia Blues Festival each year the 3rd Saturday of June.
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