3 Faces of the Blues

Published 8:00 pm Sunday, February 24, 2013

Mississippi is considered the birthplace of the blues, that deep soulful sound of southern hardship. Grown with sweat and tears in the Mississippi Delta, the blues migrated all the way to Chicago and developed a “big city” sound.

The “3 Faces of the Blues,” 2011 Blues Album of the Year (American Blues Magazine), Live Performance is coming to Copiah-Lincoln Community College to tell the story of the blues and how it migrated from Mississippi to Chicago and into Gospel music. Presented by BlueStone Records and Dr. Hugh Leggett Promotions, the concert will feature Jeff Stone, Vasti Jackson, Sherry Jackson Pruitt, the Rev. KM Williams and Washboard Jackson.

The free concert is at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 28, at Co-Lin’s Rea Auditorium. Mississippi School of the Arts students will provide backup, under the direction of Patton Rice, director of vocal music at MSA.

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Leggett, local orthodontist, is responsible for bringing this entertaining and educational event to town.

“I love music. I’m passionate about music,” said Leggett.

“I hear my patients a lot of times say there’s nothing to do. It’s something I thought the community could come together on.”

The first “face” of the blues is a tribute to its origins in the Mississippi Delta.

“It’s really a way of telling the story of the American art form of blues and the time it merged into Gospel,” said Stone in an interview with SuperTalk Radio.

The second “face” the performance depicts is the blues’ northern migration to Chicago.

“It’s a testament of what happened when the blues came to Chicago,” said Stone.

The third “face” is a tribute to Gospel music.

“According to Jeff Stone, this is a God-driven concert with deep spiritual overtones, reflecting our deep-rooted southern culture,” said Leggett.

Leggett, who raises horses, met Chicago-native Stone through Stone’s wife, Kelley, a prestigious horse trainer. Leggett and his wife, Rosemary, were invited to a concert that the blues and gospel band, Trainreck, was doing in Dallas. Trainreck is composed of Stone, W. Jackson and Williams.

“We were amazed,” said Leggett. “We were enraptured with the music and the message of the music. I thought this would be something great to bring to our community.”

Leggett then asked Stone if he would come to Mississippi.

“Well sure, doc,” Stone replied.

Leggett says Stone wears a bandoleer of 12 harmonicas when he performs.

“He plays the harmonica in ways that I have never heard it played before,” remarked Leggett.

The Co-Lin performance will be the first live performance of the award-winning album. MusicUCanSee Productions will be filming the show for a documentary to be produced on the “3 Faces of the Blues” Project.

Stone is a blues and Gospel harmonica player. With the Zac Harmon and the Mid-South Blues Revue, Stone won the 2004 International Blues Challenge in Memphis. He now lives with wife Kelley just north of Dallas.

V. Jackson, 2012 Mississippi Musicians Hall of Fame inductee, is a world-renowned guitarist and vocalist. From his roots playing in churches to juke joints in McComb, from the 2013 Super Bowl to movie projects and festivals, V. Jackson is a living product of the blues.

Pruitt, goddaughter of Mahalia Jackson, was a finalist at the 2012 International Blues Challenge. She lives in Long Beach, Calif.

Williams’ recent successful tour of Israel had his latest release, “When I Rise,” rising as the No. 1 blues album throughout the Holy Land. He makes his home in Texas.

W. Jackson plays percussion including, of course, the washboard as a part of Trainreck.

“We need to recognize that America’s music came out of the origination of the Gospel/blues,” said Leggett in inviting the public to attend the concert.

The “3 Faces of the Blues” Live Performance is free to the public because of the following local sponsors: Wal-Mart Distribution Services, The Brookhaven Trust, The Bank of Brookhaven, First Bank, Paul Barnett Nissan and other anonymous sponsors.

The performers will sign autographs and sell CD’s after the show.

For more information about Stone’s project, go to www.3facesoftheblues.com where you can find music clips, a mission statement and artist biographies. “3 Faces of the Blues” CD can be purchased on iTunes or Amazon.