Year of the Wolf

Howlin’ Wolf would’ve turned 100 this year, and his hometown is celebrating with the kind of music the legendary bluesman loved. The Howlin’ Wolf Festival is Sept. 3 at the West Point Civic Center, and this year’s line-up features everything from a group of teens to blues vets.
“Wolf would’ve been 100 on June 10, but we decided to wait until our festival to honor the great man,” said festival director Richard Ramsey.
Tupelo’s Homemade Jamz will perform a 90-minute closing set at the festival.
The teen trio just took home the Band of the Year trophy at the Jus’ Blues Music Awards, and is working on its third full-length album. Homemade Jamz has performed on Tavis Smiley’s show as well as “The Mo’Nique Show.”
Also on the roster for this year’s festival include Boondocks Blues Band, Mark “Mule Man” Massey and Billy Earheart and Blind Mississippi Morris & the Black Prairie Blues Kings.
Cherry Lee Mewis, a blues singer from the UK, will also perform.
“We thought we’d hit her up to play the Wolf Festival, because the British Invasion is what put the blues on the map,” Ramsey said. “Her lead guitarist that night will be Kelvin Holly; he was Little Richard’s guitar player.”
Howlin’ Wolf posters, T-shirts, CDs, documentaries and more will be on sale at the festival.
Remembering Wolf doesn’t stop there – a Tribute to the Wolf is also planned for the following day at the Ritz Theater in West Point.
Beginning at 1 p.m., a Howlin’ Wolf documentary will be screened, a little bit of Wolf history will be shared, and bands will perform in the Wolf’s honor.
Cedric Burnside & Lightnin Malcolm, Ben Prestage and All Night Long will perform that day.
Howlin’ Wolf’s relatives from Chicago are also coming down for the festival, Ramsey said.
“We do things a little bit different,” Ramsey said. “This will be a very intimate, up-close and personal concert.”

Howlin’ Wolf Blues Festival
■ When: 5 p.m. Sept. 3
■ Where: West Point Civic Center
■ Who: Super Chikan & the Fighting Cocks, Homemade
Jamz, Mark “Mule Man” Massey f/ Billy Earheart, Boon-
docks, Cherry Lee Mewis, Blind Mississippi Morris & the
Black Prairie Blues Kings
■ Cost: $15/advance, $20/door.
■ Info: (662) 605-0770
■ Extra: Sept. 4 is the Prairie Arts Festival in West Point.
A Tribute to the Wolf is planned for that day as well at the
Ritz Theater in West Point at 1 p.m. A documentary about
the bluesman will be screened, and there will be perfor-
mances by All Night Long, Cedric Burnside & Lightnin Mal-
colm and Ben Prestage. Tickets are $15/advance,
$20/door.

Sheena Barnett/NEMS Daily Journal