The Mississippi Juke Ambassadors

Lancaster Roots & Blues RETURNS - Friday, Saturday & Sunday, Sept 27, 28 & 29

Great Mississippi Blues

The Mississippi Juke Ambassadors

Juke joints have been in existence for over 140 years in the south, usually located on the outskirts of town in ramshackle buildings.  The blues music performed in these jooks is raw and spirited, it thumps and throbs, it induces spontaneous body movement, it’s meant to party to.   Couples dance close and sweaty, their clothes bright and neat, the roof probably leaks and moonshine is the preferred beverage.   It’s real and the people are there to escape the day.

The Mississippi Juke Ambassadors have taken this music to four continents and over twenty countries throughout the world.  Each artist in the Juke Ambassadors performed hundreds of gigs in Mississippi juke joints and have played countless house parties in the Delta and Hill Country.   This style of raucous blues is in their blood, it’s an expression of their souls.   When the sun goes down, it’s time to Boogie!!!

The Mississippi Juke Ambassadors will be performing at the intimate Sugartank Recording Studio on Sat. from 1:15 to 2:15 pm.  This is a VIP only event.  The Sugartank is in an old radio station on the 3rd floor. There is no elevator.

They will really open up it later Saturday night at the Elks stage from 6:00 to 8:30pm.  This is open to all ticket holders. And if you come to the late night invitational Jam Session at Tellus at midnight Saturday, hosted by Juke Ambassador Bobby Gentilo at Tellus at midnight you will be sure to see them really cutting loose there.

The Band: The Cornlickers

The band gets their name honestly, no store bought liquor for this crew.  The Cornlickers have spent the better part of fifteen years performing with some of the legends of Mississippi blues.   For many years they were Big Jack Johnsons band, recording and producing his final three albums and learning tremendous lessons along the way.   Clarksdale Mississippi is full of life and musical lessons and The Cornlickers have never been afraid to open up their minds and ears.

They are the house band at the world famous juke joint Red’s Lounge located in Clarksdale, MS and have had the joy and privilege to back Big Jack Johnson, Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, T-Model Ford, Jerry “Boogie” McCain, R.L. Boyce, Terry “Harmonica” Bean, Anthony “Big A” Sherrod, Johnny Rawls, “Cadillac” John Nolden, Robert Bilbo Walker and countless others.

In recent years the band has been touring throughout South America and Europe with Colombian born, Mississippi schooled bluesman Carlos Elliot.   Together they have tasted some of the finest moonshine the world has to offer!

Robert Kimbrough Sr.

Robert continues the Cotton Patch Blues style created by his father, the legendary Junior Kimbrough. From an early age, Robert was steeped in the sounds and life of the Mississippi Hill Country and its distinctive styles of blues. Growing up, Robert listened first-hand to Mississippi blues royalty who played with his father at home in the evenings at Junior’s juke joint club, as well as, to the all-too-frequent weekend house party and porch jam sessions. The blues was simply part of everyday life as a Kimbrough. Robert continues his father’s tradition, along with some of his 36 siblings on his father’s side. You can often find many of them sharing the stage on any given night in Mississippi. The Kimbrough name, along with the Burnside name, is part of a blues dynasty that remains strong, bringing their unique blues style to the world.

The Cotton Patch Blues style was probably best summarized by the pioneer rockabilly performer, Charlie Feathers, as something between bluegrass and Delta blues. Feathers goes on to describe that the Cotton Patch Blues possess an unusual blues structure that is both inventive and free, and that the close interplay between the bass, drums and guitar rhythms creates an unusual texture. Robert defines Cotton Patch Blues as a deep soul sound that can be linked back to the sounds coming from the cotton fields – field hands singing out as they worked in the rows of cotton.

Heather Crosse

A lot of today’s emerging blues artists serve up the music with a healthy side order of rock. Heather Crosse is different. As a singer, songwriter and bass player, she still believes in the power of old-school blues and R&B.
“Blues and soul just speak to me the loudest,” says Crosse, who’s spent the past two decades paying her dues at festivals, clubs and honky tonks across the American South. Originally from Louisiana, she’s now an in-demand player in her chosen hometown of Clarksdale, Mississippi, where she and her band have backed blues heavyweights including Bob Margolin, Guitar Shorty, Jody Williams and James “Super Chikan” Johnson. For years, Crosse has appeared regularly at the world-famous Ground Zero Blues Club. Early in 2015, she toured Europe and the UK as a member of the Blues Caravan 2015 “Girls With Guitars” tour and was also part of Grammy award winning producer Jim Gaines album of the same name.   Heather’s international career continues to grow and she will be releasing her second solo album in early 2019.

Carlos Elliot

Carlos Elliot is a Colombian born bluesman inspired by Mississippi Hill Country Blues music that is linked to Afro-American dance partying traditions.

The music Carlos creates is aimed at the whole society, promoting a look at ancestral traditions and sharing a message of union in community that transcends race, sex, age, origin, culture or belief, inviting the audience to seek their own truth and to use music to activate internal medicine. After a long musical journey, he arrives with the creation of an intense new rhythm that propels the body to ritual dance, mixing different musical genres, in what he calls “Dancing Blues, Roots & Rock’n’Roll.”

Carlos has lived and experienced the blues right where it was created, in its cradle, Mississippi.  Learning from the hands of legendary masters, regularly performing with the realest of the real for the last 10 years in the Delta and North Mississippi.  Carlos and his band are credited as pioneers of Hill Country Blues in Latin America and recognized as internationally acclaimed independent artists, completing extensive tours in 15 different countries in the last 2 years, playing in important festivals & stages in Europe, Asia, South, and North America.  Carlos operates from Otún-Quimbaya, Colombia and Mississippi, USA, constantly touring, activating territories around the world, and supporting causes that are aligned with his vision.

Carlos performed at Lancaster Roots and Blues 2 years ago and tore is up!

Bobby Gentilo

Gentilo is the guitarist for The Cornlickers and has been touring throughout the United States, South America and Europe spreading the word of Mississippi Delta and Hill Country blues.   He is also an international record producer and engineer with many album credits to his name including productions for Big Jack Johnson, Anthony “Big A” Sherrod, Carlos Elliot and Terry “Harmonica” Bean.   2019 will see the first solo album from Gentilo and a subsequent tour to support the record will soon follow.  Always up for a challenge, not afraid to fail, and will never miss an opportunity to boogie all night!!  Gentilo is our local connection to the Mississippi scene.  He is an owner of Right Coast Recording Studio here in Columbia in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.