Thursday To-Do: Arkansas Blues and Heritage Festival | Rock Candy

Thursday To-Do: Arkansas Blues and Heritage Festival

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ARKANSAS BLUES AND HERITAGE FESTIVAL
11:30 a.m., Downtown Helena-West Helena. $25 weekend pass.

That staple of blues heritage, the King Biscuit Blues Fest, now known as the "Arkansas Blues and Heritage Festival," is celebrating its 25th year this weekend. And the world-famous, three-day celebration of everything blues is set to offer its biggest year yet. Working with a half-million dollar budget — the largest by far in its history — the festival is guaranteed to pack Helena-West Helena to unprecedented levels. But for good reason. This year's lineup is one for the history books.

On the main stage, Thursday night offers up B.B. King (above), the American icon and one of the last living blues greats; Friday is headlined by Dr. John, the authoritative torch holder of the gravelly New Orleans sound, and Saturday brings Taj Mahal, the towering figure of the genre, by and large responsible for the revival of acoustic blues. Elsewhere, you're bound to run into Bobby Rush, the Pine Bluff-raised dirty bluesman and showman extraordinaire; Pinetop Perkins, whose piano blues warranted him a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, and the legendary Charlie Musselwhite. For more information on the 50 other acts featured on four stages over three days, visit bluesandheritagefest.com.


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