It’s All in the Details

the blog of laura hunt
Apr
26

Singin' the Blues at Dockery Farms

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I recently traveled to Memphis, Tennessee for a visit to Dockery Farms in Cleveland, Mississippi. Some say, including legend B.B. King, that Dockery is the birthplace of the blues. While it’s difficult to ascertain exactly where blues music got its roots, no doubt Dockery played a big part in its evolution and growth throughout the country. The early workers on the plantation, including Charley Patton and Chester “Howlin’ Wolf” Burnett, would use Dockery as their locale to play music before moving up north to record their famous blues tunes.  

Amongst blue and jazz icons and friends of Dockery Farms, I was lucky enough to be invited to attend an intimate evening put on by Dockery Farms Foundation and The Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz. The Dockery Farms Foundation’s mission is to maintain and preserve Dockery Farms property and the legend behind the birthplace of the blues. The Foundation also serves to develop the land for educational and cultural purposes. Along with the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, both Foundations promote the influence of blues and jazz and the education of these genres. 

My dear friend, Carolyn Powers, is on the Foundation Board of Directors, and invited me to attend this special event. Accompanied by legends of the music industry, like Herbie Hancock, and other supporters, like Morgan Freeman, the evening was filled with so many interesting people all working to preserve this iconic plantation. With an intimate concert from Herbie Hancock atop the gin mill’s porch followed by a Southern dinner in the restored service station, the night felt like it was a family party with such a welcoming atmosphere. From the greasy Southern cooking to the amazing cocktails of Cathead Honeysuckle vodka, muddled mint, and cucumber, the night was a treat! Talented vocalist Lisa Henry and Leonard Brown capped off the evening with an astounding ‘jam session’...singin’ the blues. 

To learn more about Dockery Farms and the Dockery Farms Foundation visit www.dockeryfarms.org 

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