Friday, May 20, 2011

Exit 56 Blues Fest Schedule of Events Saturday, May 28

Get ready for the first Exit 56 Blues Fest Saturday, May 28, 2011 at the West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center, in Brownsville, Tenn. The day will be filled with arts and crafts, a special quilt exhibit, car and motorcycle cruise-in, special cookbook signing and live music from the porch of Blues pioneer Sleepy John Estes' last home.

    • Heritage Quilts of West Tennessee
      •  A special display of heirloom and modern quilts lovingly made in West Tennessee. On display inside the Delta Heritage Center. Exhibit is free.
    • Car & Motorcycle Cruise-In
      • A day of fun, music, and vehicles. Bring your car, truck, or motorcycle to join in the fun of showing off your ride. Register for door prizes and bring your blanket or lawn chair and stay and stay for the evening concerts.
  • 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.: Arts and Crafts Show
    • Over 15 vendors will  be showcasing their handmade wares: Items will include handmade hairbows, aprons, jewelry, quilts, handbags, totes, and much more.
  • 10 a.m.: Cookbook signing
    • Pamela Whinnery, author of Country Goodness Recipes of Tennessee Celebrities" will be on hand to sign copies of her latest cookbook.
  • 4:30 - 9 p.m.: Live Blues Music
    • 4:30 - 5 p.m.: Clifton Smith
    • 5-6:30 p.m.: Tucson Simpson's Graham Perry and Kevin Kilgore
    • 6:30 - 7 p.m.: Ronnie Thonpson
    • 7-9 p.m; Blind Red Rooster.

Tucson Simpson members to perform at Exit 56 Blues Fest

Here's a little background on Tucson Simpson. Two of its members, Graham Perry and Kevin Kilgore will be performing at this year's Exit 56 Blues Fest Saturday, May 28, 2011, in Brownsville, Tenn. Their performance begins at 5 p.m.
Kevin Kilgore
Graham Perry

Tucson Simpson is a roots rock combo based out of Memphis Tennessee.   Featuring Graham Perry (vocals, guitar), Kevin Kilgore (backing vocals, guitar), Steve McCraw (backing vocal, lead guitar), and Steve Hearn (Bass), and backed by drummers including Memphis favorites Anthony Barrasso, Bill Frazier and Harry Peel, the band’s style is an eclectic mix of Delta Blues, Commercial Pop and Roots Rock. The band has enjoyed success on the Midsouth’s club circuit and Memphis in May Bar-B-Que Festival network as a headline act.

Drawing from experience acquired as a songwriter for Crutchfield Music, Perry (a PhD Candidate at The University of Memphis) joined forces with Kilgore, Hearn and Frazier in 1999 with now deceased guitarist Sam Plumlee to release two CDs, Drawn & Ready (EP) and Hot Town (LP), the latter of which was the #14 add the week of its release on the CMJ Charts in 2003.  Soon after the death of Plumlee during the recording of Hot Town, McCraw joined the band, taking the band’s sound to new heights.

While, Hot Town is a well-rounded collection of powerful electric and acoustic guitars, soulful melodies, and catchy hooks that portray the varying life-experiences of the musicians, their latest release, Rainshine, in 2010 has been a watershed for the band-members, having taken seven difficult years to complete.  This latest release has received airplay at more than 150 stations college and community radio stations nationwide, charting in St. Louis, MO, Machias, ME, Peoria, IL, Pittston, PA, Farmville, VA, Brookville, NY, Waukesha, WI, Newton, MA, Moscow, ID, and San Marcos, CA.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Tennessee Preservation Trust Conference

Brownsville attendees pictured in front of the West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center exhibit booth. Pictured are Vice Mayor Carolyn Flagg, Brownsville City Planner Sharon Hayes, WTDHC Director Sonia Outlaw-Clark, Amy Moss Carpenter and Marietta Haywood. Not pictured is Susan Sills.

We were so happy to help sponsor this year's Tennessee Preservation Trust Conference held April 14 & 15 in Collierville, Tenn. Collierville is a beautiful town and a great venue for this conference. The weather turned out perfect and we really enjoyed meeting everyone and making new friends. Susan Sills, of Brownsville, was in charge of organizing the conference and did an excellent job.

Delta Heritage Hosts May BBA Breakfast

Brownsville business people love to share  with fellow business associates and that has become even more evident during the three months since the BBA Breakfast event has been happening. Starting in March 2011, this event just keeps growing. The Delta Heritage Center was proud to host the May event, along with Williams Insurance Agency. Lots of BBA fun was had by all ... and a great breakfast, too. Someone pass the Elvis biscuits!
Kenny Ellington, Brownsville Bells Funeral Home, and Michael Harrison, Haywood Harbinger 

Paulette Campbell, Lock, Stock and Barrel, Becky Booth, Moore Insurance Agency, and Pat Bailey, Pat's Fabrics

Charles Elrod, NewWave Communications, and Albert Campbell, Lock, Stock and Barrel

Carolyn Reid, Brownsville Family Restaurant, Vice Mayor Carolyn Flagg, and Daniel Thornton, Richards-Cummins Real Estate/Southwest TN Electric Co.

Joe Ing, Brownsville-Haywood County Chamber , Diane Hooper, Sugar Creek Retirement Center, and Nancy Cates, B-HC Parks and Recreation 

Vicki Cooper, All That's Victoria, Sonia Outlaw-Clark, West TN Delta Heritage Center, and Keith Kirkpatrick, NewWave Communications

Blues Fest revived in Brownsville

Blind Red Rooster will perform live at the Exit 56 Blues Fest Saturday, May 28, beginning at 7 p.m. Members of the group from Northwest Tennessee are Smokin' Joe Watts, Rick Casey, Coby Watts and Rob Kingrey.

Brownsville will once again celebrate its blues heritage during the Exit 56 Blues Fest Saturday, May 28, at the West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center. Festivities will include an arts and crafts show, quilt exhibit, book signing, cruise-in and live music. The day long event will run from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m.

Artisans will showcase their wares from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Items for sale will include sunglasses, handmade ribbons and bows, aprons, boutique dresses, flower arrangements, jewelry, handbags, wood products, quilts and more.

Heirloom and more modern quilts will be on display inside the Center as part of the “Heritage Quilts of West Tennessee” special exhibit sponsored by Pat’s Fabrics of Brownsville. Also on exhibit will be the winning art projects of the Haywood County School children for the recent Cinco de Mayo Celebration.

Author Pamela Whinnery will be present from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., to sign copies of her latest cookbook “Country Goodness Recipes of Tennessee Celebrities.” The recipe collection includes recipes from Elvis, Trace Adkins, President Andrew Jackson and more.

Beginning at 5 p.m., local and area artist will perform from the porch of the Sleepy John Estes home, located on the grounds of the Center. Memphis musicians Graham Perry and Kevin Kilgore, members of the group Tucson Simpson will perform at 5 p.m. Brownsville’s own Clifton Smith will take the stage at 6:30; and Union City Blues band Blind Red Rooster will perform at 7 p.m.

Car and motorcycle enthusiasts are invited to cruise-in for any or all of the festivities.

Festival admission and concerts are free and everyone is invited to attend and enjoy a day celebrating the Brownsville blues. The West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center is located off of Interstate 40 at Exit 56, behind McDonald’s. For more information, contact the Center at 731-779-9000 or visit

Monday, May 16, 2011

Mickey Utley to kick-off summer concert series

This Sunday, May 22, Brownsville’s own Mickey Utley will kick-off a summer of live performances from the porch of the Sleepy John Estes home at the West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center. The summer concert series, called “Concert on the Porch,” will feature local and regional talents each month leading up to the Hatchie Fall Fest in October.

Utley will take the stage (porch) at 3:30 p.m., Sunday, when he will introduce his newest release, “I’m Feelin’ You.” The concerts are free and everyone is invited. Utley will be signing autographs and posing for pictures immediately following the concert. A special exhibit will also be on display inside the Center showcasing items donated by Utley.

Other performers scheduled to make an appearance on “The Porch” this summer are: Hannah Company, Jupiter Stone, David Smith, His Voice, Diverse Five, Wildwood Express, David Evans, Elmo Lee Thomas and more.

For a complete schedule and more information, contact the Center at 731-779-9000, or visit the website: