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Jimmy "Duck" Holmes Label takes home Best Debut CD, Best Traditional/Acoustic CD and Producer of the Year Awards in the Living Blues Awards Critics’ Poll

(ST. LOUIS) – A year after the release of its first CD, St. Louis-based Broke & Hungry Records has netted three prestigious Living Blues Awards.

The label’s inaugural release, Back to Bentonia by rural Mississippi bluesman Jimmy “Duck” Holmes, has been recognized as both “Best Debut” and “Best Traditional and Acoustic CD” in the Living Blues Awards Critics Poll. The CD also netted the “Producer of the Year” award for the label’s owner Jeff Konkel.

“Gob smacked pretty well sums up our reaction,” Konkel said. “Obviously I believe Jimmy is a huge talent, but neither of us expected this kind of recognition. It’s a well-deserved honor for a bluesman who toiled in obscurity for far too long. We’re absolutely thrilled.”

Since the release of Back to Bentonia, Holmes has vaulted onto the international blues scene and has been profiled in publications and on radio stations across the globe.

His second CD, Done Got Tired of Tryin’ (also on Broke & Hungry Records) was recently released to widespread acclaim.

Holmes has spent much of 2007 working the blues festival circuit, most notably performing five sets at this year’s Chicago Blues Festival. Holmes will top off the hectic festival season with an appearance at the upcoming Arkansas Blues and Heritage Festival (formerly the King Biscuit Blues Festival) in Helena this October.

Holmes, who turned 60 this summer, was a student of the late Jack Owens. Today, Holmes is the last living link to the celebrated “Bentonia School” of guitarists. Named after the tiny town of Bentonia, Mississippi where Holmes still lives, the style is notable for its unusual Open-E Minor guitar tuning and its haunting lyrical content. Other Bentonia blues guitarists included Cornelius Bright, Henry Stuckey, Jacob Stuckey and – most famously – Skip James,

It was latter man who first introduced the world to the Bentonia sound following his first recording sessions for Paramount Records in 1931, but it wasn’t until after James’ death that blues scholars discovered that he was part of a larger tradition of likeminded bluesmen from Bentonia.

That local tradition will be further celebrated next Tuesday, Aug. 21 when the Mississippi Blues Commission dedicates a permanent marker in Bentonia. The marker is part of the Mississippi Blues Trail, which will eventually include more than 100 historical markers and interpretive sites throughout the site. The marker will be erected in front of Holmes’ rustic juke joint, the Blue Front Cafe. Opened in 1948 by his parents Carey and Mary Holmes, the Blue Front is the state’s longest-running juke.

Back to Bentonia is available at fine record stores, online retailers and through the label’s Web site at www.brokeandhungryrecords.com. For more information, contact Jeff Konkel by e-mail at jeff@brokeandhungryrecords.com.


All CDs Now on Sale at the Broke & Hungry Records Store

From now through the end of the year, all Broke & Hungry Records CDs will be available for the low price of $11.99 from the label’s Web site at www.brokeandhungryrecords.com. The sale represents a 20 percent savings from the regular price of $15. In addition, the label offers shipping around the globe for as low as $2.50.

Included in the sale are both of the label’s offerings from renowned country blues guitarist Jimmy “Duck” Holmes as well as the debut CD by Mississippi hill country guitarist Odell Harris and a joint offering from Clarksdale blues veterans Terry “Big T” Williams and Wesley “Junebug” Jefferson.

Broke & Hungry Records first burst onto the blues scene in April 2006 with the release of Back to Bentonia, the debut CD by a then-obscure rural bluesman named Jimmy “Duck” Holmes. The CD was hailed as a traditional blues masterpiece and went on to win three prestigious Living Blues Awards.

In late 2006, Broke & Hungry Records returned with the rollicking and raucous Searching for Odell Harris, a 12-song debut by the famously elusive hill country bluesman of the same name. Blues Bytes called the CD “as good a release of the real, un-distilled blues as you’ll hear this year, and should be required listening for blues fans.”

This year, Broke & Hungry Records returned with two more slabs of real and raw Mississippi blues. First up was Meet Me in the Cotton Field featuring two mainstays of the Delta blues scene, guitarist Terry “Big T” Williams and bassist Wesley “Junebug” Jefferson. Sing Out! Magazine declared the disc to be “one of the rawest and most intense country blues recordings of the past few years.”

Also released in 2007 was Done Got Tired of Tryin’, the sophomore CD by Jimmy “Duck” Holmes. The entire disc was recorded at Holmes’ rustic juke joint, the Blue Front Café in Bentonia, Mississippi. Blues Revue Magazine described the record as “all the proof you need that the blues is an ongoing, culturally relevant art form.”

All four of these discs are included in the storewide sale at the Broke & Hungry Records web site. Also available from the site are Broke & Hungry Records hats and t-shirts. Global shipping ranges from $2.50 to $4.

For more information on the sale or Broke & Hungry Records, contact the label at info@brokeandhungryrecords.com.
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