Poster shows town, people behind music of Delta festival

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 31, 2004

FERRIDAY, La. &045; This year’s poster for the Delta Music Festival is about more than just music, it’s about the town and the people behind the music.

Each of the three years of the festival, Shirley Byrne has created a different look to represent the musical showcase.

The first year she brought out the instruments that made the music to create a photo collage of sorts tinted in blue for the blues.

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The second year, Byrne took a detail of the music, hands playing a guitar, and made it come to life on her poster with a vivid red. This year, Byrne brought out the flavor of the Delta along with the music.

&uot;I think of the men that were playing he blues,&uot; she said, of when she thinks of the Delta. That was part of her inspiration.

When she was beginning to form her idea, Byrne said she thought the poster needed to reflect where the festival was.

The man in the corner is playing the blues, simply using his hands and guitar to make music. Behind him is the church, the birthplace of music and the blues, Byrne said.

The Delta Music Museum highlights the right-hand corner. In the middle, beneath the man playing the saxophone and the fisherman beside the cypress tree, the crawfish, potatoes and corn roll off the page showing the flavor of the area. To finish the poster off is the woman at the bottom soulfully playing the accordion.

Byrne said she was trying to get the Louisiana feel, which also influenced her medium.

&uot;Watercolor was the only thing to get the feel,&uot; Byrne said. &uot;Watercolor flows better.&uot;

Judith Bingham, chairman of the festival committee and director of the Delta Music Museum, said the poster is a reminder of each year’s festival.

&uot;She just outdid herself this year,&uot; Bingham said of this year’s watercolor depiction.

&uot;I think it shows a lot of merriment with the musicians but it also pulls in the area. It actually blends the music and the area.&uot;

Not only does the museum frame the poster each year, but they give a framed poster with three photos of the festival to the inductees to the Delta Music Museum each year.

This year’s inductees are Percy Sledge, the headliner of the event, the late Johnny Horton and pianist Al Harris, the music coordinator for the Louisiana Music Calvacade.

But not only will the poster serve as a reminder to them, but to the people of Ferriday as well. Bingham said many people in the community frame the posters, collecting one each year.

This year’s posters, as well as the posters from the years before, will be on sale at the Delta Music Museum and at the festival.

The 2004 poster is $5 and previous year’s posters are $3. A limited number of posters will be signed by the artist and numbered, selling for $10.