Music to our ears: Blues & Soul Super Bowl comes to the Bluff

Published 11:00 am Sunday, September 18, 2022

By Jennie Guido

Coming to the Natchez Bluff Oct. 7-8, the inaugural Blues & Soul Super Bowl is sure to kick off Natchez’s busy season with a bang.

I had a chance to chat with Ardenland’s TJ Barnett, who is a big piece of the musical puzzle that we are seeing come together in Natchez over the past few years. She explained, “If you take a look at all the concerts and festivals coming to Natchez, Mississippi, in the last few years the genres are primarily country, rock, and Americana. Which made us think, ‘why not bring back blues and soul?’

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“We have loved bringing festivals to the Natchez Bluff – such an amazing view paired with local food and world-renowned artists. How can you beat it?”

This particular festival will headline with some of the best when it comes to blues and soul: Patti LaBelle, Kool & the Gang, and CeeLo Green. “The goal of Blues & Soul Super Bowl is what our goal is for every festival we put on: to let the power of live music bring the surrounding communities together; to let our audience have a safe, family-friendly, amazing experience; and to show our artists the beauty and hospitality of such a special place like Natchez,” Barnett shared. “What a treat it is to be able to make Blues & Soul Super Bowl happen.”

Friday’s line up is one that cannot be missed. “Mississippi’s own Jarekus Singleton starts off Friday with contemporary blues,” Barnett said. “His songs are lyrically rich with spiritual ties and rap-informed rhythms and rhymes. He is an artist we are honored to call a Mississippian! Then, we have Southern Avenue, which first appeared in Natchez for Mudbug Music Festival in 2021, and is a diverse group that comes together to showcase powerful chemistry and an electrifying show on stage. You won’t be able to sit still.

“Finally, Kool & The Gang is a band that needs no introduction. How amazing that they are coming to Natchez to celebrate good times with us? Come ON!”

With a full day Saturday of events and performers on the Bluff, Blues & Soul Super Bowl will leave you ready for the following weekend of music at the Natchez Balloon Festival on the opposite end of the Bluff.

“Saturday you can experience the best in blues and soul,” Barnett added. “Bonneville, a band dedicated to the sounds of soul, will start off Saturday and what better way to start your day? Dorothy Moore (what a treat) is a legendary Mississippi blues singer best known for her beautiful, original song ‘Misty Blue’ – get ready to shed a tear to this one. Jamell Richardson, another Mississippi native, brings such electricity to his shows with BB King-esque facial expressions, Hendrix style guitar riffs, and Richardson’s beautiful, soul-filled voice.

“CeeLo Green is a man that will have you up and dancing (forget you if you aren’t dancing when he hits the stage). He will be doing a tribute to the late, great James Brown. It was a no brainer when we added him to our line-up. Finally, there is no other option to ending our two-day festival than with the godmother of soul herself – Patti LaBelle. She has and always will put on a show that you can’t miss.”

For tickets and more information, visit ardenland.net.