Blues, Booze, and My Favorite Juke Joint

Updated on November 29, 2019
LLCoolFaye profile image

Brandy is a new online writer who focuses primarily on music and music history.

Being a (self-proclaimed) Mississippi blues aficionado, I am occasionally asked by the wayward European tourist where to find an authentic juke joint experience. My answer has been, and always will be, The Blue Front Cafe, in Bentonia, Mississippi. If you have not been, and you are a fan of the Blues, a pilgrimage is in order. Don't let the shabby, cinder block exterior and regulars hanging around outside deter you. They are harmless, friendly, and informative. If you buy them a beer, you’ll have a friend for life.

Blues Trail Marker Outside of the Historic Blue Front Cafe

A Bit of History

The proprietor is the one and only Bentonia blues man himself, Mr.Jimmy “Duck” Holmes. He took over establishment operations from his parents, Mr. Casey and Mary Holmes, in the early 1970s. When it first opened in the 1940s, the local field hands would congregate and enjoy the Blue Front specialties of the time; blues, moonshine, and fried buffalo fish. As a matter of fact, on my last visit, there was a heavy mixture of all three flowing. Duck was busy tending bar and hopping on stage to sit in on a song, Be sure to give the blues man a yell. Don't be surprised if you end up on the porch listening to him play or talk until well past time to go home

Got Talent? Share It!

You never know who will be at the Blue Front or what they will be doing. Honestly you never can tell what you'll end up doing. If there's a spill and you're nearby, get the person behind the bar to toss you a rag. Out of TP in the restroom? Grab some when you head that way. Just be neighborly. Now if you're unaccustomed to this particular brand of hospitality it can feel foreign at first. Just trust me when I say go with it. Before the night is over you’ll be sweaty, smoky, delirious, and having the time of your life. The locals want to show you a good time and dance and sing. If you play the blues, grab a guitar and play. Even if you play Michael Bolton covers, go for it. Everybody will dance along and cheer for you with beers in the air. It’s that kind of place.

The Blues Festival You Don't Want to Miss

Now if you’re smart, or lucky, you’ll find yourself in Bentonia during the Bentonia Blues Festival that is held annually in a nearby field. Well Saturday it is. Thursday night the festivities kick off at the Blue Front with some great music. Open mic, open stage, open door policy.

It’s one of my favorite blues festivals and is mostly undiscovered by the masses. Starting Wednesday and Thursday a few people start arriving. There’s tents, RVs, Atvs, bbq, kids, dogs, horses, and so much blues. The camping option I only discovered last year when my parents decided to spend the weekend. Their middle of the road model RV sat between a string of wire covered by a sheet (aka tent) and a top of the line mansion on wheels. The scene was so ridiculous it could only happen in Mississippi. Tent guy used the bathroom at our place and we all shared meals with every camper in hollerin’ distance. Lawn chairs, cold beer, and a few hundred of your new best friends are what await festival attendees. Admission is around $10 if memory serves, but you’ll hear a million dollars worth of music played while you're at the festival. Thursday and Friday nights the celebration is at the Blue Front so be sure to come early. You don't want to show up Saturday and hear how great the night before was.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)