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Bobby Blue Bland Day at Barretville – June 1, 2019

by Barret Matthews, M.D.

For the third year HARE, The Historic Archives of Rosemark and Environs, is hosting Bobby Blue Bland Day in historic Barretville, TN honoring Blues music legend, the late Robert Calvin Bland (1930-2013)—best known as Bobby Blue Bland. Bobby Blue Bland’s widow, Ms. Willie Bland, and other members of the Bland family will again be honored guests of the day.

Only in Barretville, Tennessee can you stand on the spot where this musical legend began. Come walk for a short time in his shoes, see his Tennessee Historical Marker, and keep his memory alive.

Bland grew up at Barretville and began his long, illustrious career in the late 1930’s, singing the Blues for the cotton wagon drivers waiting at the gin (where his father worked as a ginner) and on the front porch of the historic J. H. Barret & Son Store.

This year’s BBB Day Festival will be held on Saturday, June 2, beginning at 4 o’clock in the afternoon and continuing until 8 p.m. As before, the outdoor site is the grounds around the Barret’s Store Building at 9053 Barret Road in the center of the Barretville community. The south end of Barret Road (from Gragg Road) will be blocked to music festival traffic; and BBB Day attendees should enter Barretville by driving from the north end of Barret Road, off Mudville Road. There will be ample free parking. The event is free to the public—no admission will be charged.

Food and Fun for the family

Tents will be set up to provide shade and also as shelter from unexpected rain showers. Everyone is encouraged to bring lawn chairs so that they may sit and enjoy with friends and family the half-day of good music entertainment from the two outdoor stages. In addition to the food and refreshments provided by Long Road Cider Co. (which operates in the J. H. Barret & Son Store Building), food tents of three other local vendors will be on-site offering barbeque and other delicious fare.

Local vendors will include:

  • Long Road Cider,the new occupant of the Historic J.H. Barret & Son General Store building
  • Double D’s BBQ featuring pork BBQ,BBQ pork rinds,BBQ chicken breasts, baked beans and slaw plus fried catfish, cold drinks and bottled water
  • Greenwood A.M.E.Church and H.Y.P.E.featuring hamburgers, hot dogs, chips and soft drinks
  • Jack Frost providing frosties and homemade ice cream

Live Music on TWO Stages

Headlining the music of Bobby Blue Bland Day 2019 will be the Blues duo of Hal Reed and Will Gustofson, well-known independent music artists who have often come together to render the ‘soul of the Blues’ to receptive audiences across the South and Midwest over the past ten years. Both men have a genuine passion for the Blues arising from gospel and other authentic Southern music genres—Hal Reed, having been born on the edge of the Delta in Panola County, Mississippi, in 1953, the son and grandson of noted Mississippi Blues musicians, spent his early years honing his craft in North Mississippi and on Beale Street. Will Gustofson of Nashville, a professional musician for twenty years, has been working recently on his own original album of traditional Blues music for future release. Both these outstanding Blues performers have shared the stage with many legendary Blues greats, perfecting their own smooth mix of Mississippi Delta, Hill Country, Memphis, and Chicago Blues styles which they will be sharing with the crowd.

Additional great musical artists will make the 2019 Bobby Blue Bland Day at Barretville a memorable experience; all are well-known with many fans across the broader Mid-South – Southeastern region.

  • Also featuring Blues Artists Michael Townsend and Bertha Payne

Only in Barretville, Tennessee can you stand on the spot where this musical legend began. Come walk for a short time in his shoes, see his Tennessee Historical Marker, and keep his memory alive.

Come to Barretville on June 1- Be a Part of Musical History!

Sponsors include:


Long Road Cider,

Patriot Bank,

Standard Electric Co., Inc.,

Flinn Broadcasting,

Barret and Delyn Matthews and

Mary R. McCalla

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