Erickson EB Blakney – Cat Head – Juke Joint Festival Sunday – Clarksdale – TRUE DELTA documentary – Serendipitous Meeting

How could it be that over a year has passed since that Sunday afternoon following Juke Joint Festival 2011? I was hanging outside Roger’s place, listening to some Rev. Peyton and his Big Damn Band (see min 1:20) intense music, when I saw several creatures walking out of Cat Head, one of which was in a suit…………Sunday afternoon following the festival?? What the……….. and, like I am known to do, I made a bee-line for them…. knowing they were NOT from here.

Filmmakers and Blues Enthusiasts: Daniel Cowen, Lee Quinby, Erickson Blakney, Michael Scanlan

Filmmakers and Blues Enthusiasts: Daniel Cowen, Lee Quinby, Erickson Blakney, Michael Scanlan

Next thing you knew I was learning of a documentary they were in the process of making here and I met several cool folks hailing from the NYC area, my old stomping grounds.  I liked them right off the bat, including a way talented cool dude named EB Blakney, an award-winning journalist/filmmaker extraordinaire. He is associated with the big wig CBS Television, too. (How cool he is focusing on our little community here in Clarksdale – the Mississippi Delta – the TRUE DELTA.)

An email relationship sprung up between me and EB and before you knew it he was covering the Big Apple Mississippi Picnic in the Park for the DELTA BOHEMIAN. Sweet. I always thought my attendance at that picnic on behalf of my former employers would have blown things up (in a very good way) but that is a story for another day. Actually, I’m forgetting about all those lost opportunities.

Anyway, EB and I hooked up cyber style and have stayed in touch ever since.


Watch it by clicking HERE. (Sorry. Can’t embed it.)

If you like it then help them out with some needed funds to get this thing turned in to a reality. GO HERE TO THEIR KICKSTARTER SITE!!!! I M P O R T A N T !

I just love it when folks not from here appreciate what we have here. The DELTA BOHEMIAN – we celebrate our burgeoning diversity and we relish our constancy and will protect it and harbor it and never forget it. Join me, join us in giving thanks to folks like EB Blakney for celebrating our past and our present and showing us love love love.

Thanks, EB. I’m looking forward to seeing your finished product. Let’s party soon. DELTA BOHEMIAN HOUSE time is fast approaching.

There are all kinds if big names associated with this outstanding project. We like EB and we like what he’s doing and we want to show him and his fellow hard working friends some love. Hope it helps, EB.

PS. We LOVE Bill Perry and his entire family!

Read this PRESS RELEASE about the project!!!!


Documentary Film TRUE DELTA and Photographic Exhibit Add Rich Context –

Will Premiere with Films by Ken Burns and Rory Kennedy –

TRUE DELTA is a cinematic snapshot of the Blues tradition that remains vibrant in and around Clarksdale, Mississippi–the renowned birthplace of the Blues. Produced by Lucky Find Productions, the film captures the excitement of festival audiences that come from all over the world and the sweaty bravado and skill of the Blues musicians and singers on stage. Additional interviews with church leaders, Blues historians, and local business owners show how intertwined the Blues is with the religious, economic, and cultural life of the Delta region.  Most compelling are the interviews with musicians and singers from the ages of 10 to 90, showing their commitment, their struggles, and their deep passion for the Blues. Guitarist/Vocalist Bill “Howl-n-Madd” Perry, James “Super Chikan” Johnson, James Lewis “T-Model” Ford, Grammy award-winner James “Jimbo” Mathus and the late “Big Jack” Johnson are some of the musicians you will meet in TRUE DELTA. The film is written by Lee Quinby and directed by both Ms. Quinby and Daniel Cowen. It’s based on an original concept by CBS News writer/reporter Erickson Blakney and Rich Maloof, a past editor of Guitar Magazine. Blakney, based in New York, also produced the film.

The film is off to a great start. It will premiere at Mountainfilm Festival in Telluride, Colorado, over Memorial Day Weekend In August it will be featured in Clarksdale at the 25th Annual Sunflower River Blues & Gospel Festival, where singer/songwriter Robert Plant will be headlining.

With his raw, emotive guitar-playing, and his gutsy, gravelly vocals, Mississippi Bluesman Bill “Howl-n-Madd” Perry will be joining the Lucky Find team in Telluride and will “rock- the-juke” following the screenings and will participate in audience forums with the filmmakers.

TRUE DELTA will be accompanied by a book of photography. Michael Scanlan so far has captured nearly 5000 arresting images, which tell a beautiful story that partly mirrors the film. In keeping with the film’s themes, a percentage of the proceeds from book sales will be donated to the Delta Blues Museum’s Arts and Education Fund and the Mississippi Blues Foundation’s Musicians’ Aid Fund. A selection of Scanlan’s photos will be on exhibit at Kamruz Gallery in Telluride during the Mountainfilm Festival.

Started in 1979, Mountainfilm Festival is dedicated to educating and inspiring audiences about issues that matter, cultures worth exploring, environments worth preserving and conversations worth sustaining. In addition to screening leading independent documentary films from around the world, the festival includes a full-day symposium on a critical contemporary issue, art and photography exhibits, early morning coffee talks, a book signing party, an ice cream social, student programs and a closing picnic/awards ceremony.

Lucky Find Productions: 

This first part is all about EB!

Erickson S. Blakney is an award-winning broadcast journalist based in New York City.  He currently works for CBS News. A member of the International Documentary Association, the Society of Professional Journalists and the National Press Club, Blakney has also written for magazines and several daily newspapers including the Boston Globe, Clarion-Ledger, DeSoto Magazine and Delta Bohemian. “EB” currently serves on the board of trustees of the DreamYard Project, one of the largest arts education providers in the Bronx offering programs in-school, after-school and during the summer. He also serves on the board of the Lower Mississippi River Foundation in Clarksdale, MS, which is devoted to the protection of the Lower Mississippi River, its tributaries and the wilderness areas surrounding them Blakney is a graduate of Hobart College and Maumee Valley Country Day School in Toledo, Ohio.

Daniel Cowen’s is a filmmaker and founder of CUFF, the City University Film Festival, one of the largest student film festivals in the world. Daniel has collaborated with the Metropolitan Opera and the American Museum of Folk Art in New York City. His work has been featured on PBS and at numerous festivals. His short film, “Facing the Waves,” about a former gang member turned surfer/entrepreneur, was an official selection at Mountainfilm Festival 2010 in Telluride.

Lee Quinby is a Distinguished Lecturer at Macaulay Honors College, CUNY and an interdisciplinary scholar and author or editor of seven books and numerous articles on subjects ranging from issues of sexuality, technology, and power to doomsday scenarios in history and popular culture. The founder of Lucky Find, she directed and co-produced the short documentary, “Facing the Waves,” with Daniel Cowen.

Michael Scanlan is a New York/New Jersey based photographer, who has served a wide range of private and commercial clients.  His work has appeared in the Newark Star Ledger as well as numerous non-profit publications in the New York Metropolitan Area. Although primarily self-taught, the Georgetown University graduate has studied at the School of Visual Arts in New York and the Maine Photographic Workshops. After a ten-year career with MBNA America Bank, Michael joined St. Benedict’s Preparatory School in Newark, New Jersey where he currently serves as Assistant Headmaster.  The school has a national reputation for its service to a primarily inner city population.

The Artist:

Bill “Howl-N-Madd” Perry’s latest CD “The Clarksdale Sessions”, released in April 2012, is a CD that you will keep playing for years to come. The songs take you from the Mississippi Jukes to a Saturday Night in the Big City. The music brings to mind a dark steaming night in the Mississippi Delta to that of sitting by the Banks of a River trailing your hand in the water contemplating love lost, love gained or just thinking about what you are going to do with your life. This CD will make you laugh, dance, or just long to sit and chill out for a while. Bill “Howl-N-Madd” Perry’s recognitions are many. Bill Has traveled extensively sharing his music, his stories, and his humor with fans around the world. Mississippi has honored Bill by noting him on two of the Mississippi Blues Highway Markers for his contribution to the blues.  Bill is honored with a display about his life and professional career in the Delta Blues Museum in Clarksdale, MS. The Clarksdale Sessions CD was produced at the Clarksdale Soundstage by Gary Vincent. The Grammy-nominated producer is also president of Ground Zero Blues Club Music, a co-venture film company with actor and philanthropist Morgan Freeman.


Erickson “EB” Blakney
[email protected]
[email protected]


Carol Marble
Mississippi Delta Blues, Inc. – Management for Bill “Howl-N-Madd” Perry
Skype – carol.marble



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  1. Congrats and best of luck to EB and the whole crew — including Bill Perry, of course! Looking forward to seeing the new movie full of all our Delta friends and favorites. (Hey… Please remember our Clarksdale Film Festival is in late January. ‘Love to screen True Delta there.)

  2. The film True Delta, shown at the Telluride Mountain Film fest, was absolutely amazing. It was an honor to be a part of the Telluride Mountain Film Festival. Lee Quinby, Erickson Blakney, Daniel Cowen, and Mike Scanlan are amazing people and amazingly talented. And my dad, Bill Howl-N-Madd Perry was fabulous!!

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