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Freedom Creek Blues Festival rolls on


Special to The Dispatch



The 17th annual Freedom Creek Blues Festival brings a day of live blues once again to the Black Prairie region so special to the late Willie King, the festival's founder. The event is Saturday, May 24, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. in Aliceville, Ala., at Cookieman's Place, 1438 Wilder Circle.  


The festival is presented by the Rural Members Association, in honor of King.  


"True to its original format, the festival will open with some great traditional gospel followed by nonstop blues with a focus on regional, traditional artists," said organizer Rick Asherson. "The family-friendly festival attracts local and international crowds and is renowned for its down-home atmosphere, great music and delicious southern food." 


This year's festival features a wide range of Alabama and regional performers including blues veteran Mudcat, plus DieDra and the Ruff Pro Band, along with a host of blues stars, including local legend "Birmingham" George Conner, an Alabama Blues Women Review featuring the B.J. Miller, Birmingham's SharBaby and Tuscaloosa's own Debbie Bond, Little Lee and the Midnight Blues Band and much more  


Following gospel from Yolanda Smith will be blues from the young musicians in the Alabama Blues Project's Advanced student band. Debbie Bond is an intrepid blues advocate, performer and founder of the nonprofit Alabama Blues Project. She has attended and performed at this festival since its inception in 1998.  


Bond said, "I'm thrilled that the Rural Members Association is keeping the Freedom Creek Blues Festival alive. This year's festival includes lots of Alabama blues as well as Mississippi. I'm also happy to be part of the Alabama Blues Women Review. The backwoods setting is in the heart of the Alabama black belt and the crowd is always a wonderful diverse mix of local, national and international visitors. This is one of the best festivals I have ever attended -- so friendly and intimate." 


Admission is by suggested donation of $10.  


"This is the most downhome, real deal blues festival around," said Asherson. 


For more information and the day's schedule, visit, or contact Asherson at 205-366-1307.



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