Sunday, August 8, 2021
Doors: 6:00 PM; Music: 7:00 PM
Advance Tickets: $25 (Will Call Only)
Tickets also available at Forde Nursery
Day of Show: $30 at door
Mississippi Heat is a world-class Chicago Blues Band. Their motto is “Traditional Blues With A Unique Sound” as they present fresh yet vintage-based musical ideas.
Mississippi Heat’s name is a reflection of their reverence for Mississippi’s blues culture and music. The band’s conviction is that there is no deeper music than Delta-inspired blues to express what lies in everyone’s soul. They have received world-wide critical acclaim, including from Living Blues Magazine: “Mississippi Heat delivers its traditional urban blues with a freshness, energy and competence that makes them a treasure on today’s Chicago scene.”
This remarkable band is known internationally for their passionate blues delivery. Overseas and national touring have been an integral part of their work for decades. They have appeared at many national and international festivals including many in the US.
As bandleader and composer, Pierre Lacocque’s vision has never wavered since he founded his band in 1991. His music is traditional because it is steeped in Chicago’s golden sounds of the 1950’s, Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Jimmy Reed, Jimmy Rogers, all the great harp players: Big and Little Walter, The Sonny Boy Williamsons, Junior Wells, George Smith, and many extraordinary contemporaries such as Kim Wilson, Rod Piazza, and Paul deLay.
A blues lover recently said, “I always expect a fantastic show from you guys, but I didn’t expect to be this excited about Carla and Inetta. They shook me to the core”. Buddy Guy echoes this sentiment and has gone on record saying that it’s “been a long time since I heard a good blues band like this.” Finally, the band received this critical acclaim from promoter Bonnie Tallman at the Billtown Blues Festival (Hughesville, PA): “Can’t find enough words to express how blown away everyone was with the Mississippi Heat performance! It was spectacular in every way.”
Ben Rice’s music is deeply rooted in traditional blues, yet at the same time fiercely original. His guitar playing earns labels like “fearless,” “inventive” and “powerful,” and he routinely brings audiences to their feet with his stunning and emotionally honest vocal delivery. Ben is as much at home fronting his electric band as he is captivating a crowd solo with nothing but his voice and his acoustic resonator guitar.
Ben’s original music blends soul, Delta-blues, rockabilly, jazz, and funk into a Roots Stew. Starting with B.B. King and going through the various regions and time periods, he is inspired and influenced by historical figures like Muddy Waters, Mississippi Fred McDowell, Robert Johnson, Big Bill Broonzy, and Skip James to name a few. Ben spent his college years studying jazz guitar at the University of Oregon as well as classical music while also playing in the Celtic folk ensemble and mariachi group on campus. He is well versed in a lot of musical styles that all contribute to the unique sound of his originals.
As a performer, Ben looks to the greats for inspiration and is always striving to connect with the audience through his music and stories. He also has an interesting arsenal of guitars; playing resophonic guitars and homemade cigar box guitars. More important than the visual appeal, Ben has an amazing way of making these guitars sound, often bringing audiences to tears with his slide playing.