jimmy duck holmes

Literally, inside the Blue Front Cafe, facing the front entrance and bar.

There are still special places where the heart of American music beats like a kick drum. Experience them while you can, and be inspired.

Since the ’80s, I’ve spent a lot of time traveling to the obscure corners where great American roots music is made. Recently, I went to Bentonia, Mississippi, for the 75th anniversary of the Blue Front Cafe, a little juke joint so close to the railroad tracks that its walls shake when the City of New Orleans rumbles by. The place is run by Jimmy “Duck” Holmes, who inherited it from his parents. He was 1 year old when they opened its doors, and, at 76, Jimmy takes great pride in unlocking those same blue doors every day.

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