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2023 Blues Panel Discussions

“Blues Legends Unplugged: A Journey Through Time, Tradition, and Transformation”
Thursday, October 12th, 2023
1:00pm – 2:00pm @ the Ole Miss Blues Archives


Little Willie Farmer

From Mechanic to Full-Time Bluesman

Willie Farmer is living proof that Mississippi continues to breed deep blues.

He’s lived his entire life in tiny Duck Hill, Mississippi, on the family farm in the Hill Country east of the Delta. He was besotted with the blues by his early teens. He started with an acoustic guitar, but he picked cotton and saved enough money to buy an electric instrument.

He learned about blues and R&B mostly through listening to a powerful station out of Nashville, Tennessee.

“John R of WLAC, that’s how I listened to Lightnin’ Hopkins, Howlin’ Wolf,” Willie says. “I learned Lightin’ pretty good, and then I went to B.B. I can play all the up-to-date stuff now—B.B., Little Milton—but I like the old stuff, that’s the real blues. The blues they’re singing today, that ain’t blues to me. It just doesn’t have the feel.”


Soulful Sounds: Blues Music and the ongoing pursuit for justice.
Thursday, October 12th, 2023
2:30pm – 3:30pm @ the Ole Miss Blues Archives



Brenda Luckett is from Clarksdale, MS.  She was born into the blues and Civil Rights Movement.  Her father was a charter member of the the local NAACP and her mother the secretary for 30 years for the organization.  She is the Goddaughter to Aaron Henry.

She is a board member of the Fuller Foundation and the Griot, an after school  mentorship program for youth.   She is also a retired school teacher.  She started taking her students on historical tours of Clarksdale because a lot of her students didn’t know much history of the blues and Civil Rights legends from their own community.

Panelist, Al White


Al White is an activist and a life long promoter of blues music.  He is the founder and organizer of the Duckhill Blues Festival.  He is currently the Mayor of Duckhill, MS.