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Blues Trifecta
Blues Trifecta


UA-PTC presents Blues Trifecta, an evening of American roots and blues music, film and history, Thursday, Sept. 21, at 7 p.m. at the Center for Humanities and Arts (CHARTS) on the UA – Pulaski Tech Main campus at 3000 West Scenic Drive in North Little Rock.

This triple-shot of the blues includes a presentation of the award-winning documentary film Two Trains Runnin’, a performance by Mississippi blues artist Jimmy “Duck” Holmes, and a presentation by legendary blues promoter and photographer Dick Waterman.  Tickets are priced at $25 for reserved seats and $50 VIP tickets include premium reserved seating plus access to the “Blues and BBQ” VIP Room sponsored by Whole Hog Café featuring award-winning BBQ and drinks.

Dick Waterman Son House 1969Dick Waterman, featured in Two Trains Runnin’, will begin the evening by taking the audience on an up-close-and-personal journey through the blues as he experienced it first-hand. He will share a selection of his rare photos and stories of these blues legends as he photographed them along the way. Waterman is best known as the legendary blues promoter and photographer who is credited with rediscovering Son House and Skip James in Mississippi. He managed Son House, Skip James, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Junior Wells, Arthur Crudup, and he started the career of Bonnie Raitt as he persuaded her to perform, opening up for these blues legends. In 2000, he was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame as one of the first non-performers to be honored.

Performing second, Jimmy “Duck” Holmes, 70, of Bentonia, Miss., is one of the most celebrated rural blues musicians performing today and is also one of the last of the Bentonia blues stylists made famous by Skip James and Jack Owens. He is the proprietor of the Blues Front Café, the oldest operating juke joint in Mississippi. His professional career dates from the early 1970s and he has appeared at major blues and roots music festivals across the USA and internationally. He is currently managed by Waterman and was recently featured on the cover of Living Blues Magazine in July 2017.

To complete the Blues Trifecta evening, Two Trains Runnin’, an 80-minute award-winning documentary by Avalon Films and Freedom Road Productions, follows the true story of the search for two forgotten blues singers in Mississippi during the height of the civil rights movement. The film is directed by acclaimed filmmaker Sam Pollard and narrated by Common. Musicians in the film include Gary Clark Jr., Buddy Guy, Jimbo Mathus, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Valerie June, Chris Thomas King, North Mississippi Allstars, and Lucinda Williams.

About Two Trains Runnin’

Two Trains Runnin’ Poster

In June of 1964, hundreds of college students, eager to join the civil rights movement, traveled to Mississippi, starting what would be known as Freedom Summer.  That same month, two groups of young men—made up of musicians, college students and record collectors—also traveled to Mississippi. Though neither group was aware of the other, each had come on the same errand: to find an old blues singer and coax him out of retirement. Thirty years before, Son House and Skip James had recorded some of the most memorable music of their era, but now they seemed lost to time. Finding them would not be easy. There were few clues to their whereabouts. It was not even known for certain if they were still alive.

And Mississippi, that summer, was a tense and violent place. With hundreds on their way to teach in freedom schools and work on voter registration, the Ku Klux Klan and police force of many towns vowed that Freedom Summer would not succeed. Churches were bombed, shotguns blasted into cars and homes.  It was easy to mistake the young men looking for Son House and Skip James as activists. Finally, on June 21, 1964, these two campaigns collided in memorable and tragic fashion.

Two Trains Runnin’ not only pays tribute to a pioneering generation of musicians. The movie cuts to the heart of our present moment, offering a crucial vantage from which to view the evolving dynamics of race in America.

Learn more at

University of Arkansas – Pulaski Technical College provides access to high-quality education that promotes student learning and enables individuals to develop to their fullest potential.

For more information, contact Shannon Boshears, UA-PTC vice-chancellor of advancement at (501) 812-2221 or [email protected].

VIP Room Sponsor

Whole Hog Cafe North Little Rock logo

The Center for Humanities and Arts (CHARTS)
University of Arkansas - Pulaski Technical College
3000 West Scenic Drive
North Little Rock, AR 72118
Phone: (501) 812-2715
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