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Oxford Blues Festival - Beverly Guitar Watkins

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Monday, July 10, 2017 - 10:07am


Greg Johnson

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Come celebrate the 8th annual Oxford Blues Festival this weekend. Events kick off at 6pm, Friday, July 14 at the Tallahatchie Gourmet, under Neilson's on the Square, with Ben Wiley Payton and Effie Burt. On Saturday, the festival gets started at 11:00am at the Blues Archive (Archives and Special Collections, 3rd floor of the JD Williams Library), in a discussion with Beverly "Guitar" Watkins. Immediately following the talk, Blues Curator Greg Johnson will showcase some recent acquisitions and highlights of the Blues Archive. At 1:15, the festival moves outside, to the Grove, with bands playing until 8:45. All Saturday events are free and open to the public. For full schedule and details, visit

Photo of Beverly "Guitar" Watkins

Beverly "Guitar" Watkins was born in Atlanta in 1939. She got her first guitar when she was about nine years old . . . and the rest, they say, is history. Photos of Watkins often show her playing the guitar behind her head, with some of the same showmanship of Charlie Patton or Jimi Hendrix. A review of Watkins in the San Diego Union Tribune writes, she "sings and plays with enough poise and verve to make musicians half her age or younger consider alternative means of employment." You won't want to miss Saturday's conversation with Beverly "Guitar" Watkins about her life and career in music. She'll take the stage later on Saturday at 6:05, with the King Bees.