Door Community Auditorium (DCA) offers a cure for those early winter blues: the first-ever DCA Winter Blues Fest. On November 3, 4 and 5, DCA will present three evenings of blues: a screening of the blues documentary “Take Me to the River,” a Stax revue performance by bluesman Booker T. Jones, and a double-bill by blues harmonica great Charlie Musselwhite and brother band North Mississippi Allstars.
Take Me to the River (Thursday, November 3) is a documentary celebrating the inter-generational, inter-racial, inter-gender musical influence of Memphis in the face of pervasive discrimination and segregation. Hip-hop artists such as Snoop Dogg and PNut, as well as legends like Mavis Staples, Booker T. Jones, and Charlie Musselwhite, speak about the struggles, joys, and inspirations of some of America’s most talented musicians. The film’s director, Jerry Harrison (of The Talking Heads), and the film’s supervising sound editor, Eric Thorngren, will be present to reflect on this film’s remarkable story and to take questions from the audience.
Booker T. Jones performs Friday, November 4. On classic Stax Records hits like “Green Onions,” “Hang ’Em High,” and “Time Is Tight,” Jones pushed the boundaries of music, refined it to its essence, then injected it into the nation’s bloodstream. Today, the tunes and grooves of this acclaimed Hammond B-3 organist are woven inextricably into the fabric of the American experience. At DCA, Jones will be joined by a ten-piece band, celebrating the vibrant legacy of Jones’ Stax Records hits.
Closing the festival will be a double-bill (Saturday, November 5) by blues harmonica player Charlie Musselwhite and North Mississippi Allstars. Musselwhite is living proof that great music only gets better with age. After cutting his musical teeth in the early ’60s alongside Muddy Waters, Howling Wolf, and other Chicago blues greats, Musselwhite is still going strong, riveting audiences with a voice and harp tone like no other. Brothers Luther and Cody Dickinson (of North Mississippi Allstars) grew up soaking in the music of their father, Memphis legend Jim Dickinson, absorbing north Mississippi’s musical legacy through nights at the local juke joints. In 1996, Luther (guitar, vocals) and Cody (drums, vocals) decided to use this musical background as the foundation for a new band, and the North Mississippi Allstars were born, pioneering their own brand of blues-infused rock and roll.
The Winter Blues Fest is made possible with support from major sponsors Al Johnson’s Swedish Restaurant and Butik, Landmark Resort, and Lori and David Nicholas; supporting sponsors The Fireside Restaurant, Wild Tomato, Wisconsin Public Radio, and Young Automotive; and passport program partners Friends of Gibraltar, RocketDSD.com/IceCreamSource.com, and Grasse’s Grill.
All shows will take place at 7pm on DCA’s mainstage. Tickets for the individual events range from $10 to $88, with three-day packages available from $75-150 (with a limited number of student packages available for $45). Advance reservations are recommended and can be made through the DCA box office, located at 3926 Highway 42 in Fish Creek. The box office is open Monday-Friday, 12-5pm. Tickets can be purchased in person, on the phone at 920.868.2728, or online at www.dcauditorium.org.