Celebrating a Blues Legend


Brownsville celebrates the birthday and legacy of blues great and legend,  “Sleepy” John Adam Estes. The 5th Annual Sleepy John’s Country Blues Jam is set to be held on Saturday, January 27, 10am at the Delta Heritage Center in partnership with the West Tennessee Blues Society.

Attendees will be given the opportunity to take part in skills clinics, symposiums, and an acoustic jam session. Also hosting a slide guitar clinic is well-known guitarist Elam McKnight. This clinic will be a basic introduction to two tunings favored by legendary slide players. McKnight is very accomplished in his own right, having recorded and released six studio albums and being a master musician in several musical genres.

Guitarist Elam McKnight will host a slide guitar clinic beginning at 10 am. This will be a basic introduction to two tunings (open G and open D) favored by legendary slide players of the past. It will also include technique and resource material helpful for beginners or experienced players. McKnight is well known in the blues, rock and country genres, and has released six studio albums.

Brownsville native, and founding member of the band Little Boys Blue, J.D. Taylor will lead an introductory harmonica clinic. Taylor has been playing the harmonica since 1991. He now builds and sells them worldwide. Participants are asked to bring their own harmonica in the key of C. Several topics will be covered including single note playing, single note riffs and bends along with bends, hand cupping and more.


An informal symposium will begin at 1pm entitled “Collective Preservation: Keeping the Blues Alive.” This open conversation will take a look at how blues societies work to preserve the blues tradition through preservation efforts, education and the promotion of current artists. An open acoustic jam session will follow immediately after the conversation symposium at 2pm. Participants are asked to bring their own instruments, voice or just your love for the music. The jam session is not competitive and it is open to anyone.

Throughout the day, participants can tour the Delta Heritage Center and grounds including the last home of Estes and Flagg Grove School, the childhood school of Tina Turner.

For more information about the event or to pre-register, call the Center at 731-779-9000 or email info@westtnheritage.com.