Arts & Culture

Discover All Things Regional in Central PA’s art and culture scene. Join hosts Cary Burkett and Joe Ulrich as they make artistic discoveries throughout the midstate. From music and visual arts to theatre, museums, literature and more! Listen every Wednesday and Friday on witf 89.5 and 93.3 for features highlighting the best and brightest cultural happenings in the region.

Mississippi Blues Comes to PA

Written by Cary Burkett, Arts & Culture Desk and WITF Host | Jul 2, 2013 1:26 PM

Terry "Harmonica" Bean

Mississippi is the birthplace and the heart of blues music. Still today, musicians who grew up hearing and playing this music gather and perform throughout the region. Blues enthusiasts seeking the most authentic connection to this style of roots music trek to Mississippi from all over the world.

 Each summer, the Blues Society of Central Pennsylvania brings a Mississippi blues musician to this area for an afternoon and evening of picnicking and authentic blues music. The event is called The Mississippi Railroad.  The first such artist was Cadillac John Nolden, who at the age of 84 had never been outside of the county in Mississippi where he grew up.

This year, the Blues Society is bringing Terry “Harmonica” Bean, who grew up in the Hill Country of Mississippi and now has toured with his music all over the world. It takes place on Sunday July 14, at the Shellsville VFW Picnic Grounds, a covered area located in the woods near North Crawford Road, in Grantville, PA.

Attendees can bring their own food and drink or take advantage of a barbeque stand on site. The event starts at 3 pm.

A local blues band, The Cornlickers, will serve as the backup band for Terry Bean, and musicians are invited to bring their own instruments to jam with the group.  


Dale Wise and Dave Groniger of the Cornlickers














The Cornlickers are Dale Wise, drums, Dave Groniger and Bobby Gentilo guitars and Tony Ryder, bass. Their frequent trips to play blues in Mississippi were the catalyst which started the Mississippi/Pennsylvania blues connection. Dale Wise is the owner of Dale’s Drum Shop off Jonestown Road in Harrisburg.

More Information about the Mississippi Railroad event is available at 717 599-7798 or visit the Blues Society website.

Below you can hear our feature on the Cornlickers.

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