Shreveport has a long and illustrious music history. Some of the greatest artists and performers in American music history have come from or lived in Shreveport-Bossier. And, arguably, one of the most influential Shreveporters is Huddie "Lead Belly" Ledbetter.

Everyone from George Harrison to Kurt Cobain to Bob Dylan list Lead Belly as a major influence on their sound and career. Lead Belly's "Last Session Vol. 1" is widely regarded as one of the best albums ever recorded. The accolades are infinite...from praise from his peers to getting inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

via Matt Parker
via Matt Parker

To celebrate his life and legacy, every year, the Shreveport community gathers at Lead Belly's gravesite for a jam session. If you've never been, the annual Lead Belly Graveside Memorial Jam is amazing. Basically, a bunch of folks gather at Lead Belly's grave to play his songs. Renown musicians like Buddy Flett attend. The bartender from your favorite pub is there. Everyone and anyone shows up to sing and play.

If you're interested, here's a rundown from the event's Facebook page:

The annual Lead Belly graveside memorial jam will be held at noon on Saturday, October 19 at the Shiloh Baptist Church graveyard in Mooringsport, Louisiana.

Louisiana musicians will gather at the grave of Huddie “Lead Belly” Ledbetter to perform his songs. Free admission, 12pm-1pm. All are welcome.

Directions to Shiloh Baptist Church:
(10395 Blanchard Latex Rd, Mooringsport, LA 71060-9150)

Take I-20 Exit 3 (LA -169), North 10 miles to Caddo Parish #6. (a.k.a. Blanchard-Latex Rd.). Turn left on Caddo Parish #6, drive 2.6 miles to Shiloh Baptist Church.

Lead Belly is a musical giant and a Shreveport guy. If we don't actively keep his legacy and music alive, nobody else will.

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