A King Biscuit Daybook: Mookie Cartwright & Friends on Cherry Street

New photo by John Shaw / Google Photos
New photo by John Shaw / Google Photos
New photo by John Shaw / Google Photos
New photo by John Shaw / Google Photos
New photo by John Shaw / Google Photos
New photo by John Shaw / Google Photos
New photo by John Shaw / Google Photos

After the Rebirth Brass Band performance, I walked back through the crowds on Cherry Street in downtown Helena. Many of the vendors were beginning to take down their displays for the night, but there was still a lot going on. At an outdoor performance spot, a group of younger blues musicians was performing, and it was actually really good music. A sign nearby explained that the group was Mookie Cartwright, Josh Parks and Friends. I am not sure who any of them were, but presumably, they are local Helena area artists. After checking them out for a moment, I stopped in Southbound Pizza nearby for a pepperoni and bacon pie before making the drive back to Memphis.

Bringing Art To The Neighborhoods in Memphis

1665 The Mound1667 Golden Wildcats1669 Community Pride1671 Melrose Friends1673 Dreams Matter We Matter1675 Beltline1677 Run It Back1679 Binghampton1681 D-Up Who's Got Next1682 Dream Big Work Hard1683 On These Courts1685 Herion Young1687 Revival1689 Evergreen Wall1691 Rex21693 Metal Fingers Krew1695 King Tut1697 Evergreen1699 Evergreen Wall
This has been a relatively rough year for Memphis, and yet one of the more uplifting things I have noticed has been the spreading of neighborhood-based outdoor artworks and murals. While this has been going on for several years, it has virtually exploded this summer. I was not pleased with the demolition of the historic W. C. Handy Theatre in Orange Mound, but it did cheer me to see the orange-and-white public art on the bricks that remain from the foundation at the site. The slogans emphasize pride in the Orange Mound community and its high school, Melrose. A brightly-colored mural a few blocks away carries a timely message: “Dreams Matter, We Matter”. Just north of the railroad tracks, the historic Beltline neighborhood is celebrated in a building-length mural on the wall of a grocery store. In Binghampton, the artwork near the basketball courts celebrates the game of basketball, for which The Hamp is known, being the neighborhood of Anfernee Hardaway. But perhaps the most striking effort was the long series of murals on the inside flood wall along Chelsea between McLean and Evergreen in the Evergreen neighborhood. The different panels celebrate many different aspects of hip-hop culture or Memphis culture, with the word “REVIVAL” prominently featured in the first one. It is an appropriate slogan for a city that is long overdue for renewal.

The Soulful Sounds of Tawanna Campbell at the Afterthought in Little Rock

002 Afterthought003 Afterthought004 Afterthought005 Afterthought006 Afterthought007 Afterthought008 Cliff Aaron & Tawanna Campbell009 Tawanna Campbell010 Tawanna Campbell011 Tawanna Campbell012 Tawanna Campbell013 Afterthought014 Cliff Aaron016 Tawanna Campbell017 Cliff Aaron & Friends018 Cliff Aaron & Friends019 Tawanna Campbell022 Tawanna Campbell023 Cliff Aaron & Friends024 Cliff Aaron025 Cliff Aaron026 Tawanna Campbell027 Cliff Aaron & Friends029 Tawanna Campbell033 Tawanna Campbell034 Afterthought
I was really not familiar with Tawanna Campbell at all, but I was in Little Rock on business, and saw that she was performing at the Afterthought Bistro and Bar, which is Little Rock’s oldest jazz club, and that her drummer was Cliff Aaron, so I decided to swing by and check out the show before driving back to Memphis. The band was first rate (Cliff is an amazing drummer) and Tawanna Campbell proved to be a great vocalist and an exquisite show personality on stage. The crowd was engaged through both sets, and unlike so many neb-soul shows, I was amazed at how diverse the crowd was- young and old, Black and white. The Afterthought is a wonderful venue, and this particular Friday night show was worth coming from Memphis to see.







Keep up with Tawanna Campbell:
https://www.facebook.com/tawanna.campbell?fref=browse_search

Keep up with The Afterthought Bistro and Bar:
http://www.afterthoughtbistroandbar.com
https://www.facebook.com/afterthoughtbistroandbar
https://www.reverbnation.com/venue/afterthoughtbistrobar

Wobbly, Wobbly, C’Mon: A Tribute to Bounce Music In New Orleans’ 6th Ward

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Monuments, memorials and murals are common to cities. All cities have histories, and important events and people are often honored with statues, parks, buildings or other public markers. But few cities have such things to commemorate a form of music. Yet over the last several months (because it wasn’t there in November), a brick wall behind the Circle Food Store in New Orleans was remade into a colorful and beautiful tribute to bounce music, New Orleans’ most recently created musical genre. Since bounce is a DJ-based music, there is of course a DJ in the mural with turntables, as well as the “Wobbly, Wobbly, C’Mon” chant which is ubiquitous in most bounce music. It’s quite a cool thing to see along North Claiborne Avenue.

A Lamar Avenue Mural

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As I was driving toward downtown on Lamar Avenue, I noticed this mural on the wall of an old warehouse. I had not noticed it before, so I have a feeling that it is fairly recent, and I love the way it celebrates Memphis’ music legacy.

South Memphis is the Baddest

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Who’s the baddest? At least someone thinks that South Memphis is, and they took a fair amount of time to tell the world so on this wall at Mississippi Boulevard and McLemore Avenue, not far from the Stax Museum.

Decatur Street Mural in North Memphis

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Saturday afternoon, while driving around North Memphis, I discovered this colorful mural on the wall of an abandoned store at Decatur Street and Looney Avenue.