Blues at Home Blowout in Oxford at the @LamarLounge with @JimboMathus Et Al


I learned about the Blues At Home Blowout at the Lamar Lounge from attorney Tom Freeland’s excellent North Mississippi Commentor blog, which is a great online destination for all things Oxford, from music, to legal things to Faulknerian lore, so even though I had just gone to Oxford the week before, I had to go again. The line-up displayed on the poster was absolutely amazing, and I frankly could not imagine how all of those artists would be able to perform even in the three hours or so allotted for the concert. As it turned out, not all the performers listed appeared, but even so, the three hours were jam-packed with blues, and everything got worked in by the expedient of having Jimbo Mathus on drums for everyone, and keeping the same bass player throughout, and they did a yeoman’s job, although I’m sure they were quite tired when it was all over. The event was actually an after-party for Mississippi artist H.C. Porter‘s remarkable Blues At Home exhibit at the University of Mississippi, and fearing that I wouldn’t get a table in front of the stage otherwise, I showed up at the Lamar Lounge two hours before starting time. As it turned out, Jimbo Mathus performed a dinner hour set on guitar with his bass player for an hour before the starting time for the concert. He then switched to drums, and the first performer of the night came on stage, 82-year-old Leo “Bud” Welch, who released his first album Sabougla Voices this year on Fat Possum Records‘ Big Legal Mess subsidiary. He was followed by Hattiesburg/Jackson bluesman Vasti Jackson, a musician I had often heard my poet friend Charlie Braxton mention. Vasti Jackson was followed by Natchez blues guitarist Y.Z. Ealey, who is a brother of Southern soul star Theodis Ealey, and whose style showed a considerable influence from swamp blues and swamp pop. He was joined by Broke and Hungry Records artist Terry “Harmonica” Bean sitting in on harmonica. Mickey Rogers was up next, a blues guitarist I had seen last year on a trip to Indianola, and then Jackson-based Jesse Robinson came up, a guitarist I was really not familiar with, but whose guitar skills amazed everyone in the room. Behind him came Kenny Brown, the hometown favorite who grew up with blues legend Joe Callicot in Nesbit, Mississippi and who studied with the late R. L. Burnside. His music can always get an Oxford crowd to their feet, and what little space was available for dancing was soon filled. Finally, the headliner of the night, Bobby Rush came and performed very briefly, as he had driven down from an earlier performance at Rhodes College in Memphis. Altogether it was an amazing night of Mississippi blues, from a number of different performers than the ones often seen in North Mississippi, and there was a sort of lagniappe when, quite unexpectedly, Vasti Jackson and Bobby Rush launched a brief guitar and harmonica duo on the back patio near the barbecue pit. All in all, one of the most memorable Mississippi blues nights ever.








Starting the Day at Surrey’s Uptown

I’ve discussed the great breakfasts at Surrey’s Uptown Juice Bar in New Orleans before, but what caught my attention on this particular day was a humorous piece of artwork on the wall depicting a rooster with the legend “9th Ward Poultry” and slogans such as “I’m a bad MF, Ya Heard Me” and “What you lookin’ at, fool?” As it turns out, feral roosters really have been a problem throughout New Orleans since Hurricane Katrina, and particularly in the 9th Ward, so this apparently is the inspiration for this amusing piece of art.

Cat Head Delta Blues Presents Live Music Info for Clarksdale This Weekend #jukejointfest 2013

Cat Head, Juke Joint Festival, April15, 2010 0 00 00-01 If you’re headed to Juke Joint Festival in Clarksdale this weekend, you’ll want to visit the website for Cat Head Delta Blues where you’ll find a complete schedule for live music events starting tonight and continuing through Sunday (the day of Cat Head’s annual Mini-Blues Fest). Once you’re in Clarksdale, be sure to visit the Cat Head store itself, as it is the headquarters for all things blues, from CDs to albums to books to authentic folk art works made by bluesmen. Cat Head Delta Blues and Folk Art is located at 252 Delta Avenue in Clarksdale (the same street that the famous Ground Zero Blues Club is on). They can be reached at (662) 624-5992.

The Memphis Music and Heritage Festival is a 26-year-old free music festival held each year on the Main Street Mall in downtown Memphis. Sponsored by the non-profit Center for Southern Folklore, the event offers four stages of local Memphis music and a fifth stage for regional cooking demonstrations. Various vendors display regional folk art, and there is plenty of food and drink from vendors and nearby restaurants.