For those who missed the C3 Band concert last night, here is the bulk of it (minus the opening “I’ll Play The Blues For you, sadly), recorded with my iPhone 5S using the Rode Rec app, which I highly recommend.
Since the sad demise of Mississippi’s venerable Be-Bop Records chain several years ago, the sole survivor as far as vinyl and indie rock has been Morning Bell Records, a vinyl-oriented store with a strong local selection that has operated in Fondren’s Duling Hall for the last couple of years. That space, while cool, was exceptionally small, and Morning Bell, like many of today’s better record stores, is a venue for live performance as well as retail music, so toward the end of 2013, it moved to new quarters on I-55 north just north of Northside Drive, not far from the old iconic Bebop Record Shop location. The new, roomier space has allowed for the addition of a cafe, which will feature coffee drinks, baked goods and panini sandwiches, and the larger room should be an asset when live concerts occur there. Other than the move, the bigger room and the addition of espresso drinks, nothing much has changed. Morning Bell is still as hip as ever, and demonstrated the point admirably by playing bluesman Leo Welch’s new album Sabougla Voices as I was walking in.
Morning Bell Records
4760 I-55 N Frontage Rd
Jackson, MS 39211
I had heard last week that there was a live band playing at Mr. P’s Hot Wings on Hacks Cross Road every Wednesday night, so I rolled out there last night to see for myself. The band was keyboardist Josh McClain’s Soul Seven Band, featuring a soulful singer named Jay Bailey, and they play every Wednesday from 7-10 PM, although last night’s set ended early because of the Grizzlies’ game coming on TV. The band was superbly funky, trading off between two different drummers on alternating tunes, and Bailey is a talented vocalist, with a repertoire that includes most Memphians’ favorite tunes, from Maze songs to Bobby Womack covers. I should add that the food at Mr. P’s is really good, much better than I would have expected. I tried the lemon-pepper boneless wings and was amazed.
Mr. P’s Hot Wings
3285 Hacks Cross Rd
Memphis, TN 38125-8918
I recall on a previous trip to Atlanta trying to get into Daddy D’z one night when they were having a live band playing, and ultimately giving up because there was no place to park at all. The neighborhood around Daddy D’z has gentrified somewhat since that night, but Daddy D’z still has the same old hole-in-the-wall ambiance. That atmosphere, and the alluring aroma of smoking pork was too much to resist, and so after my A3C panel was over, I headed straight over to Daddy D’z for lunch, and I was thrilled with the result. As a Memphian, I’m picky about barbecue, so I really wasn’t sure what to expect, as barbecue is different in different states and cities. What would Atlanta barbecue be like? I’m not sure if Daddy D’z is typical of Atlanta barbecue joints, but the barbecue was not that much different from GOOD Memphis barbecue. It was largely lean pulled pork, with plenty of smoke flavor, and a good, sweet sauce that was extremely complimentary rather than overbearing. The french fries were good as well, and there are a considerable number of down-home sides including beans, cole-slaw, corn on the cob and more. One unique difference from Memphis barbecue restaurants is that Daddy D’z offers cornbread, which is delicious and just ever-so-slightly sweet. Sadly, my waitress told me that live blues bands at Daddy D’z are largely a thing of the past, but the walls are still covered with paintings that highlight live music. All in all, Daddy D’z is a must-visit when in Atlanta.
Daddy D’z BBQ Joynt
264 Memorial Dr SE
Atlanta, GA 30312
I’ve been hearing about Blue Canoe for well over a year now, and I’ve been meaning to try it for some time. The live music schedule is great, and so I always figured that I would get down there to check out a band. Oddly, that still hasn’t happened, but since I had a jazz jam session in New Albany last week, I headed to Blue Canoe first to try a Smashburger (no relation to the Denver chain of the same name). Blue Canoe’s Smashburger is a thing of beauty, with Benton’s bacon crushed up into the patty itself. I opted to add cheese to it and avoid the vegetables, and it was truly amazing, easily rivaling Oxford’s Lamar Lounge for best burger in North Mississippi. The homemade french fries are long and thin, seasoned and fried to a golden brown, likely in peanut oil. I’m not a beer drinker, but the beer menu is loaded with regional craft beers from Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama and Tennessee, and there is a large outdoor patio, and a stage for the live music. Some words of caution are in order, however. First, the inside seating area is fairly dark, and tends to be noisy. This is a bar atmosphere for sure, so this is not the place to bring your significant other for quiet drinks and conversation. Second, they’re not open on Sundays at all. But I will definitely be back to Blue Canoe, and I hope next time to hear a band.