CAT HEAD UPDATE NEWSLETTER
"All the blues that's fit to print."
|Hello from America's blues crossroads!|
18 YEARS OF CLARKSDALE'S CAT HEAD STORE...
Clarksdale, Mississippi's CAT HEAD IS 18 YEARS OLD, y'all! Our first customer bought a blues CD on July 25, 2002. Let me take a moment to say THANKS to all y'all for the support through the years — regardless recessions or pandemics, Walmarts or Amazons. Every email, every conversation, every sale has made a difference. Because of you, we've been able to book (literally) thousands of Clarksdale blues shows from behind the CAT HEAD counter — plus tour blues musicians around the world even as we documented blues culture closer to home via CDs, DVDs, books, magazines and more. CAT HEAD — the store — has never about "just being a retail store." It will always be about using the retail side of things to fuel the grassroots, musical and community sides of things in what Alan Lomax once called "The Land Where Blues Began." More about CAT HEAD, its mission and history a bit further down in this newsletter.
SO, HOW IS CLARKSDALE DOING?
In the past weeks and months, I've received a lot of emails, FB messages, phone calls and even letters expressing support for Clarksdale and its blues personalities during the current global pandemic as well as questions about "how we're doing" and the like. Thank you, and we're hanging in there the best we can. Most of our businesses are still will us. We have had two closures since last month's newsletter. "Brooke Atwood" (owned, fittingly, by Brooke Atwood) was a "NY meets MS" fashion and lifestyle shop next to our Juke Joint Fest HQ building. Brooke opened late last year with Bentonia blues legend Jimmy "Duck" Holmes playing her super-hip grand opening celebration. Unfortunately, her store never got to experience the blast of worldwide blues fans that Juke Joint Festival brings as we kick off the festival and tourist "season." Thanks for the efforts, and best of luck with your next big projects, Brooke. Also, while Grandma's House of Pancakes is very much still open (and mega-tasty!), Grandma's Blues/Sports Bar next door is now closed. One of our film festival and Juke Fest venues, its fabulous owners — Carl and Robin Davis — have moved to Texas to be near relatives. Thanks for the past years of great films, music and laughs.
PERFECT TIME TO PLAN YOUR PILGRIMAGE...
Hope to see you soon in the land of the mythical "Crossroads." Thanks and stay well, Roger Stolle (and Ayler the Blues Pug).
PS - And when you do return to the Delta, be sure to stop down in Leland, MS, and say hello to our blues/folk art friend Pat Thomas (with me below). If he doesn't make you smile, then your lips are broken.
|LiveFromClarksdale.org is your invitation to Visit Clarksdale... from your home sofa.|
|For your next visit to the crossroads, check out my Sounds Around Town and full Music Calendar at www.cathead.biz. Until then, get out the TV trays, hit the sofa, and catch a daily dose of blues via your smart device at LiveFromClarksdale.org. Your host Colleen Buyers (of Shared Experiences) streams at least one Clarksdale blues show per day, y'all. Watch, "Like" and tip tip tip the band!|
|Watch our blues docs "Moonshine & Mojo Hands" and "M for Mississippi" for FREE online.|
I still get regular emails from folks who have "just discovered" our FREE Mississippi blues series MOONSHINE & MOJO HANDS on the worldwide web. So, in case y'all don't know, you can watch 10 episodes featuring my buddy Jeff Konkel (Broke & Hungry Records) and yours truly driving around Mississippi in search of blues music and culture at moonshineandmojohands.com/episodes.html.
ALSO, while the blues film we released a few years before the "Moonshine" series — M FOR MISSISSIPPI — was not a "free" web thing, some wiseguy has posted it for FREE on Vimeo. Normally, we cease-and-desist stuff like that, but since rumor has it that the world is quarantined at home, we are going to A) save some lawyer money and B) advertise the fact that for a limited time you can watch this bootleg version of our award-winning "M for Mississippi: A Road Trip through the Birthplace of the Blues" at https://vimeo.com/300628989. You'll join us in my old Dodge van and meet lost blues legends like Wesley "Junebug" Jefferson, T-Model Ford, Bilbo Walker, LC Ulmer, "The Mississippi Marvel" and more. Jeff Konkel, Damien Blaylock, Bill Abel and I filmed that movie in 7 unbelievable days. 7 days that strengthened our hearts — and weakened our livers. Please watch responsibly, and in the words of Jimmy Reed, "Take out some insurance."
|Congrats to our harmonica playing neighbor, Deak Harp — featured in new Desoto Magazine.|
|CAT HEAD — in-person or online — has the blues, Clarksdale and Mississippi stuff you need!|
|Need a new tee? Want some new music? How about a great read? Or some wall art... and a way to hold that tall cool beverage? We have it all — in-store and online at www.cathead.biz. Thanks for shopping with us.|
|Clarksdale's October STILL to feature small blues festival events, y'all. Be safe & plan now!|
|If you are willing and able to wash up, mask up, social distance and follow other State rules and CDC.org guidelines, then healthy blues fans are invited to enjoy some small-but-mighty blues music events in Clarksdale, Mississippi, this October. (Also, note that Hambone, Shack Up and the occasional other venue are still hosting weekly blues shows in town.) The fest info below is accurate as of this writing. Find your hotel room, apartment, shack or B&B now via https://www.visitclarksdale.com/stay-all.|
10/16-18 - Deep Blues Fest - DBF acts cancelled; small outdoor music planned near Shacks instead TBA, www.deepbluesfest.com.
ALSO: Cat Head will feature some safe, front-porch music at some point(s) in October; TBA, stay tuned for details at www.cathead.biz.
|Blues, jazz, Mississippi and other news from the web...|
TERRY "HARMONICA" BEAN RADIO AD FOR CAT HEAD - Ran across this 30-sec spot from 2003 and posted it near the top of my web page at https://www.cathead.biz/music-calendar. Still makes me smile.
BLUES MUSIC MAGAZINE (including Cat Head column)
Summer 2020 issue - https://indd.adobe.com/view/c62cb575-68d4-48b6-9d86-03fe5515762a.
Spring 2020 issue - https://bluesmusicstore.com/spring-2020/.
Winter 2020 issue - https://bluesmusicstore.com/winter-2020/.
BLUES BLAST MAGAZINE (the two newest issues) - http://www.bluesblastmagazine.com/issue-14-33-august-13-2020/ and http://www.bluesblastmagazine.com/issue-14-32-august-6-2020/.
BLUES FESTIVAL GUIDE (Aug. 13th newsletter) - https://www.mynewsletterbuilder.com/email/newsletter/1414657424?utm_medium=email&utm_source=MyNewsletterBuilder&utm_content=5524858&utm_campaign=Blues+News+81320++100+Years+Ago+Blues+Arch+ChicagoKalamazoo+Kids+Get+Guitars+Win+a+One-On-One+The+Blues+Podcast+plus+more+1414657424&utm_term=View+as+Web+Page.
BLUES FOUNDATION newsletter (Memphis, TN) - https://mailchi.mp/1c776cc1e5a8/july-2020-newsletter?e=c136b88de7
MEMPHIS FLYER - Elvis Week at https://www.memphisflyer.com/memphis/elvis-week-2020-kicks-off-august-8th/Content?oid=23510508. Stax Academy at https://www.memphisflyer.com/memphis/stax-music-academy-to-pump-it-up-with-elvis-costello-to-keep-music-flowing/Content?oid=23467692.
OFFBEAT MAGAZINE newsletter (New Orleans, LA) at https://www.offbeat.com/.
SOUTHERN CULTURES (Summer 2020 mag issue from UNC) - southerncultures.org.
CLARKSDALE'S SPRING INITIATIVE nonprofit (July 31st newsletter) - https://mailchi.mp/9c3b34593cfb/not-canceled-7861834?e=10f5cffbe1.
"SLEEPY LIONS, EMPTY BARS, LOST JOBS: A WORLD WITHOUT TOURISM" - https://apnews.com/9439258ed4ba433ec9266d3fc9a7d2fe?utm_source=piano&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=morningwire&pnespid=1epq9.VaBA_N5LVuyzP2omstgrYPselfcboIU_PT.
MISSISSIPPI BOOK FESTIVAL in Jackson goes virtual for 2020 at https://msbookfestival.com/virtual/year/2020.
DELTA CENTER FOR CULTURE & LEARNING (from DSU in Cleveland, MS) - NEH Funds 11th Year for The Delta Center’s Most Southern Workshop, https://www.enterprise-tocsin.com/front-page-slideshow-news/neh-funds-11th-year-delta-center%E2%80%99s-most-southern-workshop.
GRAMMY MUSEUM MISSISSIPPI in nearby Cleveland presents "Words & Music: A Songwriter Series" w/Bob Morrison on Mon., 8/17. Info at: https://mailchi.mp/grammymuseumms/dont-miss-this-monday-words-and-music-featuring-bob-morrison?e=7a252ab282.
CENTRAL MISSISSIPPI BLUES SOCIETY (Jackson, MS) - Stay up to date at centralmississippibluessociety.com.
MISSISSIPPI ARTS COMMISSION job openings (Jackson, MS) - https://arts.ms.gov/who-we-are/work-for-mac/.
OXFORD AMERICAN ("A magazine of the South") - Selection of articles at oxfordamerican.org.
OFFBEAT MAG (New Orleans) - Latest N.O. music news at offbeat.com.
"PAINT THE HUT" MURAL CONTEST - Contest to paint Holly Springs juke joint at https://kimbroughcottonpatchsoulbluesfestival.com/2020/07/23/mural-design-contest/.
NC ROOTS MUSIC SERIES - "Music Maker Relief Foundation has partnered with the Arts and Sciences Council and Mecklenburg County Library to present the NC Roots Music Series featuring live stream performances by North Carolina musicians: Lakota John, The Hamiltones, Dedicated Men of Zion, Martha Spencer, and Big Ron Hunter. Aired live every third Thursday of August, September, October, November, and December via Facebook Live and YouTube Live." https://musicmaker.org/NCrootsmusicseries/.
JAZZ DRUMMER MILFORD GRAVES HAS HEART - Interesting NY Times piece on avant-drummer Milford Graves as he treats/studies his own failing heartbeat — with his drumbeats by his side — at https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/05/nyregion/milford-graves-drummer.html?smid=em-share.
POSTGENRE.ORG published excellent piece on avant jazz at Newport Jazz Festival, 1965-68 at https://postgenre.org/newport-jazz-part-v/.
NEW "BLACK ARTISTS GROUP" DOC - Coming soon! "At the peak of the national Black Arts Movement, the Black Artists’ Group of St. Louis (BAG) was unique in their interdisciplinary, artistic approach to combating social injustice and exploring the far reaches of experimental performance." Perhaps best known for their experimental jazz-based music, several classic albums came out of the group and its parts, including BAG's "In Paris, Aries 1973" and Julius Hemphill's "Dogon A.D." (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hWkma6Uzc0w). Info at bagstl.com.
|Civil Rights icon John Lewis on Time magazine cover — in Clarksdale, Mississippi.|
|As the world said farewell to Civil Rights icon John Lewis, the tributes came from far and wide. They included the cover of Time magazine. When I received my copy at home, I stopped to marvel at the amazing B&W cover shot. Only a couple days later did I realize (thanks to Mississippi Today) that this powerful image was taken in Clarksdale, Mississippi.|
Read the story behind the photo at https://time.com/5869243/john-lewis-cover/
|Support Oxford, Mississippi's Thacker Mountain Radio...|
|New blog of Mississippi Delta blues stories and more...|
Per new blues blog's creator, Denise Leisz: "Back in 2006, I created a scrapbook to memorialize our Delta trip. This blog features portions of it with photos and stories behind them. But the scrapbook is just a jumping off point, an anchor to new stories I'm unearthing about the river and the Mississippi Delta, its people, music, culture, history and heritage."
The new blues blog launched on August 2nd at deltadownload.com. As the site says, "We're just warmin' up, so stay tuned."
|Updates from Clarksdale, Mississippi's Higher Purpose Co.|
|New KINGFISH INGRAM "Fender Sessions" short film in hometown of Clarksdale, Mississippi!|
|Congrats to Clarksdale, Mississippi's young blues king — Christone "Kingfish" Ingram — captured recently walking, talking and singing the blues in his hometown. More than just a promo video, it's an insightful short film featuring Ingram playing a few of his hits and talking thoughtfully about the black origins and future of the blues. Watch the full 20-minute Fender Sessions film at https://youtu.be/3IjKnSKg8jI.|
|Clarksdale's MS Delta Tennessee Williams Festival is moving online for 2020...|
|Per the organizers of Clarksdale's 2020 Mississippi Delta Tennessee Williams Festival: "Please keep saving the dates of October 15-17 for the 28th Annual Mississippi Delta Tennessee Williams Festival. We are pleased to let you know that the festival will still take place and will now be presented in an innovative, online experience that will keep festival participants safe while delivering the exciting performances, presentations and conversations we normally share in person each fall. As always, the festival is free and open to the public." 2020 schedule coming soon to deltawilliamsfestival.com.|
|Help CAT HEAD kick off its next 18 years right by shopping online or in-person... thanks, y'all!|
|Clarksdale, Mississippi's CAT HEAD store is open Mon-Sat, 11-4... plus ONLINE 24/7 at www.cathead.biz. Awesome blues 'n Mississippi shirts, hats, vinyl, CDs, DVDs, books, art and logo stuff... all at your fingertips. :) Thanks, y'all!|
|Clarksdale's world-famous Delta Blues Museum is open for business...|
|Taking a moment to reflect on America's 100th anniversary of women's suffrage...|
|.."The true republic: men, their rights, and nothing more; women, their rights, and nothing less." - Susan B. Anthony.|
"The arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice." - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
"On March 31, 1920 Mississippi voted against ratifying the 19th Amendment. By August of 1920, however, 36 states ratified the 19th Amendment, ensuring that in every state, the right to vote could not be denied based on sex — including in Mississippi..." MISSISSIPPI'S STORY at https://www.nps.gov/articles/mississippi-and-the-19th-amendment.htm.
"The year 2020 marks the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, guaranteeing and protecting women's constitutional right to vote..." ANNIVERSARY WEBSITE at https://www.2020centennial.org/.
SOME MUSIC... JUST BECAUSE.
Aretha Franklin, "Respect," https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6FOUqQt3Kg0.
Bessie Smith, "Gimme a Pig's Foot and a Bottle of Beer," https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hbQEapPrjGM.
Nina Simone, "Here Comes the Sun," https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1rCgM07uzq4.
(Sheet music shown courtesy of Google Arts & Culture at https://artsandculture.google.com/exhibit/women-s-suffrage-memorabilia-women-s-suffrage-memorabilia/wRm3wFhH?hl=en.)