CAT HEAD UPDATE NEWSLETTER
"All the blues that's fit to print."
|Hello from your home away from home — Cat Head in Clarksdale, Mississippi!|
|What the? For the love of Muddy! It's mid-September already?! Well, I hope y'all are still hanging in there during these challenging times — times that call for music (especially blues) more than ever.|
CAT HEAD — Mississippi's blues store in Clarksdale since 2002 — celebrated it's 18th anniversary last month with some "live," socially-distanced music on the front porch. Below, you'll see a couple screen captures (since my phone was doing the streaming) from that wonderful event. Plus, you can re-watch the show, courtesy of LiveFromClarksdale.org, at https://www.facebook.com/catheadclarksdale/videos/2652832448314134/.
Oh, also, thanks to Scott Barretta, Colleen Buyers, David Rodwin, The Kennedy Center and others, CAT HEAD also hosted another very cool live-stream recently. Mississippi-born (and newly moved to Clarksdale) Ben Wiley Payton performed and was interviewed by Barretta. Re-watch it at https://www.facebook.com/catheadclarksdale/videos/786884918726819.
Read on below for info on our (generally) 5-nights-a-week of in-person, public blues shows as well as our 7-days-a-week LiveFromClarksdale.org live-streams. Plus, get the very latest info on our October festivals and special events that are still planned to occur (if in health-ally revised ways). As always, all Music Calendar updates can be found at www.cathead.biz — where you can also shop for super-cool stuff that helps keep the CAT HEAD flag flying high.
Thanks as always, y'all. Stay safe, and plan to visit us when you can. Best, Roger (and Ayler, the blues pug).
|READY TO ROAD-TRIP? Clarksdale is doing its part to be as safe and inviting as possible...|
|Healthy? Wash your hands, grab your mask, remember your social distancing... and take a road-trip to Clarksdale!|
As of this writing, we have 5 days a week of masked and/or socially-distanced "live" blues that you can see in-person (Music Calendar at www.CatHead.biz), plus 7 days a week of live-streams via LiveFromClarksdale.org. 98% of our restaurants are open some days in some ways — curbside, carryout, dine-in or outside dining. All of our hotels, B&Bs, overnight apartments and hostel rooms are open and subject to appropriate health measures. Read MS Gov Exec Orders re: health and safety at https://www.sos.ms.gov/Education-Publications/Pages/Executive-Orders.aspx.
The world-famous Delta Blues Museum as well as my own Cat Head Delta Blues & Folk Art store are open 6 days a week for mask-wearing visitors. And other cool downtown shops like Bluestown Music, Deak's Harmonica store, Hambone Gallery, Collective Seed & Supply, etc., are open most days as well.
Daytripping? Coahoma County features the most Mississippi Blues Trail markers of any county. We also have Mississippi Freedom Trail, Country Music Trail, Mississippi Writer's Trail and Clarksdale Walk of Fame markers to check out in the fresh Clarksdale air.
To fill out your itinerary, don't forget that you can hire amazing tour guides like Billy Howell (Delta Bohemian Tours, deltabohemiantours.com) and Cassandra Wilson (CDRY Cab/Tour Service, cdry.org) in addition to downloading VisitClarksdale.com Tourism's free Audio Walking Tour app. You can also tour the Sunflower or Mississippi River with John Ruskey and his fabuous team at Quapaw Canoe Company (island63.com, or call trip coordinator Allie Grant, 662-627-4070). Pics below of Tourism's recent 'fam' road-trip with Delta Bohemian Tours.
Y'ALL READY TO ROAD-TRIP? Start your planning at VisitClarksdale.com — plus CatHead.biz, LiveFromClarksdale.org, VisitMississippi.org and MSbluestrail.org. We hope to see y'all soon... safely.
|The CAT HEAD web store is ready to outfit you for your next blues road-trip at www.cathead.biz...|
|Cover your pretty mug with our exclusive "juke joint/blues" face mask, or slip into your new favorite cap or T-shirt from the CAT HEAD web store at www.cathead.biz. Better yet, visit us Monday-Saturday, 11am-4pm (said the spider to the fly). We have both the things you need... and want! We're currently low on mask stock but have more on the way, by the way. |
|BLUES ANYONE? Sounds Around Town and Live From Clarksdale listings for this week...|
|Yes. Clarksdale, Mississippi, still has "live" blues music 365 nights a year. It's just that many of the shows are now online only. Still, if you look at my Sounds Around Town calendar below (and my even-more-up-to-date Music Calendar web page at https://www.cathead.biz/music-calendar), you'll see that currently, we have about 5 days of in-person, public shows as well — including public, socially-distanced, outdoor shows on Fridays and Saturdays each week. (See recent pics below of a couple wonderful outdoor shows.) Everything is subject to change, of course, but your Clarksdale music community is doing everything it can to keep the blues a'rollin', y'all! Can't make it here yet? Watch us at LiveFromClarksdale.org.|
|WHAT'S UP? New blues, jazz, Mississippi and other relevant info from the worldwide web...|
|BLUES BLAST MAGAZINE (September 3, 2020) featuring out Mississippi blues buddy Robert Kimbrough, Sr. - http://www.bluesblastmagazine.com/issue-14-36-september-3-2020/.|
BLUES FEST GUIDE e-newsletter (9/10) - https://www.mynewsletterbuilder.com/email/newsletter/1414711138.
BLUES MUSIC MAGAZINE (including Cat Head column)
Summer 2020 issue - https://indd.adobe.com/view/c62cb575-68d4-48b6-9d86-03fe5515762a.
DELTA DOWNLOAD BLOG spends some time with bluesman Bill Abel - https://deltadownload.com/f/bill-abel-has-earned-his-accolades
DELTA DOWNLOAD BLOG takes "A look at 'Brother Robert' book with music historian Elijah Wald" - https://deltadownload.com/todays-blog-post.
DELTA MAG'S THE EDIT includes "Live From Clarksdale" - https://mailchi.mp/coopwood/the-edit-r2fb7gizq1-344754?e=23cd714938.
MISSISSIPPI ARTS COMMISSION (MAC) 2021 GRANTS announced for blues musicians and others, including folks like RL Boyce, Kenny Brown, Garry Burnside, Ra’Shad The Blues Kid, John Ruskey, etc., and museums like the Delta Blues Museum and BB King Museum. Congrats, y'all! Full list at https://arts.ms.gov/fy2021-grant-recipients/.
MISSISSIPPI BLACK RADIO PIONEER DIES - https://www.clarionledger.com/story/life/2020/08/15/ruben-hughes-mississippi-black-radio-pioneer-blues-gospel-dies/5582047002/.
FRENCH TRAVEL PIECE on Mississippi blues - https://blogs.mediapart.fr/edition/un-lieu-une-oeuvre/article/280720/un-lieu-une-oeuvre-lamerique-du-blues-clarksdale-dans-le-mississippi.
MISSISSIPPI TO VOTE ON FINAL FLAG DESIGN - https://mississippitoday.org/2020/09/02/in-god-we-trust-flag-will-go-before-mississippi-voters-in-november/?utm_source=National+Conference+of+State+Legislatures&utm_campaign=e3f3b0377c-03SEPTEMBER2020NCSLTODAY&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_1716623089-e3f3b0377c-377775804.
MEMPHIS FLYER covers Bobby Rush's new album - https://www.memphisflyer.com/memphis/bobby-rush-rawer-than-raw/Content?oid=23713784.
MEMPHIS FLYER reports on S.O.S. aka Save Our Stages Act - https://www.memphisflyer.com/NewsBlog/archives/2020/09/11/rep-cohen-co-sponsors-raft-of-bills-for-restaurant-live-music-relief.
MEMPHIS FLYER's weekly The Flow live-stream calendar - https://www.memphisflyer.com/MusicBlog/archives/2020/09/10/the-flow-live-streamed-music-events-this-week-september-10-16.
BLUES MUSICIANS MODEL MASKS in video forwarded by our buddy Charlie Musselwhite - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0U2e0m75iMY.
CLARKSDALE'S GRIOT ARTS UPDATE - Annual report at https://griotarts.org/annual-report. PLUS, SPRING INITIATIVE UPDATE - https://mailchi.mp/eac8a6086ee2/not-canceled-7866794?e=10f5cffbe1.
MAKING THE SCENE magazine w/blues woman Kat Riggins feature - https://www.makingascene.org/kat-riggins-is-making-a-scene/.
OXFORD AMERICAN MAG says Brittney Howard (Alabama Shakes) will guest edit special "Greatest Hits Music Issue" - https://www.oxfordamerican.org.
IT'S BEEN SAID ALL ALONG new Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame (Cleveland, OH) social justice exhibit - https://www.rockhall.com/its-been-said-all-along.
THE MAYTALS' TOOTS HIBBERT... RIP - "Toots' Kingston-by-way-of-Memphis lead vocals..." - AllMusic. Timeless music even half a century on... "Sweet and Dandy" (1969) - https://youtu.be/RvXAn8Tuz4k. Obit: https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-news/toots-hibbert-maytals-dead-1053716/.
JAZZ BASSIST GARY PEACOCK... RIP - He played with Keith Jarrett, Paul Bley and, perhaps most notably, Albert Ayler — including revolutionary cuts like this, https://youtu.be/uQzJsGAHsVM. Obituary at https://downbeat.com/news/detail/bassist-gary-peacock-dies-at-85.
THACKER MOUNTAIN RADIO schedule for upcoming shows - https://thackermountain.com/upcoming-shows/?filter=live.
OXFORD, MISSISSIPPI, "DRIVE-IN" - Our friends at Oxford Film Fest are hosting "drive-in" films and streaming events - https://oxfordac.eventive.org/welcome.
NEW ARKANSAS TOURISM VIDEO at https://vimeo.com/213700028. Also, a short King Biscuit Blues Festival video at https://kingbiscuitfestival.com/video-one/.
OFFBEAT MAGAZINE (New Orleans' excellent music and entertainment resource) moves to digital subscription model - https://www.offbeat.com/.
NO DEPRESSION MAG clarifies Facebook rules on live-streaming - https://www.nodepression.com/facebook-clarifies-rules-for-music-in-livestreams-and-video/?mc_cid=00764d560c&mc_eid=96de37842f.
LAST MONTH'S CAT HEAD UPDATE in case you missed it - https://bit.ly/31UFqHu.
|Clarksdale's LUCIOUS SPILLER celebrates 58th birthday playing CAT HEAD's front porch...|
|Celebrate Lucious Spiller's 58th birthday with his full band "live" in front of the 18-year-old Cat Head store on Wed., 9/16/20 at 6PM local time! Watch in-person or online via LiveFromClarksdale.org. It's a FREE public/virtual show, but please tip tip tip the band. Social distancing, masks and State health guidelines in place. Thanks, y'all.|
PS - Plus, watch Lucci Spiller Facebook page for his new Clarksdale Collaborations series... coming soon.
|Congrats to new BLUES FOUNDATION leader... and thanks to the outgoing foundation head...|
|"The Blues Foundation is pleased to announce the appointment of|
Patricia Wilson Aden as its next President & CEO. Aden brings more than three decades of non-profit management experience to the Foundation, with a specialization in the preservation and celebration of African American cultural resources. Her most recent experience as President & CEO of the African American Museum in Philadelphia and her earlier role as Executive Director of the Rhythm & Blues Foundation make her uniquely qualified to lead The Blues Foundation and its Blues Hall of Fame... Aden succeeds Barbara Newman, who will begin her retirement September 30th..." More details at https://mailchi.mp/d782fee218dd/news-patricia-wilson-aden-named-new-president-ceo?e=c136b88de7.
|Check out Clarksdale's SHARED EXPERIENCES online, and plan your next Delta adventure...|
|Shared Experiences USA — founded by Colleen Buyers and based in downtown Clarksdale, Mississippi — not only keeps all of our amazing LiveFromClarksdale.org music streaming 365 days a year but also stages and promotes extra-special Delta "experiences." Check out the pics below from the recent Moon Lake Experience, and make plans for your next Delta visit at www.sharedexperiencesusa.com. |
|Greenville, Mississippi's long-running DELTA BLUES FESTIVAL moves online for 2020...|
|Saturday, 9/19 - 12 noon - VIRTUAL - Our friends in nearby Greenville, Mississippi, live-stream a mini version of MACE's long-running MS Delta Blues & Heritage Festival w/help from Washington County Convention & Visitors Bureau; watch, enjoy, donate; info at deltabluesms.org. Article about it at https://www.ddtonline.com/news/maces-annual-blues-fest-going-virtual-year-0.|
|OCTOBER is 2020's "festival month" in Bluestown, USA — CLARKSDALE, MISSISSIPPI...|
Please note that everything these pandemic-y days is subject to change, but as of today, we have a nice, smaller, safer festival schedule planned for October in Clarksdale, Mississippi. Please expect to wash/sanitize your hands a lot, wear a face mask, socially distance, etc. You may also be subject to some temperature checks at restaurants. If that's not for you, then maybe just make plans for next year's hopefully back-to-normal-ish festival schedule. Thanks so much for helping keep our town, musicians and each other safe. We truly hope to see y'all when we can!
|NEW (and classic) music, art, books and more in CAT HEAD WEB STORE at www.cathead.biz...|
|Wouldn't some great new music or art make you feel happier? How about a book or DVD? Don't deny yourself. You deserve it. (No, really. We checked.) You don't even have to wash your hands to shop at www.cathead.biz. As a bonus, Cat Head's Ayler Pug eats for another day.|
|BLUES BLAST AWARD winners announced — including Clarksdale's Christone "Kingfish" Ingram!|
|CONGRATS to all y'all winners — especially Mississippi's Kingfish, Bobby Rush and the B.B. King Blues Band! http://www.bluesblastmagazine.com/2020-blues-blast-music-award-winners/.|
|Check out DEAK'S HARMONICA BLOCK PARTY GoFundMe fundraiser, y'all...|
|DELTA MUSEUM UPDATES for traveling music fans.|
|Delta Blues Museum - Clarksdale, MS - Mon-Sat, 10-3 - www.deltabluesmuseum.org.|
Rock & Blues Museum - Clarksdale, MS - Awesome building and collection are for sale to the right music-fan buyer (email firstname.lastname@example.org).
Gateway to the Blues Museum - Tunica, MS - Mon-Fri 8:30-5pm; Sat 10-5; Sun 1-5 - https://tunicatravel.com/things-to-do/the-blues/gateway/.
BB King Museum - Indianola, MS - Thurs-Sat 10-5 - www.bbkingmuseum.org.
Grammy Museum Mississippi - Cleveland, MS - Thurs-Sat 10-3; Sun noon-3pm - www.grammymuseumms.org.
Highway 61 Blues Museum - Leland, MS - temporarily closed.
Delta Cultural Center - Helena, AR - Tues-Fri 10-4; Sat 9-5.
Blues Hall of Fame - Memphis, TN - temporarily closed.
|Folks ask all the time, "So, how is Red doing?" (aka King of the Juke Joint Runners)...|
|For all y'all "Clarksdale regulars," you know Red. For all y'all who are planning to visit but just haven't made it yet, Big Red Paden is the owner of Red's Lounge — Clarksdale, Mississippi's most iconic hole-in-the-wall juke joint. Through the years, Red has hosted big names like Robert Plant, Morgan Freeman, Ty Pennington, Andrew Zimmern and Anthony Bordain. He's also hosted an incredible cavalcade of real-deal blues performers — from Big Jack Johnson and T-Model Ford to Robert Belfour and Leo "Bud" Welch and many many more. And he's thrown a helluva a party (talkin' s*** the whole time) for decades. |
Lately, during the current pandemic, he tells me he's "just waitin' and watchin'" from behind his mask in front of his TV. As an old blues gangster who's run his getaway car a bit too hard for a bit too long, he's got a few of those "pre-existing conditions," so he's sitting out the live music/big crowd scene till we climb out of the current global health situation. The good news is that he's fine (as is his posse that includes barman Big Charles, dancer/doorman Ellis and long-running customer Miss Mae), and he's hanging out at the club, periodically. If you see the door open, then pull up your mask, walk on in and say hello. He'll probably be nice to you. Probably.
As our Red told my buddy Jeff Konkel and I during one of our film shoots there (and I quote in my latest book, Juke Joint Confidential):
"I’m the bartender, the bouncer—you name it. We can have a good time in here. And that’s what it’s about. But you ain’t fixing to mess with my money. And that’s the bottom line. Out here in this juke joint, you don’t have to be perfect. You can be a billionaire or you can be a poor old boy. If you know how to come in here and conduct yourself like a man or woman, then you fit in here perfect. We juke up in here! We go beyond the call of duty."
Dang, I sure miss my late-nights at Red's! (Of course, my liver and wallet seem less concerned.) I can't wait to get back to it... hopefully sooner rather than later.
Classic pics by Lou Bopp, plus one of my (then) weekly flyers, below...
|Thanks, y'all! Please stay safe out there...|
|Shop in-person at CAT HEAD (252 Delta Ave., Clarksdale, MS) from Mon-Sat, 11am-4pm. OR shop online anytime at www.cathead.biz.|