CAT HEAD UPDATE NEWSLETTER
"All the blues that's fit to print."
|Happy November from your home away from home — CLARKSDALE, MISSISSIPPI!|
|Hey y'all. I hope this monthly CAT HEAD UPDATE from the world's blues capitol — Clarksdale, Mississippi — finds you well. |
We just came out of an incredible (especially mid-pandemic) month of festivals — 7 special events in just 5 weeks! Deak's Harmonica Block Party, Deep Blues Festival, TN Williams Fest (online), Light Blues Festival, Cruzn The Crossroads and Hambone Festival keep us rockin' through the so-called "Halloween Season." Thanks to everyone who masked up, socially distanced and helped keep our music rolling and our musicians safe.
We're averaging between 4 and 7 days of live, in-person, public blues shows per week at the moment. If we "do the right things," we can keep expanding our musical offerings for those who are ready to visit. MUSIC CALENDAR at cathead.biz/music-calendar, STREAMING CALENDAR at livefromclarksdale.org, and VISIT CLARKSDALE info at visitclarksdale.com.
Oh, hey... Did you notice that it's November?! Well, with all apologies, I must note that y'all have a lot of Santa shopping to do in a very short time period. Let your friendly neighborhood Cat Head help! Please check out our incredible gift selection at www.cathead.biz — amazing vinyl LPs, CDs, DVDs, books, art, T-shirts, hoodies, hats, drinkware and much more. Also, shop us in-person Mon-Fri 11am-4pm; Sat till 5pm. Plus, Downtown Open House on Thurs., 11/19, 4pm-7pm.
Plan now for Clarksdale Film & Music Festival (clarksdalefilmfestival.com) in January and Juke Joint Festival (jukejointfestival.com) in April, y'all.
Stay well, support live music, and see y'all when we see you!
Thanks and best, Roger Stolle (and Cat Head's furry mascot Ayler Pug).
|THANKS to everyone who helped us have a safe & fab festival month in CLARKSDALE, MISSISSIPPI!|
|Thanks to event organizers and all y'all who were willing to mask up and social distance, so our music can continue. Seriously. As an event organizer myself, I can tell you that everything we do during these pandemic-y days takes three times the effort and twice the expense... for 1/4 of the result. But, no complaints... just "thanks". Clarksdale's music never died and barely paused this year. Our town's commitment to blues, people and small-businesses has kept live blues going 7 days a week — first online and now increasingly in-person.|
Anyway, 2020's October was crazy-full of deep blues, rockin' roots and outdoor fun — including last weekend's high-octane sampling of classic cars and unforgettable blues. Hambone Festival, Cruzn The Crossroads and much more made it a wonderful way to end October's five weekends of blues fests. As our ole blues buddy T-Model Ford used to say, "Good stuff. Good stuff!"
Just to recap... October kicked off with Deak's Harmonica Block Party and carried on with a downsized Deep Blues Fest, virtual MS Delta TN Williams Festival, brand-new Light Blues Festival and even two Saturdays of live blues on a socially-distanced Cat Head front porch with Sean "Bad" Apple and Lucious Spiller.
Wash up, mask up and keep up the socially distancing, y'all... and we'll see you at the next show. Stay well, R.
|SOUNDS AROUND TOWN and LIVE FROM CLARKSDALE = "live" blues music in Clarksdale.|
LIVE-STREAMING CALENDAR: LiveFromClarksdale.org.
WHERE TO STAY: VisitClarksdale.com.
|Thanks to WATERMELON SLIM for Election music! Say hi to NEW FLAG.|
|WHAT'S UP? New blues, jazz, Mississippi and other relevant info from the worldwide web...|
|KEITH RICHARDS' MISSISSIPPI VIDEO - Includes shots in Clarksdale and at Duck's Blue Front juke joint -|
BB KING MUSEUM in Indianola, MS, makes its Computer Lab available to students. Staffed by two teachers and a counselor, the museum's Computer Lab is open Mon-Thurs, 4:15pm-6:15pm, in November. Info at www.bbkingmuseum.org.
OXFORD AMERICAN MUSIC ISSUE is coming soon with Sister Rosetta Tharpe on the cover and guest editor Brittany Howard (Alabama Shakes). Sneak peak at https://tinyurl.com/OAmusicissue.
MISSISSIPPI ARTS COMMISSION ANNOUNCES 2021 AWARDS - Jazz/blues/R&B bassist Nellie "Mack" McInnis, blues/jazzman Raphael Semmes and the Delta's Tutwiler Quilters are among the winners. Info at https://tinyurl.com/MAC2021.
|CLARKSDALE, MISSISSIPPI, targets road-trippers in new ad campaign...|
|Clarksdale, Mississippi — Visit Clarksdale tourism director Bubba O'Keefe has a question for music fans and weekend travelers sitting at home during the pandemic, "Are y'all ready to road-trip?"|
"Ready to Road-Trip?" is Clarksdale, Mississippi's new multi-media marketing campaign aimed at bringing more regional tourists to the small, historic town just south of Memphis. It includes billboards, print ads, safe-travel videos and social media. According to O'Keefe, the concept is to balance health and safety protocols with unique indoor and outdoor activities.
Perhaps Visit Clarksdale's new "Ready to Road-Trip?" video tells the story best: https://youtu.be/I50ZeRBLS7U.
"Our doors are open to folks who are looking to spend a couple nights in the heart of the Mississippi Delta," said O'Keefe. "We just ask that visitors mask up and social distance when others are around. We're working to make it easy to stay safe and still have an amazing time. Clarksdale has lots to do, see and hear — inside and out."
Known for its legendary music scene, which includes a combination of live-streamed and in-person public blues events these days, Clarksdale and Coahoma County are about the music and a whole lot more, according to O'Keefe.
Road-trippers can experience the Delta Blues Museum, Tennessee Williams Rectory Museum, river excursions and professional guided tours. Plus, they can check out dozens of history markers noting the area's many blues, country music, Civil Rights and literary sites. There is also downtown shopping for interesting finds, a dining scene, and Clarksdale's unique lodging options range from rustic Delta shacks to luxurious downtown lofts.
"We recommend that guests check out our VisitClarksdale.com website as they plan their itinerary," O'Keefe said. "And if they drop by our office upon arrival, we'll hand them a free paper mask and mini hand sanitizer. We also recommend downloading our free Audio Walking Tour app, which features 20 Clarksdale voices telling our history as you walk around downtown."
O'Keefe and the five-member volunteer Clarksdale-Coahoma County Tourism Commission, known as Visit Clarksdale, worked hard to secure nearly $200,000 in federal CARES Act Relief funding via the State of Mississippi. According to tourism commission president, Roger Stolle, the grant involves constant oversight by the commission as well as the state, which requires monthly reporting.
"These dollars are kept separate from our normal tourism budget and will be used exclusively to promote our county's diverse inventory of visitor attractions during the pandemic," Stolle said. "Bubba has put together an amazing marketing campaign, and together with the hard work of our local musicians and businesses, we believe this new funding will give us a tremendous boost as we deliver our 'safe opening' road-trip message to friends and neighbors in Tennessee, Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi."
Visit Clarksdale's office is located at 326 Blues Alley Lane in downtown Clarksdale. For more information, call 662-627-6149 or go to VisitClarksdale.com.
Kinchen “Bubba” O’Keefe
Coahoma County Tourism
326 Blues Alley
Clarksdale, MS 38614
|Plan now for 2021 CLARKSDALE (and vicinity) BLUES FESTIVALS and more:|
2021 is coming! Plan now for what we hope will be a fun, safe year of festivals and special events in Clarksdale, Mississippi... and everywhere else. Here's a sampling of what to plan for, below.
- 10/10, 2021 - Super Blues Sunday!
- 10/14-17, 2021 - Deep Blues Fest & Delta Busking Stages (heavy blues, rock, Americana), www.deepbluesfest.com.
- 5/6, 2021 - Memphis, TN - Blues Music Awards (BMAs) w/Blues Hall of Fame inductions on 5/5, www.blues.org.
|Catch up on some CAT HEAD, Clarksdale and blues reading and videos...|
|News from our friends Delta Magazine and "The Edit: A Curated Guide to Delta Life."|
|Netflix's Somebody Feed Phil series comes to Clarksdale, Cleveland, Greenville and Bentonia, Mississippi. Bobby Rush gala at GRAMMY Museum Mississippi. Bill Lester art show at Cotton House Hotel. Plus, upcoming holiday listings throughout the Delta. Go to https://mailchi.mp/coopwood/the-edit-rdkpna9lr3?e=23cd714938.|
Oh, and the new Nov/Dec DELTA MAGAZINE issue just arrived at Cat Head, too.
|HO HO HO! Start your gift shopping out right at Clarksdale's annual DOWNTOWN OPEN HOUSE!|
|Vist Clarksdale for our festive DOWNTOWN OPEN HOUSE 2020: Thurs., 11/19 - Downtown Open House, 4pm-7pm. Haven't shopped our revitalizing downtown lately? Our new and classic stores range from blues/instrument/tourism-related meccas to traditional gift/art/food/decor/fashion shops. Plan to have a tasty meal and enjoy some live blues music after the open house as well! More info coming soon via https://www.cathead.biz/music-calendar.|
|Your CAT HEAD shopping at www.cathead.biz guarantees our store's blues future... THANKS!|
|Y'all rock! THANKS for your continued shopping excursions in our pandemic-expanded WEB STORE at www.cathead.biz. Shop now for yourself and all of the little elves in your life. Tis the season for new books, music, hoodies, tees, hats, artwork and one-of-a-kind Cat Head gifts. HO HO HO! Oh, of course, if you can visit in-person, that's even better. We're here to serve you Mon-Fri 11am-4pm plus Sat till 5pm.|