CAT HEAD UPDATE NEWSLETTER
"All the blues that's fit to print."
JUKE JOINT FESTIVAL EDITION!
|Clarksdale, Mississippi. Live blues every day. And a pandemic-ly modified JJ festival next month.|
|CUTE MASKS AND DAILY BLUES: Sure, we're still masking up, social distancing and bathing in hand sanitizer, but... we're also enjoying in-person 'live' blues shows every single day again. As y'all may already know, Clarksdale had worked its way up to live blues 365 days a year (plus over a dozen annual festivals) during it's nearly two decades of downtown revitalization and blues tourism emphasis. Well, we're working our way back... as safely as we can... with your help. And a pandemic-ly modified JUKE JOINT FESTIVAL IS COMING (see below)!|
Please keep up your guard — and your mask — so that we keep moving forward. Masks, social distancing and vaccinations allow us to do more business and grow our music scene.
GETTING VACCINATED: All three vaccines are now being distributed here, and the vax age requirement has been lowered so all adults are eligible. We're at about 12% fully vaccinated, and I get my second shot on April 8th. For those with internet access and reliable transportation, it is pretty easy to get a first shot within a week or so either in our own county or within an hour's drive. There is some "vaccine hesitancy," for sure, but within our local blues community, I'm starting to see a positive turn towards acceptance.
One of my biggest personal worries has been Red Paden (owner of Clarksdale's Red's Lounge). His pre-existing conditions are pretty serious. Finally, this past Saturday, he got his first Moderna shot. Red's right-hand man, Big Charles, had an appointment but had to cancel to leave town for an out-of-state family funeral. If you see them in the next month, please keep your mask on and your social distance. As I write here, https://www.spin.com/featured/the-last-remaining-juke-joints-in-america/, the future of our blues scene just may depend on it. Thanks, y'all.
VISIT CLARKSDALE: Whether you're ready to road-trip now or want to plan for a visit later, here's where to go: Concert Calendar (w/festivals) at cathead.biz/music-calendar, Streaming Calendar at livefromclarksdale.org, and Visit Clarksdale info at visitclarksdale.com. Get a trip preview at https://youtu.be/I50ZeRBLS7U, and then please #VisitMSResponsibly.
HELP KEEP CAT HEAD CAT-HEADIN'! Shop www.cathead.biz today for T-shirts, hoodies, hats, vinyl LPs, CDs, DVDs, books, artwork, glasses, mugs and much more. Also, shop us in-person Mon-Fri 11am-4pm; Sat till 5pm. (Watch for expanded days/hours starting JJF week!) Questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please mask up, get your shot when you can, and come see us for some blues.
Thanks and best,
Roger Stolle (and blues pug, Ayler).
|Mask up! Clarksdale's pandemic-ly modified JUKE JOINT FESTIVAL & Related Events is coming!|
|I know. I know. We're all tired of masks and sanitizer and distancing. But... are we tired yet of live music and festivals? Umm Hmm. That's what I thought.|
We are adding "related events" daily, but 98% of our "official" JUKE JOINT FESTIVAL lineup is up at jukejointfestival.com, and a limited quantity of JJF Sat-night-only Wristbands are on sale now on the "Wristband" page.
A FEW SAMPLE HIGHLIGHTS?
- Thurs 4/15 - Free Kickoff w/Kingfish and more!
- Fri 4/16 - 94-year-old Cadillac John birthday show PLUS Thacker Mountain Radio.
- Sat 4/17 - 13 Free Daytime Stages and over 15 JJF-Wristband Nighttime Venues. Plus, monkeys riding dogs, racing pigs, street vendors and more.
- Sun 4/18 - Free Cat Head Mini Blues Fest.
See all the good details on the website. And while you're on the festival site, please read the JJF Health & Safety Protocols. Thanks, y'all.
|"3 SONG STORIES" podcast comes to CAT HEAD in Clarksdale, Mississippi. Listen today...|
|Through the years, various festival, film, album and book projects have led to many across-the-counter interviews at my CAT HEAD store in Clarksdale, Mississippi. But few have (in my opinion) captured my own life's path and overall mission more than last month's "3 SONG STORIES" podcast (WGCU/NPR).|
The podcast concept is simple: "Biography through Music." Specifically, an interviewee is asked to choose 3 songs with meaningful personal stories attached to them. Ultimately, the stories amplify and explain how in the heck one got from A to Z and why. Oh, and more than a few poignant or comical stories burst forth.
Thanks to Michael Kiniry (my interviewer — who drove hundreds of miles out of his way to do this in-person) and Clay Motley (my FGCU prof buddy who recommended me to take part).
Listen for FREE now at https://threesongstories.podbean.com/e/episode-155-roger-stolle-3ss-on-the-road/
|The past 12 months have been tough all over, including at your friendly neighborhood CAT HEAD store. But... We are still here, so no complaints whatsoever. The future still looks bright to me!|
Thanks to everyone who has shopped our WEB STORE at www.cathead.biz in the past year or visited in-person, recently. (Also, special thanks to the Small Business Administration for its 30-year, low-interest Covid loans.) Much appreciated, y'all.
All of your CLARKSDALE blues, Tourism and small-biz friends are working to make this year better than last and next year even better. Please visit Clarksdale when you're ready, and till then, maybe seek out a few local web stores to spread some of that latest stimulus check around. Thanks.
|7-NIGHTS-A-WEEK "live" blues returns to Clarksdale, Mississippi (though it never really left)...|
|Yes. The rumors are true. Thanks to the masking and social-distancing efforts of fans, 'live' in-person blues shows have returned 7-DAYS-A-WEEK to Clarksdale, Mississippi. Woo hoo!|
Of course, 'live' music itself never actually left The Crossroads.
Thanks to LiveFromClarksdale.org (with the support of VisitClarksdale.com), every day of the pandemic continues to feature at least one live-stream performance. Hats off to LIVE FROM CLARKSDALE's Colleen Buyers for her major role in this unprecedented effort. It makes Clarksdale one of the few towns on earth where the music never stopped. Amazing.
And so, here's who's playing in-person and/or online this week (below). For a FULL CALENDAR of upcoming music and festivals, please go here: https://www.cathead.biz/music-calendar (and remember to scroll down to see ongoing and future stuff).
|What's up? New blues, jazz, Mississippi and other relevant info from the worldwide web...|
|COOL, NEW BLUES COMPILATION VINYL LP reviewed at https://mailchi.mp/0f0293414a98/our-blues-comp-on-aquarium-drunkard?e=e1233def60 AND AVAILABLE at https://www.cathead.biz/music-video. (Liner notes by former Cat Head employee!)|
BLUES FESTIVAL GUIDE MAGAZINE recent e-newsletters at https://www.mynewsletterbuilder.com/email/newsletter/1415049598 and https://www.mynewsletterbuilder.com/email/newsletter/1415033778.
BLUES BLAST MAGAZINE recent issues at https://www.bluesblastmagazine.com/issue-15-11-march-18-2021/ and https://www.bluesblastmagazine.com/issue-15-10-march-11-2021/.
BLUES MUSIC MAGAZINE... latest newsletters at https://bluesmusicstore.com/blues-music-online/.
CLARKSDALE CARAVAN MUSIC FEST coming Sat., May 8th. Details of pandemic-ly modified event "soon-ish" at clarksdalecaravanmusicfest.com.
DUST-TO-DIGITAL "PARCHMAN FARM"... Physical book is sadly out of print, but DTD has just release the next best thing, a digital version available at https://dusttodigital.bandcamp.com/album/parchman-farm-photographs-and-field-recordings-1947-1959.
MISSISSIPPI ARTS COMMISSION Mississippi Arts Day at the Capital, https://arts.ms.gov/programs/arts-day-capitol/.
GRAMMY MUSEUM MISSISSIPPI (Cleveland, MS) events at https://mailchi.mp/grammymuseumms/new-programs-announced?e=7a252ab282.
CLEVELAND, MS, "Season of Crosstie" in lieu of annual fest - http://www.crosstiefestival.com/#april-7-2018.
"MAKING THE SCENE" blues and roots music news at https://www.makingascene.org/?na=v&nk=5215-ee656caab9&id=398.
"A TIME FOR BLUES" w/Kingfish in Downbeat Magazine at https://downbeat.com/news/detail/time-blues.
LINCOLN CENTER HONORS JAZZ WOMEN at https://2021.jazz.org/virtual-season#voicesoffreedom.
PHAROAH SANDERS IN "THE NEW YORKER" at https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2021/03/29/pharoah-sanders-takes-on-electronic-music.
INTERNATIONAL SONGWRITING COMPETITION, etc., at https://mailchi.mp/415784b935af/attn-enter-triple-play-promo-to-get-heard-770692?e=ad1a15543d.
CLARKSDALE'S HIGHER PURPOSE CO update at https://mailchi.mp/higherpurpose/higher-purpose-co-sponsors-2021-young-gifted-and-empowered-awards-airs-on-kwelitv-and-mississippi-public-broadcasting?e=cf3d5fa498.
MISSISSIPPI TODAY'S DELTA BEAT newsletter at https://mailchi.mp/mississippitoday/the-march-delta-beat-2021.
|Rolling Stone magazine video story on Christone "Kingfish" Ingram and Clarksdale, Mississippi!|
|Jim Thorn music & interview with yours truly (Roger Stolle) re: Juke Fest, Clarksdale tourism and more.|
|Bentonia bluesman Jimmy "Duck" Holmes and his Grammy nomination featured on CBS News!|
|Farewell to one of the most warm-hearted blues friends ever... Louis "Gearshifter" Youngblood.|
|Damn... I sure hated to get the phone call recently from my buddy Larry Morrissey in Jackson. Bluesman, character and mutual friend Louis "Gearshifter" Youngblood had passed away of a heart attack at 68.|
I met Gearshifter through blues-pert Scott Barretta. He cut an album on the colorful bluesman around the same time I first recorded Big George Brock (2005). In the years that followed, Scott and Larry both helped Gearshifter rise a bit above the status of great-unknown.
Through the years, I was lucky enough to book "The Shifter" (as Red Paden called him) at venues like Red's Lounge, Ground Zero Blues Club and Hopson Commissary as well as events like Juke Joint Festival, Cat Head Mini Fest and the King Biscuit Blues Symposium. My Broke & Hungry Records buddy Jeff Konkel and I featured him in both the We Juke Up in Here and Moonshine & Mojo Hands film projects (along with Damien Blaylock). And photog Lou Bopp and I included him in our books.
In support of the We Juke film, our Italian Rootsway friends brought Jeff, me, Lou, Gearshifter, Damien, Jimmy "Duck" Holmes and Terry "Harmonica" Bean to Geneva. Yeah, what a scene!! Great time. Last year, Gearshifter and I were supposed go to Israel (thanks to our friend Yamit), but well... you know.
Last summer, at the height of the pandemic, Gearshifter and I talked for a while on the phone about things. At the end of the conversation, I said please stay safe. And he replied, "As long as they don't close the hospitals or the whiskey stores, I guess we'll be all right!" Then, he closed the conversation as he often did, with trucker slang, saying, "That's a big 10-4!" So, I'll just close now by sending warm thoughts to his family, friends and fans — and the biggest "10-4" I can muster. Thanks for the occasional ride-along, man. I sure hate to see you go. RIP.
The funeral arrangements were:
- Friday, March 19th - visitation from 6:00-8:00pm, Jackson Memorial Funeral Services, 1000 Woodrow Wilson Ave, Jackson, MS.
- Saturday, March 20th - Graveside service, 11:00am, Hazlehurst City Cemetary, Hazlehurst, MS.