CAT HEAD UPDATE NEWSLETTER
"All the blues that's fit to print"
|Happy belated 4TH OF JULY! 6 months into 2022, we've already rocked half a dozen blues fests in CLARKSDALE.|
|Welcome to my "Is the year really half over?" firecracker edition of the CAT HEAD UPDATE e-newsletter.|
I won't lie. We are into the, uh... "warmer" months in the Mississippi Delta. My iPod overheated in my car yesterday as the thermometer claimed 104 degrees outside. Still, the music in our air-conditioned venues continues every single night (and during the daytime from Wed-Sun). And the beers are cold. Last month, we also enjoyed both B.A.M. Fest (Birthplace of American Music Fest) and the Pinetop Perkins Experience Workshop Jam.
What's up next? The fabulous Sunflower River Blues & Gospel Festival in August, of course. Mighty Roots Music Festival in September. And a crazy-busy October... in Clarksdale and vicinity. UPDATED FESTIVAL LISTING (2022 & 2023) at https://www.cathead.biz/music-calendar.
Start planning your next blues pilgrimage to CLARKSDALE, MISSISSIPPI, at VisitCarksdale.com and https://www.cathead.biz/music-calendar. Plus, get a preview of all our fun at LiveFromClarksdale.org. And hey, while you're here, maybe take a Delta tour with deltabohemiantours.com; see tourmeister Billy in action at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=29YeF7sn2u0.)
Can't get here yet? Bring here to you. Shop the fast and friendly CAT HEAD WEB STORE at www.cathead.biz for the latest logo tees, blues music, Mississippi books, local artwork and more. We have only flourished for two decades because of y'all. Thanks so much for that.
Take care. Best, Roger (and the blues pug Ayler)
IMAGES BELOW: Pic of yours truly by my old college buddy Pat, apparently quite enthusiastic about my beer choice. Ayler Pug dreams of Autumn in her balcony's summer heat. Then, she helps choose a little LP listening from the vinyl pile.
|Bored? Then, VISIT CLARKSDALE, y'all! We've got live blues 365 nights a year plus festivals and more.|
|Keep up with every week's happenings at the world-famous CAT HEAD BLUES CALENDAR online at https://www.cathead.biz/music-calendar; be sure to scroll past the Sounds Around Town ad to see the 2022 / 2023 festival listings and, below that, the full Monthly Music Calendar that I update daily.|
PLUS, check out LiveFromClarksdale.org for Clarksdale's weekly LIVE-STREAMS, supported by Visit Clarksdale Tourism, VisitClarksdale.com:
(One note: This year's Blues Brews & BBQ event is postponed till 2023.)
|Tee time? Hats off to vacation? Beach read? Songs of summer? CAT HEAD has the goods. Shop today.|
|CAT HEAD store is one big*** curated collection of blues and Mississippi music, books, art, tees, hats and much more. 20 years in the making, CAT HEAD is the store I always wanted to walk into but could never find. Now, you can find it in-person 7 days a week at 11am or online in our 24/7 WEB STORE at www.cathead.biz. Check us out today. Thanks, y'all. |
|B.A.M. FEST (Birthplace of American Music Festival) rocks blues 'n soul in downtown Clarksdale...|
|On Juneteenth and Father's Day weekend, Clarksdale's annual B.A.M. Fest drew an audience of both locals and tourists with acts like Jordan Sledge, The Grandboiz, Frank "Guitar" Rimmer, Big T, Terry "Harmonica" Bean, Queen Iretta & Johnie B.Sanders, Southern Soul Band, Lady Trucker, TCB and Pearl Street Jumpers. Learn more about the festival at bamfestms.com. And plan now for next year's edition: June 17, 2023. |
|LATEST BLUES, MISSISSIPPI, CLARKSDALE, JAZZ AND RELATED NEWS. Check out the links below...|
|- Memphis Flyer declares "Everything Blues is Hot Again (with a nice photo of Clarksdale's own Christone "Kingfish" Ingram, seen below), https://www.memphisflyer.com/everything-blues-is-hot-again. While we agree with the sentiment in Clarksdale, uh... it was already hot here! :) Just sayin'.|
- The latest fabulous updates on the blues-historic Riverside Hotel in Clarksdale's very successful fundraising efforts at https://www.gofundme.com/f/cmmhd-save-black-familyowned-historic-blues-hotel. Woo hoo! Congrats, y'all.
- Speaking of Clarksdale and blues... Here's a tribute to the late Ground Zero Blues Club co-founder Bill Luckett by his friend Scott Coopwood in Elevation magazine, https://www.mississippiheritage.com/elevation-spring-2022/qtnf06xrmxxcdepgc3g1dve8sudnai.
- Delta Bohemian visits the "new" Uncle Henry's restaurant at Moon Lake near Clarksdale at https://deltabohemian.com/primo-meals-at-uncle-henrys-on-moon-lake/... and downtown Clarksdale's popular Hooker Grocer at https://deltabohemian.com/hooker-grocer-and-eatery-in-downtown-clarksdale/... and the last hurrah of a retiring Ranchero Restaurant at https://deltabohemian.com/my-last-meal-at-the-fabled-ranchero/. (Subscribe to the Delta Bohemian at https://deltabohemian.com/subscribe-delta-bohemian/.)
- Got a million or so bucks? If so, I say we spend it on promoting Mississippi blues, but if you're a Dylan fan, then maybe this... https://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-62054616. (Actually, T-Bone Burnett's new space-age acetate "record" format is pretty darn interesting, too.)
- During last month's Chicago Blues Fest, 43 Street was renamed in honor of Mississippi-born blues great MUDDY WATERS! Pic of Muddy's daughter and Led Zepp's Robert plant at https://www.hpherald.com/evening_digest/honorary-muddy-waters-drive-rededication/image_c348d33c-e78b-11ec-8a4b-9723bbc90caa.html.
- Blues news from our friends at the Blues Festival Guide, including on Lightnin' Malcolm and Clarksdale Ground Zero Blues Club: https://www.mynewsletterbuilder.com/email/newsletter/1415874389.
- Interview with Clarksdale-based Charlie Musselwhite in Rock And Blues Muse at https://www.rockandbluesmuse.com/2022/06/30/interview-charlie-musselwhite-legendary-bluesman/.
Speaking of Charlie... Check out this pic of him (on far left) enjoying Otis Rush at Pepper's Lounge back in the day,
- Latest digital issue of LIVING BLUES magazine at http://digital.livingblues.com/publication/?i=752161&view=contentsBrowser.
- In case you missed it, read the "Kingfish" cover edition of Blues Music Magazine online at https://indd.adobe.com/view/6b521cae-5a8d-4952-a6f1-1096054dde7d.
- Latest from Quapaw Canoe Company in Clarksdale at https://quapaw.substack.com/p/seeing-the-river-through-others-eyes.
- Latest e-newsletters from Blues Festival Guide magazine at https://www.mynewsletterbuilder.com/email/newsletter/1415864895 and https://www.mynewsletterbuilder.com/email/newsletter/1415855235.
- Making A Scene newsletter features the fabulous Kat Riggins, https://www.makingascene.org/?na=v&nk=5215-ee656caab9&id=479.
- Visit the National Museum of African American Music in Nashville; webite at https://www.nmaam.org/ and promo video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CFxLfmXMuHk.
- Oxford American magazine's On Jubilee: A Juneteenth Series, https://oxfordamerican.org/on-jubilee-a-juneteenth-series.
- "Mannish Boy — how Muddy Waters created an American classic" by our Brit blues buddy Garth: https://ig.ft.com/life-of-a-song/mannish-boy.html.
- UK's Wanderlust Podcast experiences the might Mississippi River and the Delta at https://www.wanderlust.co.uk/misc/podcast/ (scroll down to the specific episode).
- Congrats to the Central Mississippi Blues Society on receiving a Mississippi Arts Commission grant to support CMBS' weekly Blue Monday shows at Hal & Mal's in Jackson, www.centralmississippibluessociety.com.
- Updates from Clarksdale's Higher Purpose Co. at https://mailchi.mp/higherpurpose/hpc-hosts-2022-lps-mens-summit-partners-with-two-ms-museums-hires-new-intern-and-program-assistant-and-hpc-member-being-honored-for-activism?e=cf3d5fa498.
- Read latest MAKING A SCENE w/Bob Margolin, Bob Corritore and more at https://www.makingascene.org/?na=v&nk=5215-ee656caab9&id=478.
- Local Voice (Oxford) previews last month's North Mississippi Hill Country Picnic (Waterford) lineup at http://www.thelocalvoice.net/oxford/north-mississippi-hill-country-picnic-artist-guide-june-24-25-2022/.
- Updates from our friends at the Delta Cultural Center in nearby Helena, AR, https://t.e2ma.net/message/v5dwcg/rq3yqbc.
- 100 Men Blues Hall in Bay St. Louis w/special fun(d)raiser, https://the100menhall.com/products/summer-dance-party-with-dj-wildlife.
- New Orleans music and event news via Off Beat magazine newsletter at https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/?ui=2&ik=fc9ccc4eed&view=lg&permmsgid=msg-f%3A1736435946305684458&ser=1.
- Review of last year's 2021 Bentonia Blues Fest at https://americanahighways.org/2021/07/05/show-review-bentonia-blues-festival/.
- Italian blues fans... please consider subscribing to the excellent Il Blues magazine via https://www.ilbluesmagazine.it/giugno-2022/.
- Like avant jazz and blues? Check out the always interesting 50 Miles of Elbow Room e-newsletter at https://mailchi.mp/05bd52da3cd8/gide98v782-5820463?e=83bfd9d7b4.
- Nice feature on Delta Dirt distillery in nearby Helena, AR, https://mailchi.mp/coopwood/the-edit-z4874hyz5f?e=23cd714938.
- Did you miss last month's massive spring-festival-catch-up edition of the CAT HEAD UPDATE newsletter? Read it now at https://www.mynewsletterbuilder.com/email/newsletter/1415762276. Want to see the past couple year's of newsletters? Go here: https://www.cathead.biz/links.
|Hotel rooms still available for Clarksdale's epic SUNFLOWER RIVER BLUES & GOSPEL FESTIVAL...|
|Could make it here for Juke Joint Fest or any of our other spring blues festivals? Then, here's your chance to get a heavy blues fix at the crossroads of American music — Clarksdale, Mississippi. This year's SUNFLOWER RIVER BLUES & GOSPEL FESTIVAL is the grandmother of 'em all! Over 30 years in the making, you can dig deep at the fest with an incredible overview of today's Mississippi blues torchbearers, including Jimmy "Duck" Holmes, Kenny Brown, Pat Thomas, Bill Abel, Anthony "Big A" Sherrod, Lightnin' Malcolm, James "Super Chikan" Johnson, Sean "Bad" Apple, Little Willie Farmer and more. Details at sunflowerfest.org, and lineup submitted by festival coordinator in image below (subject to change).|
Also, remember that there will be plenty of "related" music performances around town that weekend at places like Red's Lounge, Ground Zero Blues Club, Bad Apple Blues Club, Hambone Gallery, Shack Up Inn, Bluesberry Cafe (and other restaurants), etc. PLUS, it's Cat Head's 20th anniversary weekend, of course. And keep an eye on LiveFromClarksdale.org for weekly live-streams, of course.
Start searching for rooms now via https://www.visitclarksdale.com/stay-all. There are also AirBnB and VRBO options around town as well.
|Charlie Musselwhite hits the front porch with deep Delta blues befitting a "Mississippi Son"...|
|MISSISSIPPI BOOK FESTIVAL returns to Jackson, Mississippi on Saturday, August 20th...|
|I love this festival! As an old Mississippi tourism ad campaign once stated, "Yes. We can read in Mississippi. And a few of us can even write." Coming to Mississippi for events like the MISSISSIPPI BOOK FESTIVAL (as well as all of our other music, literature, food, culture and art events) is like going back to the well. Drink deep, y'all.|
I've been fortunate enough to attend as a panelist in the past but plan to attend as a tourist this year. It's that good. Many details are on the festival website now at https://msbookfestival.com, with many more to come soon. Bookmark the date — August 20, 2022 — and see you in downtown Jackson for events like the "Rhythms of a Region" panel below.
|THANKS for the 20-year CONGRATS from my friends at Poland's TWOJ BLUES magazine!|
Mail call is always fun at CAT HEAD, and it was extra nice last week since it included the latest issue of the excellent TWOJ BLUES magazine from Poland (which I've written for since 2017) as well as a sweet "20th anniversary congrats" painting by the magazine's publisher Andrzej Matysik. THANKS! I need to give it a proper frame, but for now, it joins the cacophony of blues that is the wall behind my counter.
Andrzej and his family visited Clarksdale and attended a Cat Head Mini Blues Fest (featuring Paul "Wine" Jones among others) many years ago. Hopefully, they'll make it back for another visit at some point. Or who knows, maybe I'll get to bring some blues musicians to Poland some time? Till then, keep up the great work on the magazine, y'all.
|CLARKSDALE is more than just blues, y'all... Check out this year's MS DELTA TN WILLIAMS FESTIVAL...|
|FROM PRESS RELEASE: Coahoma Community College Releases Save the Date Message for 30th Annual Mississippi Delta Tennessee Williams Festival |
Coahoma Community College is pleased to announce that the 30th Annual MS Delta Tennessee Williams Festival (MDTWF) will be held Thursday—Saturday, October 13, 14, and 15, 2022. Website at https://deltawilliamsfestival.com/.
With a full slate of academic scholars and some new fun, family-friendly activities, the 2022 MDTW Festival promises to please with a little something for everyone who attends.
This year's festival will include a tour through Clarksdale's historic district and other downtown areas; a MDTW festival reunion and a look at festivals past; a movie screening of the acclaimed 1958 film Cat on a Hot Tin Roof on the lawn of the Cutrer Mansion; academic presentations from scholars from around the country including Williams Scholar, Dr. Kenneth Holditch; Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist, Richard Ford; Award-winning author, W. Ralph Eubanks; Moorman Distinguished Professor in the Humanities, Dr. Andrew Haley; Award-winning Highway 61 Radio Host, Writer and Researcher, Scott Barretta; Williams Historian and Director of the Tennessee Williams Rectory Museum, Karen Kohlhaas; and Academy-award winning producer, Milton Justice; as well as performances by both professional and community actors; a High School Student Drama Competition; Cultural workshops with talks by Delta Ambassadors; our signature Porch Plays in the historic district; and fun social gatherings with food and music as well.
We are also thrilled to announce that award-winning producer and former professor at the Stella Adler Academy and also the Stella Adler Conservatory, Milton Justice will direct a full production of A Glass Menagerie on Saturday evening in Clarksdale. Location and details to be announced.
Organizers are also working on a fun, family-friendly Community Book Fair to be held on the lawn of the Cutrer Mansion on Saturday from 10 AM to 3 PM. More details coming soon.
Mark your calendar now and bring the family too. It's going to be a great literary affair for the whole family!
Complete schedule coming in August.
The MS Delta Tennessee Williams Festival is free and open to the public. Its continued success depends on sponsorships, grants, and donations. For more information, please contact Jen Waller at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 662-645-3555.
|PLUS... Clarksdale's DEEP BLUES FESTIVAL is the same weekend as TN Williams. Book your rooms!|
|Clarksdale, Mississippi's infamous Deep Blues Festival 2022 is October 13-16! BENEFACTOR PASSES NOW ON SALE! Stay tuned for lineup announcements coming soon at https://deepbluesfest.com. This is a killer weekend of blues and beyond... plus shares the weekend with the MS Delta Tennessee Williams weekend... and our normal "365" Sounds Around Town blues action... so if you don't have fun, then somebody better check your pulse. (Btw... CAT HEAD and other hot spots around town will again host DBF Weekend Busking Stages, y'all.) See you there...|
|Pinetop Perkins Foundation wrapped up another successful Workshop in Clarksdale last month...|
|The annual Pinetop Perkins Foundation Workshop Experience brought in folks from all over for a stellar week of work out at the Shack Up Inn, culminating with the Pinetop Perkins Workshop Experience Blues Showcase at Ground Zero Blues Club on June 24th. For more information on the foundation, the workshop and the musician assistance fund, please go to https://www.pinetopperkinsfoundation.org.|
|Thanks to all who participated in DELTA TOURISM FORUM at the Grammy Museum Mississippi...|
|Thanks to Scott Coopwood (Delta Magazine, Delta Business Journal) for organizing, GRAMMY Museum Mississippi for hosting and all y'all for participating in last month's "How Does the Delta Win More Tourism?" panel discussion. It was great to join fellow promoters of the Delta and its music and culture in a spirited discussion of where we've been... and where we're heading. Also, everyone enjoyed Muddy Waters' great nephew Keith Johnson, who closed the evening with some front-porch solo performances of blues classics and originals. (Local newspaper coverage: https://www.pressregister.com/regional-tourism-forum-set-cleveland-june-8#sthash.A4acLlmo.dpbs.) A couple pics below.|
|Clarksdale's CAT HEAD store turns 20 on July 25th, y'all. What a long, strange trip it's been... so far.|
|20 years is a long time. And it's not.|
On the one hand, 20 years ago, I didn't have a cell phone, and there was no social media. (I mean, damn, I was using "dial up" internet.) On the other hand, during that same time, I've had several blues friends in their eighties and nineties tell me what time it was. Talk about perspective.
Still, in my work at my CAT HEAD store—as well as with all my fabulous festival, film, recording, writing and tourism partners—I've come to realize how long 20 years is. Or rather how much you can help to accomplish in 20 years.
A few examples:
- co-organizing at least 114 total festival editions (including Juke Joint, Cat Head Mini, Clarksdale Caravan, Clarksdale Film, Delta Busking and other festivals, symposiums, etc.)
- co-produce 4 film projects with corresponding soundtracks
- produce 3 blues CDs (sorry, vinyl wasn't "back" yet!)
- publish 2 blues history books
- contribute over 100 magazine columns/articles
- tour over a dozen musicians to multiple U.S. states and 8 foreign countries
- plus contribute to dozens radio and TV shows, travel articles, etc.
- and don't get me started about all of the late nights in the low lights of quasi-legal juke joints and blues house parties (and all those dollars well spent!)
Anyway, it's been a bit busy here since that first customer bought a 12 dollar CD and paid for it with a ten, a two and change (no one dollar bill... hence the framed quarter below).
CAT HEAD is open 7 days a week in historic Clarksdale, Mississippi, and always online at www.cathead.biz. Here's to another busy 20. And here's to all y'all. Thanks for your friendship and support, Roger.
IMAGES BELOW: Pic from my old advertising days (yup, we had photo IDs... just like the FBI). First quarter from Cat Head's first sale (and I still haven't needed to pry it off). Web Store ad with slightly out-of-date merchandise, but close enough (I have more stuff for sale at www.cathead.biz than ever in the history of the store, y'all).