CAT HEAD UPDATE NEWSLETTER
"All the blues that's fit to print"
|Happy LABOR DAY weekend and welcome to a September & October full of FESTIVALS in the Delta!|
|Where did the summer go? Time really does fly when you're having fun, and it's still flying here... because we have half a dozen festivals still to go in Sept/Oct. Call the airline. Start the car. Plug "Clarksdale" into your WAZE. And come join us at the crossroads of the blues, y'all — Clarksdale, Mississippi.|
Read on below for more details on our upcoming festivals as well as the usual 365-nights-a-year of 'live' blues in our little ol' blues town of Clarksdale. Or, just go to https://www.cathead.biz/music-calendar, and scroll down past my weekly Sounds Around Town snapshot to this/next year's festivals and finally the month at a glance Music Calendar.
Need lodging? Check out https://www.visitclarksdale.com/stay-all. Preview town with the Audio Walking Tour app, courtesy of Visit Clarksdale Tourism. Want a guided tour? Go to https://deltabohemiantours.com/. Looking for an experience? Log on at https://www.sharedexperiencesusa.com/. Can't get here but still want to join in the fun? Then, enjoy weekly live-streams at https://www.livefromclarksdale.org/.
CAT HEAD HAS NEW HOURS to celebrate the fall festival season (plus as always we'll extend our hours even more for the actual festival weekends!). Our new 'regular' weekly hours are now MON-SAT 11AM-5PM, SUN 11AM-3PM. As always, you can email me with questions, etc., at email@example.com, or SHOP THE CAT HEAD MEGA STORE at www.cathead.biz. Our massive team of professional customer service pugs is always well rested and ready to consider helping you.
Thanks for CAT HEAD's first 20 years (2002-2022). We couldn't have done it with out y'all joining the band.
Best wishes for a safe holiday weekend,
Roger and Ayler Pug.
PICS BELOW: North MS Hill Country blues legend RL Boyce looking fancy with yours truly (at a past Deep Blues Fest); note that RL's got some special happenings in Como, MS, this weekend (see msbluestrail.org). Plus, here are TWO Ayler Pug pics in honor of the recent International Dog Day.
|RED'S OLD-TIMERS BLUES FEST this weekend just down the block from Red's Lounge in Clarksdale...|
|The "grouchiest blues festival in the world" and one of the most jukin'... RED'S OLD-TIMERS BLUES FEST is this Saturday, y'all! It's fun. It's FREE. And it's a fab time to visit Clarkdale. The rules? Blues performers "got to be at least 60 years old. And I have to like 'em!" - RED PADEN.|
Saturday, 9/3, 2022 (and every Labor Day weekend):
- Noon-7pm - RED'S OLD-TIMERS BLUES FEST 2022 - MLK Park (MLK Dr. & Sunflower Ave., downtown; just look for the Kaboom Playground and the "superbloom") - FREE - all day! Starring in this order: Cadillac John Nolden (95 years old!) & Bill Abel, Frank "Guitar" Rimmer & Johnny Drummer, Miss Gladys & Terry "Big T" Williams, Brotha Ric Patton & Carla Robinson, Watermelon Slim, and Lucious Spiller (who turns 60 this month).
PLUS, Red's nighttime juke joint schedule this week:
Wed., 8/31 - Lucious Spiller, 7:30pm.
Thurs., 9/1 - 19th Street Red w/Deak Harp, 7pm.
Fri., 9/2 - Terry "Big T" Williams & Family, 8pm.
Sat., 9/3 - Lucious Spiller Band, 8pm.
Sun., 9/4 - 19th Street Red w/Deak Harp, 7pm.
|New CROSSROADS DELTA BLUES HOUR radio show every week with your host......... Roger Stolle!|
|Thanks to all y'all who have tuned into my new CROSSROADS DELTA BLUES HOUR radio show — either live-streaming it at Jazz88.org on Saturdays OR listening later to one of the archived shows at https://www.jazz88.org/programs/Crossroads_Delta_Blues_Hour/.|
Live around San Diego, California? Then, please tune into KSDS 88.3FM every Saturday at 5pm for your blast of the blues, straight from my CAT HEAD store in Clarksdale, Mississippi. Then, start planning your pilgrimage to the crossroads of American music.
The first week, I recapped the Sunflower River Blues Fest. The second week, I featured the Delta's blues museums. This week, I'm highlighting a few of our upcoming festivals. And next week, I plan to drive a bit of the Mississippi Blues Trail. Please join me now via the archived radio shows or 'live' on Saturdays (5pm Pacific, 7pm Central, 8pm Eastern). It's the CROSSROADS DELTA BLUES HOUR from Clarksdale — only on San Diego's Jazz & Blues 88.3FM and Jazz88.org.
|SOUNDS AROUND TOWN ad proves that Clarksdale, Mississippi, really does feature 'live' blues 365...|
|I've been doing this CAT HEAD thing for over 20 years now, and some times even I take our music scene for granted. As the occasional visitor who hasn't been here for 10 or 20 years will remind me: Our daily 'live' music didn't used to be 'daily.' The first couple years I lived here, there were even weekend nights that were either totally silent or didn't feature 'blues' music. And during the week... till the Bluesberrys and Hambones moved here and started up their Monday and Tuesday night shows, respectively... well, there were a lot of crickets! Anyway, in order to keep and grow our 365 nights (and many days) of 'live' blues shows, we need to support them by attending or at least promoting and sharing. Oh, and as always, please remember to "tip tip tip the band"; as our buddy Lucious Spiller says, "Tippin' ain't no town next to Clarksdale!"|
So, here you go. Below is just this week's snapshot of the music happenings in our little blues town of 15,000. Pretty impressive, huh? For the full list as far out as I know it as well as this and next year's festival dates, please go to https://www.cathead.biz/music-calendar and scroll on down.
|SHOP CAT HEAD 7 days a week or anytime in our WEB STORE at www.cathead.biz. Thanks, y'all!|
|To avoid possible supply-chain issues and such, CAT HEAD has stocked up early for the fall festival season. We've got short and long-sleeve T-shirts, new hoodies, crewneck fleece, ball caps, books (blues/Clarksdale/Southern), posters/prints, original artwork, blues CDs/DVDs, vinyl LPs, "Cat Head" logo/Clarksdale beverage glasses, shotglasses, coffee mugs, new eyeglass cleaning cloths, huggies/koozies, coasters... and dang, probably plenty of other cool stuffs I'm forgetting. Much of it is online in our WEB STORE at www.cathead.biz. The rest of it you can find in-store at CAT HEAD (252 Delta Ave., Clarksdale, MS). But don't wait. First come, first served. Restocks may take a while, and certain items are limited quantities. If you have questions, please just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.|
|By the way, we have NEW EXTENDED CAT HEAD STORE HOURS... 7 days a week in Clarksdale.|
Announcing new, extended 'regular' CAT HEAD STORE HOURS, y'all: Mon-Sat 11am-5pm, plus Sun 11-3. We are still open 7 days a week (only closed Thanksgiving & Christmas). For patriotic holidays such as Labor Day, we're open till 2pm, so I can go get some barbecue.
PLUS, we always feature even more shopping hours on FESTIVAL WEEKENDS! And for sofa surfers, you can shop us online 8 days a week, 366 days a year in our Web Store at www.cathead.biz. Thanks.
|The MUSIC FESTIVALS just coming in September and October, especially in CLARKSDALE, y'all!|
|Clarksdale has been called "The Festival City" and for good reason. With 'live' music 365 nights a year and over a dozen annual festivals, it is a blues lover's dream. This weekend it's the Red's Old-Timers Blues Fest, of course, and then plan for:|
- 10/9 - Super Blues Sunday w/live blues at multiple venues all over town!
|PLUS... The Mississippi Delta Tennessee Williams Festival returns with a big anniversary year event!|
CLARKSDALE, MS -- Coahoma Community College releases schedule for the 30th Annual MS Delta Tennessee Williams Festival (MDTWF), which will be held in Clarksdale on October 13th, 14th, and 15th, 2022. Make your plans now to attend. CLICK FOR FULL SCHEDULE. 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; 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 Academy and Emmy Award-winning producer and former professor at the Stella Adler Academy and also the Stella Adler Conservatory, Milton Justice will direct an abridged production of A Glass Menagerie on Saturday afternoon in Clarksdale on the porch of the historic Governor's Mansion located at 41 John Street. Organizers are also working on a fun Community Celebration to be held at the Cutrer Mansion on Thursday from 11 AM to 4 PM. More details coming soon.
The MS Delta Tennessee Williams Festival is free and open to the public. Its continued success depends on sponsors, grants, and donations. We give special thanks to the following sponsors: Coahoma Community College, the MS Humanities Council, the MS Arts Commission, the Coahoma County Tourism Commission/Visit Clarksdale, and Visit Mississippi. For more information or if you would like to make a donation, please contact Jen Waller at email@example.com or at
|New businesses that CLARKSDALE visitors should love: Shop of Wonders & Lunatic Fringe Luthiery!|
Meet CAT HEAD's newest neighbors: Shop of Wonders (Charlie & Claire from New Orleans, LA) next door and Lunatic Fringe Luthiery (Keith from Bisby, AZ) across the street.
Friendly folks with cool new businesses! Please say hello the next time you visit downtown Clarksdale, Mississippi. #downtownrevitalization #visitclarksdale
Plus, here's your chance to join the fine folks above...
4,200-SQUARE-FOOT BUILDING FOR SALE — 113 EAST 2ND STREET IN DOWNTOWN CLARKSDALE:
Own a fully furnished, move-in ready apartment (in back) plus a large space for your business (in front). Entrepreneurs can start a new business or move an existing one to the heard of downtown Clarksdale. Perfect for retail store or restaurant, music venue or museum.
The furnished apartment measures approximately 960 square feet and features its own private entrance in back. The open floor plan living space includes a kitchen with stove, dishwasher and large refrigerator with ice maker. There is a full bathroom with large shower and washer/dryer on the ground floor, plus there is a loft sleeping area above that measures approximately 673 square feet and includes a large open living area/bedroom and a second enclosed room.
Asking price is $129,000 as is. The Sellers are retired and wanting to travel, so they are looking for a cash deal and fast closing. They will consider any serious cash offer.
Showings by advance appointment only. For information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Our friends in nearby Helena, AR, return with epic KING BISCUIT BLUES FESTIVAL, Oct. 5-8!|
|After two years of pandemic pause, our friends on the other side of the mighty Mississippi River from Clarksdale return with Helena's always big and beautiful KING BISCUIT BLUES FESTIVAL & KBBF Blues Symposium — this year from October 5th through 8th. Check out the lineup and more at https://kingbiscuitfestival.com. The big stage is ticketed, of course, but hey... they've also got multiple, amazing FREE smaller stages up and down historic Cherry Street. Be sure to visit the Delta Cultural Center as well, and catch of of the 'live' King Biscuit Time radio shows at KFFA.|
PLUS, please joint me along with blues journalist Don Wilcock and our cavalcade of KBBF blues performers on that Saturday morning, Oct. 8th, at the classic Malco Theater on Cherry Street for our 10th KING BISCUIT CALL & RESPONSE BLUES SYMPOSIUM of two back-to-back panel discussions that are always tons of fun and more than a little educational. Info at https://kingbiscuitfestival.com/events/blues-symposium/ and on poster art below. Somebody... "PLEASE PASS THE BISCUITS!"
|LATEST BLUES, MISSISSIPPI, CLARKSDALE, JAZZ AND RELATED NEWS. Check out the links below...|
|- Rolling Stone magazine goes to Mississippi... https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/culture-news/mississippis-must-see-music-venues-1382380/.|
- Memphis Flyer interviews new Blues Foundation head, Kimberly Horton a https://www.memphisflyer.com/new-blues-foundation-interim-ceo-wants-to-get-back-to-the-basics.
- More news from The Blues Foundation in Memphis, https://mailchi.mp/blues.org/the-blues-foundation-hart-party?e=c136b88de7.
- Clarksdale blues heads to the Savannah....... Philharmonic! Really. October 8th, Big A takes Classical to the juke joints... https://savannahphilharmonic.org/event/philthepark/. (Congrats to Eric Meier for pulling it together. Have fun.)
- Latest new from Blues Festival Guide magazine at https://www.mynewsletterbuilder.com/email/newsletter/1415954361.
- Community Canoe on mighty Mississippi River this Sat Sept 3rd with QUAPAW CANOE COMPANY of Clarksdale, https://quapaw.substack.com/p/community-canoe-sat-sept-3rd.
- Latest news from the Mississippi Arts Commission (MAC) in Jackson, MS, at https://arts.ms.gov/category/news/.
- Nice piece on Tippo, Mississippi's fav jazz/bluesman, Mose Allison (forwarded by Charlie Musselwhite) at https://newmusicusa.org/nmbx/a-man-at-home-on-the-road-remembering-mose-allison-1927-2016.
- St. Louis' creative music organizers announce upcoming season of 'live' avant jazz etc performances at https://newmusiccircle.org/. Most notably, the Steve Swell, Luke Stewart and Brandon Lopez bands should be killer.
- Latest on New Orleans music scene at https://www.offbeat.com/.
- New Mississippi podcasts (history museums, oral histories, etc.) from Erin Scott at audiochic.net.
- Memphis Country Blues Festival coming soon, https://mailchi.mp/607b6774d077/save-the-date-remembering-nathan-beauregard-918-new-memphis-country-blues-fest-917.
- Latest news from Memphis Flyer at https://mailchi.mp/memphisflyer/new-issue-ready-for-the-tigers.
- New "Music Issue" coming soon from Oxford American, https://www.oxfordamericangoods.org/collections/the-magazine/products/issue-119-country-roots-music-issue.
- Latest news from our friends at the fabulous Dust-to-Digital label, https://dusttodigital.substack.com/p/the-world-of-dust-to-digital.
- Latest blues/R&B/soul news from Soul Patrol at http://soul-patrol.com/.
- Latest roots 'n blues news from Making the Scene at https://www.makingascene.org.
|Jazz passings.... RIP JAIMIE BRANCH and ABDUL WADUD and CREED TAYLOR. Long live your music.|
|Damn. Tough last month or so for creative jazz music. Creed Taylor, who according to Down Beat magazine, "Died at age 93 on Aug. 22... was well known for his foundational work at Impulse!, Verve and A&M Records, but primarily for founding Creed Taylor International — also known as CTI Records — in 1970." More at https://downbeat.com/news/detail/creed-taylor-passes-at-93. I mainly think of Taylor for his involvement in launching the Impulse! record label... which reminds me... of the excellent book profiled here: https://www.npr.org/2006/06/06/5452186/impulse-records-the-house-that-trane-built.|
Earlier, on August 10th, the incredibly talented and prolific (jazz, classical and beyond) pioneering cellist Abdul Wadud passed away at 75, back in the the state I hail from — Ohio. As Jazz Times noted, "In collaboration with artists like Arthur Blythe, Julius Hemphill, and Anthony Davis, he brought the cello into avant-garde jazz." Obit at https://jazztimes.com/features/tributes-and-obituaries/pioneering-cellist-abdul-wadud-dies-at-75/. A rare interview (by a fellow cellist) with Abdul Wadud at https://www.pointofdeparture.org/PoD57/PoD57Wadud.html. And finally, a radio tribute to his music from WCSB in his native Cleveland at https://archive.org/details/abdul-wadud-feature-part-1-the-brewing-luminous-wcsb-cleveland.
Then, ugh... the same day that 93-year-old Creed Taylor passed (presumably a bit expected), the improvizational jazz world was shocked by the sudden passing of 39-year-old trumpet player, composer and free spirit... Jaimie Branch. I didn't know her personally, but I was lucky enough to see her in Brooklyn, NYC, St. Louis and Memphis a few times. She was incredible every time. And her albums (especially the Fly Or Die records) shifted the genre. Huge loss for the evolution creative music as well as her family, friends and fans. My buddy Jeff Konkel (Broke & Hungry Records) and I saw her a few times in various band formats at Vision Festival in New York, and that last VF we made it to in 2021 was perhaps Jaimie's crowning glory. After her set, Jeff turned to me and said something like, "That's the show of the festival, right there." The VF reviews that followed said essentially the same thing. The last time I saw her play was at the incredible Crosstown Arts complex up in Memphis. She brought her stellar rhythm section (including cellist Lester St. Louis and drummer Chad Taylor, who could frankly tour as a duo; I've never heard so much music and creativity out of two guys not holding horns or guitars!), and while the audience was super small — my buddy Theo Dasbach (Rock & Blues Museum), me and maybe 10 other strangers united by the energy in the room — the show went on. After the show, Theo said enthusiastically, "I enjoyed it! But I'm not even sure what to call what they were playing?" A true compliment for music based in the past and improvised for the future. And maybe that's what I loved so much about Jaimie Branch's music. It was based on the past but aimed at the future. In the many obits that have appeared online in the past week, several musicians and critics noted how she was not afraid to take chances in her music. A few tributes: Dust-to-Digital at https://dusttodigital.substack.com/p/remembering-jaimie-branch-june-17. Arts for Art/Vision Festival at https://www.artsforart.org/blog/remembering-jaimie-breezy-branch and... The New York Times at https://nyti.ms/3ATrCj3.
Anyway, I only spoke with her twice, but at a St. Louis show, I got a snapshot taken with her after the show (which I rarely do!), so that's below along with Brooklyn VF and Memphis Crosstown pics. RIP to a supreme talent.