|CAT HEAD UPDATE NEWSLETTER|
FALL FESTIVAL EDITION!
"All the blues that's fit to print"
|Fall? Okay. Late summer and early fall... and the festivals are coming to Clarksdale & the Blues Delta!|
|How's the weather? Uh, yeah. Here, too. (It was 102 on Friday.) But Fall is coming, y'all, along with a temperate assemblage of local and regional festivals and special events. Get out there, gas up the Hemi, and hit the road for some real-deal blues!|
Plan your PILGRIMAGE to Clarksdale, Mississippi:
CROSSROADS DELTA BLUES HOUR (radio show): jazz88.org.
Coming soon to CLARKSDALE?
9/2 - Red's Old-Timers Blues Fest.
9/22-23 - Mighty Roots Music Fest.
9/30 - Bad Apple Blues Fest.
10/8 - Clarksdale's Super Blues Sunday (incl. Cat Head Mini Blues Fest!).
10/12-15 - Deep Blues Fest & MS Delta Tennessee Williams Festival Weekend.
10/26-28 - Hambone Festival & Cruzn The Crossroads Weekend.
Also, NEARBY in Mississippi/Arkansas:
9/16 - MS Delta Blues & Heritage Festival in Greenville, MS.
9/23 - Sam Chatmon Festival in Hollandale, MS.
10/4-7 - King Biscuit Blues Festival & Symposium in Helena, AR.
Shop CAT HEAD—Mississippi's blues store in Clarksdale since 2002—Mon-Sat 11am-5pm & Sun 11-3. Plus special festival weekend hours! WEB STORE at www.cathead.biz.
Thanks for 21 amazing years in Clarksdale (so far),
Roger Stolle at CAT HEAD
A few recent PHOTOS:
- Ayler Pug and yours truly at home on our downtown balcony.
- Texassippi Raquel a.k.a CAT HEAD hat super model!
- Recent summer sunset behind Clarksdale's City Hall.
- Drummer Derick Kemp once again restores our sidewalk sign.
- Clarksdale weather this past Friday afternoon; very summery!
|SOUNDS AROUND TOWN: Live blues 365 plus over a dozen annual festivals and so much more!|
|Here is my latest snapshot of Clarksdale's weekly music scene. Remember, you can always see additional future weeks plus our list of annual blues festivals (with web links) on my Music Calendar page at https://www.cathead.biz/music-calendar. (When you get there, be sure to scroll past the weekly add to see the full list.) Visit Clarksdale Tourism also now distributes my Sounds Around Town flyer to hotels and such, so if you're a "local" business that wants to distro to customers, please let Tourism know. Or, I can add you to my weekly email list. |
|Beat the festival rush, and SHOP CAT HEAD store online today... as we celebrate 21 years in the Delta!|
|Shop CAT HEAD—Mississippi's blues store in Clarksdale since 2002—every day at 11am, or anytime in our WEB STORE at www.cathead.biz. Regular store hours are Mon-Sat 11-5 and Sundays 11-3. Plus, watch for special extended hours during some of our upcoming festival weekends!|
NEW ARRIVALS include a fresh printing of the vintage Mississippi River map poster below—circa 1940 and including our town of Clarksdale. RESTOCKS include Cat Head/Clarksdale and 61/49 Crossroads ball caps. We've also got tons of classic and new books, CDs, vinyl LPs, shirts and more. Thanks, y'all!
|Woo hoo! It's FALL FESTIVAL TIME in the Mississippi (and Arkansas) Delta, y'all! Make your plans now...|
|KING BISCUIT BLUES SYMPOSIUM returns to the Malco on Helena's historic Cherry Street in October!|
|For immediate release:|
KING BISCUIT BLUES FESTIVAL PRESENTS 11TH ANNUAL “CALL AND RESPONSE: BLUES SYMPOSIUM” IN HISTORIC HELENA, ARKANSAS
Join two blues journalism and preservation legends, Don Wilcock and Roger Stolle, for their 11th annual Call and Response Blues Symposium. They moderate two one-hour-long “back fence” conversations with legendary blues musicians and personalities who are some of the most colorful people on today’s vibrant blues scene. “Come on home” to this lively confab that’s become a colorful highlight of the festival.
WHERE: Malco Theater, Cherry St., Helena, Arkansas
WHEN: Saturday, October 7th (Session 1: 10:00am-11:00am, Session 2: 11:00am-12:15pm)
PART ONE – 10:00 A.M.-11:00 A.M.
Moderator: ROGER STOLLE
Stolle’s Cat Head is currently celebrating 21 years as “Mississippi’s blues store” in historic downtown Clarksdale, Mississippi (www.cathead.biz). He is a Blues Music Magazine columnist, "Crossroads Delta Blues Hour" radio host (jazz88.org), Juke Joint Festival co-founder, Hidden History of Mississippi Blues author, and co-producer of film projects such as Moonshine & Mojo Hands. He is a Keeping the Blues Alive Award and Blues Music Award recipient, and president of Coahoma County Tourism Commission.
Mississippi-born, Memphis-raised, Grammy Award-winning, Blues Hall of Famer Charlie Musselwhite is arguably the most famous blues harmonica player alive today. From his legendary 1967 debut Stand Back! to his latest Grammy-nominated Mississippi Son, the 79-year-old has released some two dozen acclaimed albums—plus recorded with musical icons like John Lee Hooker, Tom Waits and Bonnie Raitt. From Muddy Waters/Howlin' Wolf-era Chicago to Fillmore West-era San Francisco, he's a legend with stories to tell.
"TAIL DRAGGER" JONES
Born James Yancy Jones in Arkansas in 1940, the bluesman known to fans all around the world as "Tail Dragger" was raised up on blues and gospel. He saw legends like Sonny Boy Williamson II and Boyd Gilmore in his youth. Then, after moving to Chicago in 1966, Tail Dragger fell under the spell of blues greats like Muddy Waters, Willie Dixon and, especially, Howlin' Wolf—who gave Jones his nickname and became his biggest single influence. He has recorded for Delmark Records and is a regular on the club and festival scene.
Born in Corinth in 1967 and partly raised in Clarksdale, the delightfully-schizophrenic Mississippi boogieman Jimbo Mathus has worn many hats and accumulated a lifetime of musical experiences since the 1980s—including videos on MTV, broadcasts on NPR, a Grammy Award nominations (and a win) with Buddy Guy, a Platinum Record with Squirrel Nut Zippers and international tours. Mathus grew up with Charley Patton's daughter Rosetta in the household and is currently finishing a marionette-crafted film tribute to her.
It sounds cliché to say Kent Burnside was born into the blues, but with a legendary grandfather like R.L. Burnside and extended family that includes Cedric, Duwayne and Garry Burnside, it is absolutely true. Born in 1971, he grew up in Holly Springs, Mississippi, where he learned from his grandfather. By the 2000s, he was on tour with Jimbo Mathus and Buddy Guy and soon running into celebrities like Samuel L. Jackson, Dan Akroyd and Bruce Willis at "work." These days he plays festivals from Mississippi to Switzerland.
PART TWO – 11:00 A.M. -12:15 P.M.
Moderator: DON WILCOCK
Don Wilcock is a Blues Foundation Keeping The Blues Alive in Print Journalism recipient. He began writing about blues 54 years ago as an Army journalist in Vietnam. His authorized biography on Buddy Guy, Damn Right I’ve Got The Blues, was published in three languages. Now out of print, it has become a cult classic among blues aficionados. He has edited several music magazines including The King Biscuit Times and currently is one of the more prolific blues journalists writing for several websites including American Blues Scene and Nippertown. He is a contributing editor of Blues Music Magazine.
As the CEO of The King Biscuit Blues Festival, she oversees the entire operation. Her passion for fund raising attracts the sponsorship funds that provide the resources to annually attract more than 30,000 people to a county with the population of 12,000. A native of Helena, Arkansas and lifelong resident, Munnie has overseen the development of The Biscuit into a phenomenon known worldwide for attracting the best and most storied artists in blues.
Friday night main stage headliner Nick Moss has just released Get Your Back into It on Alligator Records that lives up to its title. “It’s West Side sweaty with a chitlin circuit strut and swagger,” says Don Wilcock in his upcoming Blues Music Magazine cover story. This Chicago native has a quarter century of album releases and has been compared to Willie Dixon for his ability the write and sing blues’ “truth.” He developed his gritty styles playing with Chicago legacies Jimmy “Fast Fingers” Dawkins, Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, and Jimmy Rogers.
“Dennis Gruenling is an extremely good foil on stage,” says Chicago blues man Nick Moss about his featured harp player on Get Your Back into It. “Dennis is incredible. There’s great harmonica players, and I love playing with guys like Kim Wilson, Rick Estrin and Sugar Ray Norcia, but there are guys that just take it to another level.” Moss’ friend for more than 20 years, Gruenling is considered among today’s most innovative and creative blues harmonica players. A self-taught player and a natural entertainer, he has seven solo albums and numerous guest appearances to his credit.
At 78 years old, John Primer is a long-haul survivor whose played with everyone from Muddy Waters, and Magic Slim and the Teardrops to The Rolling Stones. This year alone he was the Blues Music Awards honoree for traditional blues male artist of the year and Living Blues Awards nominee for his album Hard Times. The Mississippi native’s father died when he was three years old, and when he moved Chicago at age 18, he was surprised to learn that his future mentors were still alive. Now he’s considered one of them
|Join me every Saturday (or any time at Jazz88.org) for CROSSROADS DELTA BLUES HOUR radio show...|
|"You're tune into the CROSSROADS DELTA BLUES HOUR—right here on KSDS. I'm your host, Roger Stolle, coming at you from the heart of the blues Delta, y'all—Clarksdale, Mississippi. Thanks for tuning in!" And so begins every week of my radio show on San Diego's rockin' Jazz & Blues station, KSDS 88.3FM / Jazz88.org.|
WHAT'S THE SHOW ABOUT? Well, as we say on the station website: Most folks know about Mississippi's rich blues music history, but many don't realize that it plays on today. Host Roger Stolle will share the past, present and future of the genre (along with plenty of tall tales), broadcasting straight from the crossroads of Highways 61 & 49 — historic Clarksdale, Mississippi.
HERE ME TALK ABOUT IT on last week's Inside Art radio show with Dave Drexler, as we celebrated my 1st anniversary with KSDS: https://www.jazz88.org/MP3/IA082023Stolle.mp3.
Better yet, LISTEN TO THE SHOW NOW at https://www.jazz88.org/programs/Crossroads_Delta_Blues_Hour/. This Sat., 8/26, I'll highlight upcoming Clarksdale and vicinity blues 'n roots festivals. Don't miss it!
|Plus, check out this week's AMERICAN ROUTES show on NPR for a special Living with the Blues edition...|
|This Week on American Routes:
Living with the Blues
August 23, 2023- August 29, 2023
This week on American Routes, we’re roaming the highways, byways and crossroads of the Magnolia State, looking for all kinds of blues. We sit down with noted blues scholar Bill Ferris to talk about his lifelong obsession with the music of his home state, and visit with Delta piano blues chanteuse Eden Brent to learn about her music mentor Boogaloo Ames. We set out north for Holly Springs and some Hill Country family jams. Then we head towards home to hang out at Teddy’s Juke Joint, and catch up with the master of the gut-bucket blues, Little Freddie King.
|This Week's Playlist:
Open Bed: “Station Blues” Otha Turner and the Afrossippi Allstars
From Senegal to Senatobia (Birdman)
“Po Black Maddie” North Mississippi Allstars
Shake Hands with Shorty (Tone-Cool)
“Down the Road Apiece” Amos Milburn
Blues, Barrelhouse and Boogie Woogie (Capital)
SEGMENT: Teddy's Juke Joint
“Walkin' to Louisiana” Clifton Chenier
Bon Ton Roulet (Arhoolie)
“Louisiana Blues” Muddy Waters
The Chess 50th Anniversary Collection: His Best, 1947 to 1955 (MCA)
Instrumental: “Okie Dokie Stomp” Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown
The Original Peacock Recordings (Rounder)
“Key to the Highway” Jazz Gillum and Memphis Slim
Memphis Slim: The Folkways Years 1959-1973 (Smithsonian Folkways)
“Baby, Please Don't Go” Mose Allison
SEGMENT: Eden Brent
Instrumental: “Boogaloo's Boogie” Boogaloo Ames
Boogaloo's Boogie (Little Boogaloo)
“Stop and Listen Blues No. 2” Mississippi Sheiks
Violin Sing the Blues (Old Hat)
“Country Honk” The Rolling Stones
Let It Bleed (ABKCO)
“Johnny B Goode” Chuck Berry
The Chess Box (MCA/ Chess)
SEGMENT: Little Freddie King
End Bed: “Tipitina” Allen Toussaint
American Routes original recording
Open Bed: “Clarksdale Getaway” Charlie Musselwhite
The Well (Alligator)
“Moaning at Midnight” Howlin' Wolf
Howlin' Wolf: His Best (MCA)
“I Ain't Superstitious” Jeff Beck Group
Truth (Sony BMG)
SEGMENT: Buddy Guy
Instrumental: “Keep Your Lamps Trimmed and Burning” Fred McDowell
Fred McDowell: The First Recordings (Rounder)
“Long Time Blues” Lonnie Johnson & Victoria Spivey
Idle Hours (Prestige)
“Sad and Beautiful World” Charlie Musselwhite
The Well (Alligator)
“Cross Road Blues” Robert Johnson
The Complete Recordings (Columbia)
“Walking Blues” Bonnie Raitt
Bonnie Raitt (Warner Bros.)
“Standing at the Crossroads” Elmore James
Blues Masters: The Very Best of Elmore James (Rhino)
Instrumental: “Most Things Haven't Worked Out” Junior Kimbrough
You Better Run: The Essential Junior Kimbrough (Fat Possum)
SEGMENT: Bill Ferris
“You Gotta Move” Rev. John Wilkins
American Routes original recording
“Miss Maybelle” Kenny Brown
American Routes original recording
“Shimmy She Wobble” Rising Star Drum and Fife Band
American Routes original recording
End Bed: “Blues Before Midnight” Robert Nighthawk
Mississippi Delta Blues in the 1960's Vol. 1 (Arhoolie)
|LATEST BLUES, MISSISSIPPI, CLARKSDALE, JAZZ AND RELATED NEWS. Check out the links below...|
|- "Blues Music Is My First Love": Christone “Kingfish” Ingram Reveals Five Life-Changing Riffs to Guitar Player Magazine, https://www.guitarplayer.com/players/christone-kingfish-ingram-five-riffs-interview|
- Charlie Musselwhite and Elvin Bishop — ‘front porch’ bluesmen, https://chicago.suntimes.com/2023/7/28/23810326/charlie-musselwhite-elvin-bishop-ravinia-chicago-music-roots
- Blues Pilgrim: David Evans’ lifelong journey into music by Alex Greene, https://memphismagazine.com/culture/blues-pilgrim/
- Family of Bill 'Howl-N-Madd' Perry look to preserve his legacy and music, https://www.djournal.com/news/local/family-of-bill-howl-n-madd-perry-look-to-preserve-his-legacy-and-music/article_2f8ba9ee-2583-11ee-a249-07fb80882233.html
- New Black American Portrait exhibit in Memphis, https://www.brooksmuseum.org/exhibitions/black-american-portraits
- Hip-Hop 50: How Memphis rap charted a passage from Delta blues by Zandria F. Robinson, https://www.npr.org/2023/07/21/1188419000/hip-hop-50-memphis
- Easy Eye Sound Celebrates the Blues on ‘Tell Everybody!’ LP/CD (available at CAT HEAD, of course), https://www.nashvillescene.com/music/features/tell-everybody-easy-eye-sound/article_15b14168-356f-11ee-bd25-836c0bc73990.html
- MS Delta Blues & Heritage Festival lineup announced, https://www.deltanews.tv/news/festival-lineup-announced/article_2d7ec790-2a41-11ee-b061-37efadfba9d9.html
- Latest news from Blues Festival Guide magazine, https://www.mynewsletterbuilder.com/email/newsletter/1416546295
- Kimberly Horton named permanent Blues Foundation director, https://mailchi.mp/blues.org/new-beginnings-3479769?e=c136b88de7
- Blues Garden taking shape at DeSoto County Museum, http://www.desototimes.com/news/blues-garden-taking-shape-at-desoto-county-museum/article_77b9ca7c-1d02-11ee-b046-f7949896add5.html?utm_medium=social&utm_source=email&utm_campaign=user-share
- Road trip: Looking for Black joy deep in the American South - The Globe and Mail, https://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/travel/article-road-trip-looking-for-black-joy-deep-in-the-american-south/
- Field recordist George Mitchell's hurricane damage, https://musicmaker.org/stories/high-water-everywhere/
- When The Levees Broke: The Flood That Made Rock And Roll, https://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffopperman/2023/08/17/when-the-levees-broke-the-flood-that-made-rock-and-roll/?sh=4cfdf80e467b
- Is Albert King Related to BB King? The Truth Behind the Blues Legends, https://doms2cents.com/is-albert-king-related-to-bb-king-the-truth-behind-the-blues-legends/
- The Life of Musician RL Burnside: A Story of Blues and Legacy by Marcie Pratt (NewsBreak), https://original.newsbreak.com/@marcie-pratt-1653206/3122241657776-the-life-of-musician-rl-burnside-a-story-of-blues-and-legacy
- ‘Biography of a Phantom: A Robert Johnson Blues Odyssey’ book review, https://freebeacon.com/culture/delta-force/
- Clarksdale’s Role in the Development of Gospel Music – Journal of Gospel Music, https://journalofgospelmusic.com/gospel/clarksdales-role-in-the-development-of-gospel-music/
- Relive this year's Mississippi Book Festival, https://www.instagram.com/msbookfestival/.
- What Spatial Audio Can and Cannot Do for Classical Music, https://www.nytimes.com/2023/08/22/arts/music/spatial-audio-classical-music.html?smid=nytcore-android-share
- Arthur Crudup: the legacy of the 'Father of Rock and Roll', https://faroutmagazine.co.uk/arthur-crudup-legacy-father-of-rock-n-roll/
- Classic New Yorker feature on Fat Possum Records, https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2002/02/04/white-man-at-the-door
- Wanna donate to something great in Clarksdale? Try Griot (after-school arts nonprofit): https://mailchi.mp/944d49200e2b/new-year-fresh-goals-at-griot-9392223
- Clarksdale's Quapaw Canoe Company updates, https://quapaw.substack.com/p/where-the-wild-things-are?utm_source=substack&utm_medium=email
- Annual "Samuel Davis Memorial Benefit coming in November to Hopson Commissary, https://www.hopsonhospitality.com/
- The Band's Robbie Robertson dies, https://www.theguardian.com/music/2023/aug/10/robbie-robertson-obituary
- Singer-songwriter Sixto Rodriguez dies, https://faroutmagazine.co.uk/sixto-rodriguez-dead-81/
- Upcoming Thacker Mountain Radio shows, https://thackermountain.org/upcoming-shows
- Mississippi's water woes, https://mississippitoday.org/2023/08/09/dangerous-pfas-chemicals-add-to-mississippi-water-woes/
- Louis Armstrong Center Amplifies An Artist’s Vision https://www.nytimes.com/2023/08/03/arts/design/louis-armstrong-center-queens-jason-moran-historic-buildings.html?smid=nytcore-android-share
- Always interesting music and books from 50 Miles of Elbow Room, https://mailchi.mp/6c22d0dbd262/gide98v782-6056396?e=83bfd9d7b4.
|GRAMMY MUSEUM MISSISSIPPI in nearby Cleveland opened new "HIGHWAY 61" exhibit recently...|
|GRAMMY Museum® Mississippi debuted a new, major exhibit on Friday, Aug. 11... Highway 61: Traveling America’s Music Highway. Presented by Eutaw Construction, in collaboration with Commissioner Willie Simmons, the first-of-its-kind exhibit will take visitors on a journey down what could be considered to be music’s most important and famous road—Highway 61—while exploring the music sites and celebrating the artists that played a major role in shaping American music history. The exhibit will be on display through 2024. Supporting sponsors include APAC Mississippi and South Delta Planning and Development. The exhibit features iconic artifacts from artists like Muddy Waters, Ann Peebles, Dr. John, Bobby Rush, and Conway Twitty, among others, along with artist interviews, interactive experiences, and even a Juke Joint. The exhibit will also include a section dedicated to the celebration of the Recording Academy Memphis Chapter’s 50th anniversary, highlighting key moments from the Chapter’s history. MORE INFO: https://www.grammymuseumms.org/exhibits/highway-61-traveling-america-s-music-highway|
|Sad news on recent Clarksdale, Mississippi, passings. Goodbye to our friends and collegues... RIP...|
On Saturday, August 26th, we said goodbye to a good friend to Clarksdale. Perhaps one of the best. Mr. Ken Murphey, who passed away recently—way too young at just 52. Ken was the City Commissioner of Ward 2. My ward. Downtown's ward. He was not only a voice of reason at City meetings but also willing to come on down to Delta Avenue to personally unclog the pipes under the ADA sidewalk ramps whenever the gutter flooded. He was a constant supporter of and often volunteer at local festivals and nonprofits. Many times, international tourists would walk through my door at Cat Head saying that a smiling, helpful gentleman had just given them directions and a special commemorative City medallion. I instantly knew who it was: Ken Murphey, one of the nicest folks any of us are likely to meet in this lifetime. He was "all in" on his hometown, and we thank him for it. Sincere condolences go out to his loving family. And a very special thanks as well. Thanks for sharing Ken with your community. He worked hard every day to make a difference. And he did. Rest in peace, Commissioner. (Obituary: https://www.meredith-nowellfuneralhome.com/obituaries/Richard-Kendrick-Murphey?obId=28798432 )
I first met Conner in my Cat Head store some two decades ago. If memory serves me correctly, he had recently gotten back from a trip to India where he learned or honed his love of yoga—bringing it back to Clarksdale as a business, Delta Yoga. Some may remember the yoga sessions he would hold on the mornings of those early Juke Joint Festival editions. Others may recall his love of animals—especially cats and dogs. Or perhaps his tooling around town in his little Mini Cooper or classic Porsche 911. I knew him last as my apartment landlord so saw him often for a time. What I didn't know until reading his obituary below is that he "was a member of a world championship sky diving team, [completing] more than 1000 jumps." This reminds me of the poem High Flight I grew up with via the Air Force Museum in my native Dayton, OH: "I have slipped the surly bonds of earth and danced the skies on laughter-slivered wings... done a hundred things you have not dreamed of... high in the sunlit silence..." - pilot officer John Gillespie Magee (1941). RIP, Conner. (Obituary: https://www.meredith-nowellfuneralhome.com/obituaries/Conner-Burnham?obId=28752308 )
|We had a blast at SUNFLOWER RIVER BLUES & Gospel Festival and CAT HEAD'S ANNIVERSARY...|
|Thanks to everyone who came on home to Clarksdale for Kingfish and a who's who of Mississippi blues and gospel favorites a couple of weeks back. Also, thanks for helping me continue to celebrate my 21st anniversary year at CAT HEAD. It was a fabulous (if wee bit warm) weekend. Plan now for next year's weekend—August 9-11, 2024! See this year's info at https://www.sunflowerfest.org/.|
|Hey y'all! Let's catch up on some JAZZ JAZZ JAZZ news and reviews (i.e. my other favorite genre).........|
MY REVIEW OF JAIMIE BRANCH SWAN SONG
Thanks for the one more for the road, jaimie branch. RIP. Fly or Die Fly or Die Fly or Die ((world war)) is an instant classic of her own avant-jazz-meets-punk-attitude-with-a-dash-of-folk subgenre. And a way too early bookend to her way too small library of what was to be next, but is now past. Branch died a year ago this week at just 39.
Within the opening notes and the last, there floats the buzz of a good bar at closing time. The "you don't have to go home, but you can't stay here" hanging in the air as the last song of the night hits the dead wax on side two. On the grooves in-between? Life. And the unstoppable spirit that was jaimie branch (lowercase was her preference). It's a strong and curious album just like its predecessors. Instantly recognizable trumpet. Urgent rhythm section. Moody jazz instrumentals. Rockin' vocal interludes. And absolute personality throughout.
Like her first three Fly Or Die band albums (two studio/one 'live'), what turned out to be her coda has one foot in the sunshine of a comfortable past and one foot in the shadows of something to yet to come.
Also, like all of her other work—both with this Fly Or Die band and her other band projects and guest appearances—the new album is as much about the collective as the individual. She acts as both the director and the soloist throughout and cedes the spotlight to her fellow travelers at several points. Heard elsewhere, the parts (i.e. the band members) walk their own diverse paths, but whenever they came together as a band—as jaimie branch's band—they conversed in a common, if slightly unhinged language.
Perhaps her stylistically most varied offering, Fly or Die Fly or Die Fly or Die ((world war)) is available on all formats—the coolest of which is the limited edition "peacock"-patterned 180-gram vinyl tucked inside a mostly-jaimie-decorated, metallic-cardstock sleeve.
In the end, the new record—like the trio of albums before it—absolutely Flys.
(IMAGE: Buy the vinyl at Bandcamp, and you also get the download.)
ROAD-TRIP REVIEW OF CHICAGO JAZZ SHOW IN JULY
Back in July, I fired up all 8 cylinders and pointed north for a quick Jazz-cation road-trip to Chicago to catch an epic show featuring absolute horn legends Roscoe Mitchell and Joe McPhee plus the excellent Ken Vandermark, Nate Wooley, Jason Adasiewicz and (all the way from Sweden under an alias) Mats Gustafsson (of The Thing! and Fire!). It was a sold-out event at The Constellation and a truly great—if relatively brief—evening of creative music from some of the best. Loved it. I drove to STL, and Broke & Hungry Records' Jeff Konkel drove us to the Windy City where our graphic artist buddy Joey (who designed covers/logos for M for Mississippi, We Juke Up in Here!, Moonshine & Mojo Hands film projects) joined us for the show........ and a late-night finale at someplace called The Beer Temple. And it was. (IMAGES: Ad for event; pic of Jeff, Joe McPhee, me and Joey.)
MY REVIEWS OF TWO "AUDIBLE" JAZZ BOOKS...
Okay. These are actually capsule reviews of the Audible AUDIO books—two jazz autobiographies. Both are five stars in my book (pun intended):
- NEW BOOK - Easily Slip into Another World: A Life in Music by Henry Threadgill/Brent Hayes Edwards, and narrated by Ron Butler. Fellow avant composer/jazz musician Vijay Iyer probably reviewed it best, saying, "Vividly told, alternately uproarious and devastating... serves up astonishing tales of Threadgill's life in Chicago, Vietnam, New York, and on the road, punctuated by deep revelations about the Black experience, American empire, an artist's life, and the entire history of music." I would concur. (I liked it so much that I also bought this as a hardcover.)
- CLASSIC BOOK - Miles: The Autobiography by Miles Davis, and narrated by Dion Graham. Vanity Fair summed it up as "Scorching." And it is. The San Francisco Chronicle said it "could be subtitled 'Miles Tell All'." And it could. It's an absolutely amazing first-hand account of modern jazz evolving through swing, bebop, cool, modal, avant, fusion, etc., stages—including tales of the inventors and innovators from Parker and Dizzie to Monk and Trane and beyond. "But" there is a disclaimer. The (also) amateur boxer Miles Davis pulls no punches. The F-bomb is used liberally throughout. Drugs are a constant theme. And if he loved someone, he said it, but if he didn't... well, he said that, too. Oh, and let's just say simply that he had lots of lady friends. Still, if that's all okay with you, it's a real page turner, and a definitive account of a man, his music and the eras he played through.
CAPSULE REVIEWS OF TWO BIG PRINTED JAZZ BOOKS...
- Tokyo Jazz Joints by Philip Arneill/James Catchpole (Kickstarter) - The first I saw of this possible (and ultimately physical) coffee-table book project were a short series of brief photo essays in the back of the stellar Helsinki-based international magazine, We Jazz. A simple Google search later found the Kickstarter project, and a few weeks back, I held the gorgeous hardcover book in my greedy little hands. It's simple fabulous. Oh... what is it, you ask? Basically, a jazzhound and a photographer spent a couple years visiting every vinyl-record playing jazz bar (plus a few with CDs and a handful of 'live' music clubs) in Toyko and surrounding towns, drinking the drinks, making small-talk and taking moody environmental photos. Check it out at https://www.tokyojazzjoints.com/. A warning, though. It will make you want to buy an airline ticket
- FMP: The Living Music book (Trost Records) - I'm still digging through this 400-page, coffee-table-book-sized tome! It's incredible for those interested in European (freer/improvisational) jazz, circa 1960s to early aughts. Truly definitive historical text with lively black-and-whites that put you there. From official summary: "Based on many conversations from over thirty years with key protagonists such as Peter Brötzmann or Jost Gebers, Markus Müller tells the success story of a musicians' initiative that emerged in the context of the 1968 ideas of self-organization and self-determination and worked successfully in an international network for over 40 years." Check it out at https://www.trost.at/various-fmp-the-living-music.html.
|New BORN IN CHICAGO blues documentary now available for streaming online via Amazon Prime...|
|Thanks to my Clarksdale neighbor (and Mississippi-to-Memphis-to-Chicago blues legend) Charlie Musselwhite for sending this link. Check it out if you can! Description: "In 1960, a group of white teenage Chicago musicians traveled to the city's southside music clubs to learn the blues from the original masters. This is their story." WATCH NOW: https://www.amazon.com/Born-Chicago-Dan-Aykroyd/dp/B0B8558N2F|
|Relive April's JUKE JOINT FESTIVAL edition of THACKER MOUNTAIN RADIO show at the New Roxy...|
|Mississippi Public Broadcasting (MPB) NEXT STOP MISSISSIPPI came for Clarksdale's Sunflower Fest...|
|"Next Stop, Mississippi" hosts Germaine Flood and Kamel King broadcast from Sunflower River Blues and Gospel Festival in Clarksdale, recently. Listen to the archived podcast right now at https://www.mpbonline.org/radio/nextstopms/.|
|Lots of killer "BIG A" BLUES SHOWS recently at Big Red's Lounge juke joint in Clarksdale, Mississippi...|
|It's always a very special treat to spend a glowing red evening soaking up the blues at Red's Lounge—but especially so when Anthony "Big A" Sherrod & his Allstars are the ones holding down the legendary casino carpet remnant. Big A is a human jukebox and the torchbearer of the Clarksdale sound. He regularly strolls through a past half century of classics he learned personally from Mississippi blues kings like Big Jack Johnson, James "Super Chikan" Johnson, Wesley "Junebug" Jefferson, "Mr. Johnnie" Billington, "Dr. Mike" James, "Big George" Brock, "Bilbo" Walker, etc. (plus his own originals). Keep up with Red's calendar via https://www.cathead.biz/music-calendar, and catch Big A as early and often as possible there. Here's a snapshot from a recent Saturday night featuring Big A (guitar), Preston (bass), Lee (drums), Ellis (dancer) and Miss Mae (the last Red's 'regulars' from the old days). Good stuff, good stuff.|
|PRE-ORDER forthcoming blues books from CAT HEAD in Clarksdale, and we'll ship 'em when we get 'em...|
New blues book PRE-ORDERS from CAT HEAD in Clarksdale! Pre-order these amazing books now at https://www.cathead.biz/books-art, and we will ship immediately upon release this November.
"DEEP INSIDE THE BLUES" by Margo Cooper - Margo has been visiting Mississippi, photographing and interviewing blues musicians for decades—from Bilbo Walker to Cadillac John and beyond. Finally she has a fabulous book coming soon! (Description on website.)
"ARHOOLIE DOWN HOME MUSIC: The Stories and Photographs of Chris Strachwitz" - This blues and folk-music book is a lifetime in the making and includes Clarksdale and Delta favorites like Wade Walton and Mississippi Fred McDowell. (Description on website.)
| And finally... HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO AYLER PUG... Cat Head's behind-the-counter store mascot (and boss)!|
|Okay, so Ayler is a rescue pug from Pug Hearts of Houston. The foster parent in Conroe, Texas, told me that little puggie had escaped a puppy mill, and the vet who issued the paperwork estimated her age at between 1 and 1 1/2 years old. She had already had a litter, was pretty skinny and very skiddish. I drove 9 hours to pick her up on August 23, 2018. I got a speeding ticket bringing her home the next day, of course, so with the adoption fees and all, it turned out to be a pretty expensive trip! Ha. But Ayler is, of course, priceless. Anyway, I don't know her exact birthdate, but "this" is close enough. Happy 6-ish birthday, little buddy!! (The first pic is the first one I took at our hotel room outside of Houston. Sorry about that rug, Comfort Inn.)|