After the excitement of the Ponderosa Stomp we took a day off from music to recover, missing Gene Chandler at Jazzfest unfortunately. I'm told he was good and performed some of his 60s Curtis Mayfield style soul as well as Duke of Earl. On Friday we drove up with Memphis with one of the DJs from Melbourne who we met on the trip - Pierre, who is better known on radio station http://www.pbsfm.org.au/
as Soulgroove66. This station has some great music, including Pierre's
soul show, a show by Mohair Slim (alias Lloyd), who plays R and B and ska as well as soul, and Stone Love, a laid back guy who plays a mixture of stuff. Well worth a listen online I would say. Wish we had something similar in London.
On the way to Memphis we successfully dodged tornadoes that were whirling around. The guys in one of the Stompin' USA people carriers were forced to shelter in a store room at one point. In the evening we went to Beale Street and narrowly missed yet another soaking. James Govan was on good form again at the Rum Boogie Cafe and Graziano, who puts on the Porretta Festival, was there trying to persuade James to come this year. He's promised to go the last couple of years and backed out at the last minute. Latest news from Porretta is that Etta James will play, but Chaka Khan will not: she's being moved to a more suitable festival in Parma apparently. As
you can see from the picture below, the religious right does not approve of sinful Beale Street: indeed even the saintly Jerry Lee Lewis is not approved of apparently. Later in the evening we went off to Wild Bill's again (pictured above) - another excellent, authentic night of blistering blues and southern soul. Pierre was impressed. Next morning we visited the excellent Stax Museum and made a quick stop at Sun Studios.
And so back home, delayed because of a faulty plane at Atlanta and again by a broken down shuttle train at Gatwick. But a great holiday.