Friday, September 09, 2011

Stomping 2011 - 1: St Louis

I'm into day 3 of my US road trip and just arrived in Springfield, Missouri, for the Greater Ozarks BlNumbered Listues Festival. The first two days were spent in St Louis, and I think it's fair to say that the four of us (Dave Carroll, Dave Thomas, Lee Wilkinson and myself) were impressed with the music scene. There are several blues clubs on South Broadway, such as the Broadway Oyster Bar, which we checked out at lunchtime, after taking a trip to the top of St Louis' most famous landmark - the Gateway Arch. Then we moved on to The Loop, which is a trendy district near the university, to visit Chuck Berry's club, Blueberry Hill. Chuck plays there once a month (sadly not while we were in town) but is open for food and drink (a good range of beers) and is well worth a visit. The place is full of memorabilia about the great man, and other musicans, and there are literally hundreds of photos Joe Edwards, the man behind the club and The Loop, with just about every celebrity around. Outside there is a Walk of Fame with plaques and stars dedicated to famous St Louis residents, including Chuck, Miles Davis and David Sanborn, plus some who are not so closely associated with the town such as Tina Turner.
In the evening we went down to the blues area again and settled on Beale on Broadway, where two blues bands were playing. First on was a local trio called the Ground Floor Band who provided quite a soulful sound and were selling their CD entitled Nothin's Black or White. Then came Kim Massie, a large lady who is obviously a big favourite there. She has a great voice and, backed by a five piece band, showed she can handle just every type of blues and soul style - even a touch of Led Zeppelin. She was taking requests, written on dollar bills, and must have made quite a few bob during the course of the evening.
More reports later, and some photos when I get back.


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