Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Stomping 2011 - 3: Memphis & Mississippi

Our road trip continues, with temperatures reaching the high 90s. We've been checking out various music related museums, all of them of a high quality. On Sunday, after breakfast at the historic Arcade cafe in Memphis, we toured the excellent Stax Museum (my third trip there), then Sun Studios for a quick look (my fourth visit). In the evening it was the Flying Saucer pub again and a look at the J P Soars band, who were playing at Huey's on Second St. Competent instrumentalists but not particularly exciting I thought.

Next day it was the Arcade cafe again for breakfast and then a tour of the Rock and Soul Museum (my second time). It's a very good one but I've seen it all before. We moved on to the Peabody Hotel for the famous duck walk, where a group of ducks come down in the lift to frolic in the indoor water feature for the day before an appreciate crowd. While there I had a look in Lanski's shop and splashed out on a shirt (half price in the sale).Lots of photos there of their most famous customer - Elvis. From there we went to Shangri-La records, where I bought some 45s, and then we had a couple of beers in the Blue Monkey bar on Madison. The evening was a quiet one - apart from the noise blasting out of the bars on Beale Street.

On Tuesday we drove south out of Memphis calling in at Helena (now almost completely derelict) and then having a so-so lunch at Ground Zero Blues Club in Clarksdale. We called in at Tutwiler, where W C Handy discovered the blues in 1903, and then looked at Sonny Boy Williamson's grave. Further south, in Indianola, we toured the new and very impressive B B King Museum and had a look at the outside of Club Ebony, which he now owns. A little later we visited yet another museum - the Highway 61 Blues Museum in Leland. This a down home operation, but very interesting, and we were treated to some blues by Pat Thomas, son of James 'Son Ford' Thomas who also drew some kitty cartoons which he was obviously proud of. In the evening we checked into a crap motel in Greenville and had an excellent, if expensive fillet steak in the famous Doe Eat Place. After a couple of drinks and games of pool in the Spectators bar and a look at the riverboat casino we retired relatively early.


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