Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Blues and soul in Mississippi

The US road trip just gets better and better. After leaving New Orleans we drove through Mississippi stopping off to look at blues sites along the way, beginning with McComb where Bo Diddley was born and where there is a marker and a railroad museum. Lunch was taken in Brookhaven where there is a marker for Little Brother Montgomery. The once a day City of New Orleans train passed through while we were there. Next stop was Crystal Springs where there is the Robert Johnson museum, but it was closed. Then on to Jackson where we visited the near derelict Farish Street, home of the blues in an earlier era. What a shame the city can't revive it. Later we sought out Malaco records, now rebuilt after being destroyed a couple of years ago.
In the evening we went to Hal and Mal's bar, not expecting much on a Monday night, but what a fantastic night it turned out to be. The regular blues jam, run by the Central Mississippi Blues Society, was in session but the special guest was the great Dorothy Moore, who sang seven songs quite brilliantly, including Your Body's Here With Me But Your Mind's On The Other Side Of Town, I'm A Lover Girl, Let The Healing Begin and ending with the wonderful Misty Blue. This was a warm up set for a trip Dorothy is making to South Africa and what a treat.
The evening continued with the regular blues band Blue Monday and some really excellent blues and soul singers. After a couple of numbers by King Edward, including I'll Play The Blues For You, it was the turn of Pat Brown, a fantastic soulful singer, who sang I Was Stepping Out, Let The Good Times Roll and Make Me Yours (performed quite brilliantly). The music kept on coming with Abdul Rashid, including Ain't  Nothing You Can Do,  The Rock (Nine Pound Steel the stand out), the sexy J J Thames (I'd Rather Go Blind and Hound Dog), and Dennis Fountain (Walking The Dog). The show finished with Pat and Dennis duetting on I Stand Accused and At Last. What a fabulous evening and totally unexpected.
Check out photos on Facebook - Nick Cobban.


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