Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Malaco reborn and back in business

Another day exploring  the blues yesterday, beginning with a visit to Malaco, where many great soul and  blues artists have recorded over the years, including Bobby Bland, Johnny Taylor, Lttle Milton and Denise Lasalle.  The studio was destroyed by a tornado two years ago but it has been rebuilt and is now better than ever, with some wonderful photos on the walls and memorabilia of past successes. We were given a personal two hour tour by Burton Doss which took in the impressive recording studio, where we chatted with producer Wolf Stephenson, the warehouse, where CDs and, surprisingly cassettes are stored for distribution, and the vault, the contents of which were thankfully was spared by the tornado. We saw the room where Southern Soul Radio and its sister gospel station is located and recorded messages which will br broadcast over the coming weeks. We all bought Malaco T shirts but that cannot  fully express the thanks due to Burton and Wolf for their hospitality.
Afterwards we drove to Yazoo City for lunch in one of the brightly coloured buildings on Main Street  and checked out another blues marker (Tommy McClennan), and later checked out some more in Belzoni (Denise Lasalle) and Indianola (BB King and Albert King).
Having booked into a hotel in Cleveland we went to the Po Monkey juke joint in nearby Merigold, which has an authentic look and feel to it The band playing there, the All Night Long Band, was nothing to write home about and the place, festooned as it was with Xmas lights and toy monkeys, was full of blues tourists, but the owner, Willie I think, made his presence known  by flashing a fake penis around. At least I can now claim to have visited the five remaining blues juke joints in the South - Red's in Clarksdale, Gip's Place in Bessemer, Teddy's  in Zachary, Wild Bill's in  Memphis, and Po Monkey's. A full house!
Nick Cobban.


At 9:15 pm , Anonymous Noah S. said...

Great post Nick! Did Malaco mention if they'll be releasing any new southern soul material? All of their recent new releases have been in the gospel field.

At 9:19 pm , Blogger Nick said...

Yes they're definitely recording southern soul as well as gospel. Not sure who though.


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