I'm back from my road trip to the US covering six states in the South. We started in Georgia, drove down through Alabama to New Orleans for the Ponderosa Stomp, then up through Mississippi stopping off in Jackson on the way to Clarksdale, which was our base for the King Biscuit Festival just across the state border in Helena, Arkansas. Finally we stayed in Memphis for a couple of days. Here's the first batch of photos from the first few days.
In Atlanta we much enjoyed veteran blues singer Sandra Hall
at Blind Willie's.
We also visited Sweet Georgia's Juke Joint, which is a good deal more up market than other juke joints I've visited. This is soul singer Ray Howard
with his band.
This is the Uncle Sugar
band at the Northside Tavern in Atlanta.
A new memorial to Otis Redding
was recently unveiled at Gray, about ten miles from Macon, where Otis lived. Here I am with the display.
is also commemorated by a statue in Macon itself.
This is the impressive visitor's centre in Macon with displays featuring Macon musicians including Otis, Little Richard and Duane Allman
. Little Richard worked in this building when it was the Greyhound bus station.
has also been remembered in a new street name in Macon.
We stopped off at Mobile Records
in Mobile, Alabama, where I bought some vinyl. Now there's a surprise!
Our first evening in New Orleans: Walter 'Wolfman' Washington
has a regular spot at the d.b.a club.
We also visited an energetic and rhythmic practice session by a group of Mardi Gras Indians.
Ahead of the Ponderosa Stomp there were several interesting conference sessions involving the artists. Here is Gene Terry being interviewed by John Broven.
Here is P F Sloan
with Todd Abramson
This is soul singer Willie Hightower with 'soul detective' Red Kelly.
Here is the 'Memphis Bulldog' - Hi records drummer Howard Grimes
And another drummer - J M Van Eaton
, who was a mainstay of many Sun recording sessions.
Two soul legends together: Mable John and Brenda Holloway
Finally, here's one of me with Brenda Holloway
. Photos of the Stomp itself will appear on the blog soon.