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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A Southern Adventure: Home of The Blues

Clarksdale, MS is reputed to being the birthplace of contemporary “blues” music.  I don’t know if that is true or not but Clarksdale is the place to come and learn to appreciate this music. 

“The Blues” is the music of a soul that is tired beyond tired… sometimes too weary to get up… sometimes cautiously hopeful…. sometimes just telling it like it is.   It is a song of release.  “Funny thing, but you can sing it with a cry in your voice And before you know, start to feeling good…”  Song Sung Blue by Neil Diamond.

There are a lot of blues clubs you can visit, the most famous is the “Ground Zero Blues Club” http://www.groundzerobluesclub.com/  that is owned by Morgan Freeman.  We made a short visit to it.  I wasn’t very impressed.  I had thought it would have at least a bit of class but it reminded me of a regular old bar.  Next time I want to visit the clubs located on the grounds of the Shack Up Inn.  These have that ‘juke joint’ feel.

However, our visit to the Delta Blues Museum http://www.deltabluesmuseum.org/  was a delight! Beautiful photography, interesting displays of artifacts and the reconstructed home of Blues legend Muddy Waters made it a winner. Make sure you take the time to watch ALL of the movie they show inside Muddy Water’s cabin. You will be surprised… The gift shop has some cool T shirts and best of all, CDs with music of the old Blues kings (and queens). However, if an old hippie working the shop brings out a magazine photo and says he is “the white guy playing harmonica” … don’t believe his baloney. “The white guy playing harmonica” is the famous harmonica musician Charlie Musselwhite!! LOL

Besides the museum and the blues clubs, there are great shops and restaurants to visit too. It is well worth the trip.

 

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