Downtown Clarkesdale: Anyplace you can find in clarksdale, ms
Subject- Juke Joint festival in clarksdale, MS, United States
I stayed at some local dirtbag hotel. There are dozens of them for between 10 and 30 american a night... no ***....
Clarksdale is one of the most unique blues communities in the world. This area is currently undergoing (sometimes forced) racial desegregation, and the area still has a serious "flavor" of imbalance and intolerance by both sides of the coin. There is a certain tension created by this environment, and it creates blues that thousands of people travel the globe to experience. The environment her has created some of the most independent and improvisational blues performances I have ever seen.
The blues museum, art museum and local theatre. The casinos on the river provide a much needed return to civilization. Great buffets, shows, and drinks. Furthermore, the culture is completely loaded with art and energy. (see above) There are many art galleries that have opened downtown that are great. The expression voiced by the locals in these communities are stunning, and compared to my home towns (Boston, L.A.) seriously affordable. In addition, the colors, styles, and mediums utilized by the artists and others that you see in these exhibits will leave your big city friends speachless. These ideas simply do not exist north of dixie, or west of the mississippi.
+Medidi- A three star restaurant in the middle of nowhere. Owned and run by Morgan Freeman.
+Ground Zero-Another Freeman based venture, great blues, questionable food, and cheap booze. Check it!
Spicy sweet BBQ'd beef and pork, slaw and grits. Unreal
Great blues on every street corner. In addition to this I saw B.B. King, Big Jack, and other big name blues artists without paying a cover, and had the opportunity to mesh with the locals.
Music Notes: Best of the Juke Joint Festival
Red's has many world famous guests on a completely random basis. Artists may include personalities ranging from Big Jack Johnson, B.B. King, and “The Poet”. This is far and away the best juke joint you will EVER see in your life. Despite the minimal risk for intelligent tourists, if you are polite and generous you will be completely safe and completely psyched!
I left the Juke joint festival with a fully signed poem from "The Poet", a world famous saxophonist based out of Boston, with autographs by Big Jack and others: AWESOME. I also left the festival with a new respect for the local African American community, and the struggles they have faced. The artists and blues museums showed me that the origin of the blues in not nessicerily based on race, but on ones experience, this concept has impacted my own playing mightily.
This was by far the most influential and important blues experience I have ever had, and will ever have in my life. It was unreal. Regular performances include unbelievable Live 3-6 hour sets that are completely improvised, but don't take my word for it.
As a side note, if you can play, you can grab an axe when someone gets tired and get a piece of the glory. How many people can claim to have played with Big Jack!? I saw several players from Europe that had the stones to jump in and go.
I'm not sure if these cd's are publicly available, or if they were one timers, but Red and the guys were doing their best to sell them the night I was there. I feel that these titles give the idea of how this joint works. Simple, straight to the point, and totally real.