The museum has a fantastic little gift shop where you can pick up blues CDs at a great price. You can find recordings of the OLD traditional stuff too. There are also some T Shirts and posters available.
What to buy: Blues CDs.
What to pay: anywhere from $3 to $20.
This shop features work by local artists. The mix is eccletic - from funky to traditional. This is the real stuff... not made somewhere overseas!
What to buy: Art by local artists. Blues CDs. Photos of blues musicians.
What to pay: Huge range of prices.
We had car trouble while in Clarksdale. We were trying to find the nearby town of Moon Lake (where two excellent restaurants are supposedly located), but we hit something in the road and decided to turn back. The car sounded like 10 Harleys roaring and we feared we'd get taken to the cleaners by the local mechanics. On the contrary, the first mechanic examined the car for free and referred us to a second mechanic who only charged us $15 to weld our exhaust pipe back together so we could drive home.
We had cellular phone trouble, too. The reception's not great in Clarksdale, so we went into a jewelry repair shop that sold cell phone accessories. This store was located downtown on Delta Avenue between Cat Head and Ground Zero. They put in one of those antenna boosters which is simply a sticker that goes in your battery compartment and is supposed to increase your reception by up to 4x. Someone at an accessory booth in the Alexandria (LA) Mall had tried to sell me one of these stickers for $9.99 before we embarked on our trip. When the booster failed to do the trick, the Clarksdale jeweler refused to charge us for the sticker and sent us on our way!
Cat Head Delta Blues & Folk Art is a mandatory stop on your tour of Clarksdale. The store is owned and operated by Roger and Jennifer Stolle, a fascinating couple who gave up successful business careers in St. Louis to follow their dream of selling folk art in the land of the Delta Blues.
Cat Head is so much more than a souvenir shop, though. The Stolles make excellent tourguides; they are walking encyclopedias of every event in the area! This transforms their store into an information clearinghouse for the blues scene as a whole, whether you want to know about upcoming festivals in Clarksdale or simply listen to Roger's radio show on WROX (tune in online at http://www.wroxblues.com if you can figure out all the complicated instructions about downloading the streaming audio!). The store's website has the most comprehensive links page I've encountered so far, and I found it extremely helpful in planning our visit to Clarksdale.