I was too late to catch RL Burnside or Junior Kimbrough. All that was left was the markers, statues and a museum that was shut. But I breathed the air.
This was a pilgrimage that I was making to connect with all those old guys who had given me so much! Fabulous. We had to hunt them all out!
We stopped off at the Highway 61 Museum and met Pat Thomas (James ‘Son’ Thomas’s son. He played for us!
If you are not into the Blues I’d give this one a miss!!
Touring around Mississippi was great. The trail took us right off the beaten track into the small outback towns. We saw so much.
To be able to stand where these guys stood gave me a sense of what it had been like.
My daughter got a job in Louisiana. When we went to stay we were able to hire a car and spent a fabulous week touring around Mississippi looking up the graves, venues and markers of all the fabulous Blues guys.
We headed off down Highway 61. We were tracing the old Blues Trail, hunting out the markers, graves and monuments to the incredible Blues singers of yesteryear.
Tracking them down took us off the beaten track to fields, obscure towns and old plantations that we would never otherwise have encountered.
The Clarkesdale Mississippi Blues Museum was a pleasant stop! The murals by the railway track at Tutwiler.
I want to go back!!
All over Mississippi there are signs and monuments to the old Blues singers. We followed the trail around. It took us to all manner of places we might not ever have found.
McComb – the plaque to Bo Diddley and the street corner he used to busk on.
Hazlehurst – the monument to Robert Johnson and the place where Elmore James used to work in the electronics shop.
Bo Diddley used to busk on the corner in McComb. One day a car drew up, a guy leaned out and said ‘Jump in, man. I’m gonna make you a star.’
Bo Diddley was a genius – a macho, struttin’ bluesman who took that shuffle beat and made it his own. He was instrumental in Rock ‘n’ Roll and every R&B band from the UK British Boom played Bo Diddley songs – From the Stones and Yardbirds to the Animals and Prettythings.
Bo Diddley rules.
I met him in 1981 when he played in Hull. We went backstage to get albums signed and I had my picture taken with him. What a moment. He was a very friendly guy.
So when we did our Blues Trail in Mississippi and Lousianna I had to visit McComb and stand on that corner where Bo Diddley had played!
Quite a thrill.
I like my music raw and stirring. I discovered this band a few years back featuring the dynamic Cody Brothers. They produce a brand of blues boogie that is straight out of the North Mississippi Hill County Blues of RL Burnside and Junior Kimbrough. They are excellent musicians and great to see live.
Here’s a few photos I took with them and Ian Siegal at Burton Agnes Festival.
See what you think.
Back in the days of segregation (not that long ago) the black and white music was kept well apart. Blacks had their own radio stations with their own music. The Blues, Jazz and R&B were played. The whites got C&W.
We stopped off at a Blues museum to celebrate James ‘Son’ Thomas and were treated to a performance from his son Pat Thomas. He was quite a character.
Highway 61 was the route the Blues guys travelled up and down the country.
I stood where BB King had busked. Nobody gave me a penny!
I saw Skip play in Hammersmith London shortly before he died – one of the greats!