BLUES AND SOUTHERN SOUL:
I've always been a fan of the blues and southern soul music.I grew up in the heart of the Mississippi Delta.
I live about thirty(30) miles south of Clarksdale,MS home of W.C. Handy(born in Tutwiler,MS)who is often referred to as the father of the blues,Son House(born in Riverton,MS),John Lee Hooker,Robert Bilbo Walker,Willie Brown,Ike Turner,Sam Cooke,O.B.Buchana(born in my hometown Mound Bayou,MS),Luther Lackey and even the great Muddy Waters(born in Rollin Fork,MS) called Clarksdale home for awhile.
Today academy award winning actor Morgan Freeman has a blues Club called Ground Zero located in this Delta town.
I grew up about foty-five(45)miles north of Greenville,Mississippi and this was the home of The Legendary Hall Of Famer, Tyrone Davis.I remember seeing Tyrone Davis perform at the outdoor blues shows when I was just a little kid.I know that I am not alone when I say that I miss TD very much.I grew up about fifty(50) miles west of Greenwood,Mississippi which was the home of Guitar Slim,Mary Wilson(The Supremes),and Denise Lasalle(born in Belzoni,MS).Just like Tyrone Davis I saw Denise Lasalle when I was just a little kid.She would perform at the local juke joints all the time.I 'm glad that The Queen is still going strong.A little further down the road is the small town of Tcula and this is the home of The Love Doctor. The town of Inverness is only about fifty-five(55) miles north of where I grew up and this was the home of The Late Great Little Milton Campbell.
The small town of Drew,MS is only about ten(10) miles to the west of where I grew up and this was the home of The Staple Singers(Roebuck"Pop"Staples).
The town of Sunflower,MS is about 15 miles west of where I grew up and this is the home of The Ice-Man,Jerry Butler. Finally there is one town about twenty miles(20) to the west of where I grew up that is rich with blues and southern soul.The town is Indianola,Mississippi the birthplace of the Legendary B.B. King(often referred to as The King Of The Blues).I've probably seen him in person more than any other blues artist to date.He use to play all the local festivals,juke joints, and any other place that there was a venue to perform.I've shaken his hands for over thirty(30) years and I'm just in my mid 30's.The people of Indianola still embrace their favorite son.He doesn't make it back as frequently as he use to but every year for his homecoming he performs outdoors at Fletcher Park.My mother told me some years ago that my father use to pick guitars with B.B. King back in the late 1940's.Indianola is also the home of The Great Albert King.I can't remember ever seeing him perform but I do remember all the times that he use to play at the local juke joints.
Indianola is also the home of one of my personal favorite southern soul artist, The Dynamic Willie Clayton.I've seen him perform more in the last three years than any other artist.His shows continue to get better all the time.He always pays tribute to all the artists that have paved the way for him.He performs in this area quite often and his fan base is steady growing.All three of these artists have performed in a local juke joint that has been recognize nationwide.B.B. King and Willie Clayton still perform there whenever they come home.The juke joint is called "Club Ebony".This juke joint has played host to the likes of Ray Charles,Count Basie,James Brown,Ike Turner,Little Milton,Bobby Blue Bland,Howlin Wolf,Rufus Thomas,Bobby Rush,Denise Lasalle and even southern soul artists Sir Charles and T.K. Soul. So as you can see I grew up in an area that has deep roots to the blues and southern soul music.I enjoy socializing at some of the local juke joints in the area.No matter what the establishment is the music remains the same.The sounds of Bobby Blue Bland,Bobby Rush,B.B. King,Tyrone Davis,Johnnie Taylor,Marvin Sease,Willie Clayton,Wilson Meadows,J. Blackfoot,Mel Waiters,Denise Lasalle,Shirley Brown,Jackie Neal,Omar Cunningham,T.K. Soul,O.B. Buchana,Quinn Golden,Carl Sims,Jeff Floyd,Sir Charles and so many other artists can be heard throughout the Mississippi Delta.
My friends(DA DAWG POUND) and I have been attending shows in our area more frequently now.With the passing of so many of our beloved blues and southern soul artists I make it my business to attend as many shows as possible and as often as I can.I've gotten so many people to attend shows in the past years that someone should be paying me(Smile!). The artists from these shows are very appreciative.I've met Sir Charles,T.K. Soul,O.B. Buchana,Marvin Sease,Willie Clayton,Omar Cunningham,Mel Waiters,Floyd Taylor,Jeff Floyd,Denise Lasalle,Shirley Brown,Betty Padgett,Sheba Potts-Wright,Roni,Ms. Monique,Ms. Jody and so many other big name artist in the industry.When I see them at a shows now they greet me as Big K9.My friends tease me alot about that.If you buy these hip hop artist cd's and you attend some of their shows you could never ever get close to these so called mega superstars but with blues and southern soul artists you can greet them and even pose for pictures.I think its great for a fan to be able to have the oppurtunity to rub elbows with the people who bring them so much joy through their music.For these artists to even remember their fans shows me how much they really do appreciate people for supporting their music.People really enjoy my concert reviews and viewing my photos and I am more than glad to share them with the true dedicated fans of this genre of music.