How long has it been since my last blog?!?!? Well, that’s life getting in the way. I’ve been too busy to keep on top of it. Having said that, this was always meant to be an irregular blog and this proves it.
The Sons of the Delta and the Jigantics have been busy rehearsing and gigging but the main highlight since my last posting is a recent trip to Clarksdale, MS, for the Juke Joint Festival. Rick came as well but unfortunately Ade and Marty couldn’t make it, so for our Sons of the Delta gig at the festival we were lucky enough to have the rhythm section of Stevie Myers from Ottawa’s Myers Brothers Blues Band on bass and Lee Andrew Williams Jnr, top Clarksdale drummer. Dave walker, the sax and harp player with one of my other bands the Maxwell Street Blues Band, came along for the trip and so did my sister Jan and my bro-in-law Derek. I was thrilled that they could make it as I’ve bent their ear over the years with tales of previous trips so it’s great that they were finally able to come over and get acquainted with the people and places first-hand.
It was wonderful to catch up with everyone – Mike and Stevie Myers and their families who I hadn’t seen since I was in Ottawa last October and all the Clarksdalians that I hadn’t seen for five years. Clarksdale has changed a lot since our last visit and it’s really good to see more businesses opening and surviving. The Shackup Inn has expanded and their plans to oversee the building of a community there, called Shacksdale, is very exciting. My waistline has expanded too unfortunately, thanks to the fantastic food in the deep South. Tamales, ribs, pulled pork, catfish. I’m drooling just thinking about it! As well as food I spent a few dollars on books and CDs at Roger Stolle’s excellent shop, Cat Head, and a few more on shoes and shirts at the Super Soul Shop. No-one bought any guitars on this trip but Dave did buy a wonderful little late ’40s National amp to blow harp through from Ronnie at Bluestown Music. Man, what a sound!
Apart from our own gig at the festival I had the honour of playing with the Myers Brothers Blues Band in their festival gig plus managed to jam with some of the locals and not-so-locals at the Club 2000 and at the end-of-festival jam in Red’s. There are plenty of photos and video was taken so if you keep an eye on my website, the Sons of the Delta website and YouTube you’ll see it appear over the next few weeks. Dave, Jan and myself have swapped all our media from the trip so there’s plenty of material to choose from. I should mention that when Dave came round to my place he left an old tenor sax for me to get to grips with over time. Be afraid, be very afraid…
I’m already looking forward to a return trip to Clarksdale next April or maybe even sooner. In the meantime I have plenty of gigs, festivals and a trip back to Ottawa in October to keep me busy. See you soon(ish)!