Arkansas Blues and Heritage and Delta Trip – Part Two
Posted on: Monday, Oct 19, 2009
Having failed to see some blues over a few beers and a good meal the previous night, on our tour of downtown Jackson the next day we were both relieved and disappointed to hear of two blues clubs, both of which had been open the night before.
F. Jones Corner is a new place on historic Farish Street. Two young ambitious men, Daniel and Adam have crafted a blues bar using their own money and their own sweat and workmanship. I recommend the bar and wish them the best of luck and hope to enjoy some blues and some more great food there next time.
Later in the day we bumped into local bluesman BigC who, told us of another blues bar close to downtown Hal and Mal’s. They seem to have a blues jam there that I will try to catch next time.
After visting some of the historic buildings downtown and some of the blues marker locations as described by the Mississippi Blues Trail we headed off.
On the way to Indianola MS we visited the beautiful city of Vicksburg with a blues history of it’s own to go along with its civil war history.
As well as having some lovely old buildings down a pretty main street we found a sweet coffee shop that went straight to the top of my list for recommendations in the US. Not only did 61Coffee have the best espresso that I have ever had in the States but the locals were very friendly too and coupled with free wifi it’s a must visit.
We struggled again to find some blues that night in Indianola as the juke joint now owned by B.B. King was closed. When we arrived at the Gin Mill Galleries where we had eaten last year we were greeted immediately by Tom the owner and he remembered us very well from the previous year.
We dined well and enjoyed a few Blue Moons but in place of blues, we found a country band playing, not only that, but a country band from Norway, yes! that Norway, not Norway MS nor Norway MI but Norway EU. The band was very good indeed, with the highlight being at the end of the night when they took their bluegrass harmonies outside while the storms came over.
We left Indianola to head north and to visit some more sites. On a very busy day, we visited Greenville for a drive down Walnut Street and a spot of fast food for lunch.
We visited Moorhead to see where the Southern crosses the Dog.
We visited Leland for the Highway61 Museum
Finally we stopped at Rosedale to sample some of the famous hot tamales from White Front Cafe.
Arriving in Clarksdale, a short visit to Cat Head was followed by a well deserved snooze. Dinner that night was at the famous fine dining Madidi Restaurant jointly owned by actor and Mississippi native Morgan Freeman along with potential State Governor Bill Luckett. We met up with the Darlington mob again to enjoy the excellent dinner. I chose the shrimp with grits to start then a delicious steak for main. Over an aperitif beer and a few glasses of red a fine evening was had by all.
After dinner we retired to Freeman and Luckett’s other business venture in Clarksdale – Ground Zero Blues Club.
An entertaining evening of blues was enjoyed by a large crown in this huge blues bar. Bill Howling Mad Perry was leading the show, featuring a number of sit in guests.
Hal and Mal picture by Kees Wielemaker.
Ground Zero picture by Godot254.
Tamale picture from Roadfood.com.
Madidi picture by Social Stratification.
<to be continued>