Arkansas Blues and Heritage and Delta Trip – Part Four

Posted on: Friday, Oct 23, 2009

Arkansas Blues and Heritage and Delta Trip – Part Four

Days 8 and 9

Day 8 – Sunday

Day eight – was great. Each year after the main Blues and Heritage Festival two smaller festivals run during the day. The first is the Cat Head Mini Festival held in the street outside the Cat Head shop in downtown Clarksdale.  The second is a bigger event and is Pinetop’s Homecoming held at the Hopson Plantation just outside Clarkdale.

We saw Luscious Spiller and Big George Brock outside Cat Head.


Then heading over to Hopson for the main event.  On arrival the main room was already full but some sneaky chair work secured our base for the day.  The basis of the day is an elongated jam with the pro-invitation jam first featuring some of the big names available (usually from the festival the days before) followed by a jam for the lesser known.

Bob Margolin seems to lead some of the sessions with Willie Big Eyes Bob Stroger often in evidence.  Much excellent traditional Chicago blues was enjoyed and the atmosphere is excellent as the “stars” mingle with the “punters” – I use inverted commas deliberately as most blues guys are not stuck up and are friendly and approachable.

Michael Burks was stunning once again playing some intense, intense Albert King style blues but once again not giving the rest of the band much of a look in when it came to the solos.  That short spot alone would have been worth the price of the entire trip as the blues stuff that he plays to my ears is much more preferable to  the more rockier material.

I was lucky enough to be invited up in the unknown category and would like to thank my team of forwards with locked Welsh arms preventing a certain “other” harp player from muscling in on my cue.  Of course the guitars were too loud and there was no mike on the harp amp so nobody further than three feet away could hear a single note.  But hey! I played at Hopson Plantation, MS just 15 or 20 mins after the big guys played and I played to the same crowd.

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We retired from Hopson as the event was winding down a little and did the traditional Mexican for dinner, in the restaurant just a walk away from the hotel down the interstate in Clarksdale.

I practised my Castillian pronunciation on the Mexican guys, frozen margaritas and beer were enjoyed by all.  A sing song prompted by the Mexicanos resulted in some Fats Domino from the Americans with a few verses of Ilkley Moor Baht’at and Blaydon Races by the English and some Welsh nonsense from the Boyos.  Shame I don’t know Pratty Flowers.

Quotation of the day “You don’t get that wi’ John Smiths”

Day 10 – Monday

Wet again but on our way home.  A drive up to Memphis, an hour at the Museum of Civil Rights a sandwich and beer at a bar to which I’d love to take Paul Farmer, then the airport, for the gold tailed bird (well the Northwest Airlines Airbus to Schiphol anyway).

Great times – many stories – many memories.

Roll on the next time.



October 23rd, 2009 at 12:46
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I received Prophylactic Pete’s review this morning and have set to publish tomorrow.