Clarksdale: Bohemian Blues Town Mississippi

Joyce SinghaStarred Page By Joyce Singha, 27th Oct 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/30p6h8st/
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Culture

Pictorial journey to Clarksdale in Mississippi. Clarksdale is one of those sleep little towns that come alive with Blues Music. It's got history and plenty of Blues Artists who come here from all over the world.

Who knew Aussies knew about Clarksdale



It took Aussies to guide us to Clarksdale in Mississippi. My sis-in-law with Aussie friend managed to ferret us out of our home where we'd been holed up for years. They pushed us to find Highway 61 and 49; we made it to the Crossroads as well.

To the South


Heading to Clarksdale in Mississippi was a new journey, to the South, to the place of Blues, the soulful, mournful music of shacks and cotton fields, to a town with plenty of character. And before we knew it, Aussies were given an impromptu solo by none other than Watermelon Slim! Slim's theatrics were fantastic (I could not get the video to settle in Wikinut). There was Deak's as well to be included in another solo performance!

Who's watching over this town?


The entire place looks washed out, exists in tatters, bursts through faded, ripped, broken walls while Clint Eastwood looms large along with other Blues musicians there! Evenings and nights is what Clarksdale is about; everything turns loud, air gets cloudy with smoke, drums beat clear and guitar solos become a normality yet no horses come around; it's plain old walking from one juke joint to another!

Blues, Blues, Everywhere




We hop from one sleeping quarter to another among all the ghosts of past Blues musicians who graduated from Clarksdale; we mingle easily with live artists like Steve Kolbus, Lightnin Malcolm, Razorblade, Stan Street and other non-artists but who feel like artists as well. Impromptu solo performances are not unusual in Clarksdale. People from all over the world especially Europe, are in Clarksdale; there are Australians, Norwegians, British, Germans, French and what not.

Watermelon Slim

Slim kept the crowd entertained with Blues and theater. He's done truck driving and fighting before he found Blues.

Slim's Ways

Deep throated Watermelon Slim had a battered box full of his CDs for sale. Near it was another battered box for tips.

A perfect place for Blues' Artists

Artists, musicians and connoisseurs were everywhere: walls, ceilings, cars, restaurants, hotels, guests houses; some moved to Clarksdale after a day of visit and never left; some left and came back for some more Gumbo and Blues.

Razorblade's philosophy of life: the dollar sign or the snake!


Life philosophies were drawn on CDs along with sprawling signatures! Razorblade happened to be a Vietnam Veteran as well who hopped out of his truck to say hullo to us in Riverside Hotel. There we all sat on green benches and heard Razorblade's stories.

History and Music

I saw cotton fields for the first time; I plucked a cotton flower and looked at its five sections, beautifully set. Nonetheless, this was cotton that made hands raw plucking it for hours, days, years, decades; many around the world still do it. We stayed in Shack Up Inn where sharecroppers survived picking cotton; there's no place like this one; it's the most unique piece of twisted imagination! Clarksdale was certainly the crossroads of history and life.

Tags

Blues Music, Chicago, Clarksdale, Delta Blues, Duke Elliington, Ground Zero, Gumbo, Helena Blues Festival, Mississippi, Morgan Freeman

Meet the author

author avatar Joyce Singha
Writer, Thinker, Homeopath.
Background in Literature, Films and Homeopathy. Interests in Politics & Human Idiosyncrasies. Humor is essential. Personal Blog at: http://joyce-iamwhatiyam.blogspot.com

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Comments

author avatar Delicia Powers
28th Oct 2014 (#)

Just beautifully written!...You have refreshed and inspired again my lifetime love of the blues...a fantastic page ...thank you Joyce...

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author avatar Joyce Singha
28th Oct 2014 (#)

Thank you Delicia and what a delicious name you've got :)

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author avatar Nancy Czerwinski
28th Oct 2014 (#)

Joyce, excellent article and pictures. I love the blues. I wish I could have been with you when you went on this awesome trip. I hope everyone gets a chance to read your article and see the pictures. Smiles to you!

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author avatar Joyce Singha
28th Oct 2014 (#)

Come with us on our next trip Nancy. Thank you.

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author avatar Retired
28th Oct 2014 (#)

Interesting and well researched. Superb presentation--great pics. beautifully done.

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author avatar Joyce Singha
28th Oct 2014 (#)

Rama my friend how have you been. If you were here, we could have gone together :)

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
28th Oct 2014 (#)

Your post has served to pique my curiosity about this place and those who made this a magnet from far and wide, thanks Joyce for this excellent share - siva

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author avatar Joyce Singha
28th Oct 2014 (#)

Thanks Sivaji. You'll feel at home here; visit it.

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author avatar viewgreen
28th Oct 2014 (#)

very interesting writing. Thank you for sharing this information.

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author avatar Joyce Singha
28th Oct 2014 (#)

Thanks Viewgreen.

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author avatar LeRain
28th Oct 2014 (#)

You've got to get out more, Joyce! There's a wealth of music, culture, lifestyle, and history in many neighborhoods, towns , and regions of the U.S. You have discovered one in Clarksdale.

I might recommend the HBO series called "Treme" for your viewing, Joyce. It's about the blues music culture in the neighborhoods in post-Katrina New Orleans. If you liked Clarksdale, you'll love watching "Treme." (pronounced tra-MAY)

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author avatar Retired
28th Oct 2014 (#)

I wonder why my comment above wasn't accompanied by my picture. Oh, my login timed out! don't you wish that we could log in once per day instead of the repeated, wasteful, frequent logins required to remain on Wikinut? Ugh. Exasperating. (Sorry for complaining on your page, Joyce.)

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author avatar Joyce Singha
28th Oct 2014 (#)

Thx LeRain. My TV watching is confined to news and forensic files; I probably don't even have HBO. Yes, you're right, need to get out more esp since kids are all grown up. Here's my complaint to add to yours: couldn't get any wanted pictures and video here on the article: file too big. Dang.

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author avatar Bill Harbin Jr
28th Oct 2014 (#)

Great article about a unique place! We went to Helena, Arkansas which is in the delta region and has a cultural center and the town and setting looks similar. It is great to discover unique places like you described.

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author avatar Joyce Singha
28th Oct 2014 (#)

We were supposed to head to Helena as well because that's where all the artists were going for the next few days. Sigh! Time constraints. Thanks Bill.

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author avatar Rebecca
28th Oct 2014 (#)

Excellently written and heartfelt. Your words inspire me to visit and retrace your steps!

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author avatar cnwriter..carolina
28th Oct 2014 (#)

fascinating journey and great pics too...

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author avatar Moushumi
28th Oct 2014 (#)

Beautifully written Joyce. In retrospect, we could have, and probably should have made it to Helena for the king biscuit festival instead of heading up to memphis. Ah well, will plan better next time, make sure there are no imminent planes to be caught etc.

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author avatar A.M>CrewsAnita Crews
29th Oct 2014 (#)

Thanks for sharing. I love blues. There's something about it that brings all ages and sections of life together. Great article.

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