JukeJoint Festival Clarksdale, MS 4.17.10

I went to the Juke Joint Festival in Clarksdale, Mississippi today. I listened to great blues, watched documentaries and took a tour of Clarksdale.

JukeJoint Festival 2010

I arrived at the Crossroads just after 11am, so it was easy to get around downtown Clarksdale and I got a great parking space at the Delta Blues Museum parking lot. With my cowboy hat on, I walked down third street to the heart of the festival on Delta Street. It was hot in the sun, but cool in the shade. I made my way past Cathead and onto Miss Del’s General Store.

Miss Del's General Store

I stood across the street from the stage at Miss Del’s in the shade waiting for Valerie June to come on in about 15 minutes. But the band that was currently playing was really good and the crowd was really into it. I couldn’t see who they were because there were so many people around. During their last song the singer said, “I’m Stacy Mitchart.” I ran toward the stage and saw that this was the guy I just watched a documentary on yesterday. He’s a blue singer from Nashville. This was a very pleasant surprise!

Stacy Mitchart

After Stacy was finished was finished, the crowd kind of cleared out. I was able to get a seat under the awning right in front of the stage – and in the shade. I was really excited to see Valerie June as she is from Memphis, and I have wanted to see her ever since I saw her on ‘5 Dollar Cover’ almost 2 years ago. She opened up with ‘Hound Dog’ and then ‘No Draws Blues,’ so I knew both of those. She also did a Robert Johnson song. Needless to say I really enjoyed Valerie June!

Valerie June

With my newfound love of documentaries, I didn’t want to miss the Juke Joint Film Festival at the Delta Cinema. Although I was probably the only one – well there were 2 other people in there. It was about 7 short documentaries by William Ferris. My favorite was one shot back in the 1970s with BB King and Son House and others.

Juke Joint Film Festival

I wanted to take the bus tour and learn about the history of Clarksdale. This event was much more popular than the film festival, as one guest had to stand on the bus. We started our tour at the original Greyhound Bus Station on 3rd Street.

historic Greyhound station

Our first stop was Tennessee William’s childhood home. I had no idea he lived in Clarksdale. And many of his characters, such as Blanche from ‘Streetcar Named Desire’ and Brick from ‘Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,’ were based on his neighbors. There is a Tennessee Williams festival in Clarksdale in October that I am definitely not going to miss.

Tennessee Williams' childhood home

We went by the Riverside Hotel where many musicians have stayed. Before it was a hotel, it was a hospital where Bessie Smith died.

Riverside Hotel

It was a great day – outside listening to blues and learning history. Thanks Clarksdale!

Advertisements
About Deena 'DeenasDays' Dietrich (564 Articles)
My name is Deena Dietrich. I live in Ellicott City, Maryland with my 2 dogs Elvis and Cilla. I am making my way as a Social Media Manager, Blogger and now Author. I have written my U2 memoir 'On the Road with U2: my musical journey' (available on amazon) about the 75 (now 100) U2 shows I have been to since ZooTv and the places I’ve seen and the people I’ve met along the way. My motto is “It is better to regret something you have done, than something you haven’t.” So follow me on my journey as I pursue my passions in music and sports with Elvis, U2, Grizzlies, Broncos, LMP, NKOTB, Orioles. Please connect with me @DeenasDays on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Google+ or you can email me at deenadietrich@gmail.com.

What did you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s