Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy day, mothers!

Mine was great! A trip to the Robert Johnson Blues Festival in Crystal Springs yesterday started off the weekend just right. We got to hear the Copiah County InBreeds (or whatever they called themselves) butcher some perfectly good music. They butchered some crap too, but that was to be expected. After a couple of hours of bleeding eardrums, the emcee brought out this CHILD all spiffy in a starched white dress shirt (92 degrees and humid....I was impressed) and black dress pants. I think I have blue jeans older than this kid. He was absolutely incredible though, and about 3 seconds after he got cranked up, you totally forgot he was barely out of diapers. I talked to him later and asked how old he is. 14. Only 14 years old and only been playing since he was 11, and he's already traveling the country (he lives in CA, I think) and playing. His name is Gabriel Lambirth and we truly enjoyed his music.

Jessie Robinson and the 500 lb Blues Band took over after that and rawked! The first time my husband ever saw him play, he was sitting outside the Piggly Wiggly playing for shits and giggles while he was waiting on somebody. God, that sounds country. Running into a famous blues player in the parking lot at the grocery store (especially one called the Piggly Wiggly of all things), killing time with a free impromptu concert among the Fords and Chevys. Willie "Big Eyes" Smith sat in for a couple of numbers with the band and he was so good! Then they brought out Steve Bell, just landed from Vegas they said, and I thought I'd died and gone to heaven. He played a good 30 minutes or so at least, and the band really let him showcase his stuff. They backed off and just let the harmonica music take over. I'm out of words to even describe how good he was. The way he moved holding the cordless mic it looked like he was blowing a horn, and he made the harmonica sound like one too. It was the ONLY set that the sound engineers got right, too. The woman on the bass, Nellie Somebody, got her 5 minutes of fame and showed her stuff. I can see why she plays with Jessie!

Then Honeyboy Edwards. Oh my. Honeyboy. The last living Bluesman who actually played with Robert Johnson. He's 93 years old and hasn't lost a step. They got him on stage and settled, then hovered around adjusting the mics, moving things around just so, making sure there was water and a towel handy, just generally making him comfortable, and it was all done with an incredible reverence. They were at the feet of one of the greats and it showed. Then he started singing. About 70 of those 93 years fell away and it was pure heaven for the duration. There was some sort of glitch and he showed up a couple of hours late so Pinetop Perkins and the rest of the line-up had to be pushed back to later in the afternoon and we missed them since we had to cut out about 4:00 to get back for a supper/Stanley Cup playoffs date here in town. We met out at Corky's and ate BBQ and drank swill. Good food, good friends, good times.

We headed out to the lake this morning for Mother's Day lunch. Just hung out with the kids, threw a few casts into the lake (caught nothing, but the youngest girlchild snagged a branch) drank a glass of wine, ate too much, laughed with/at the kids and siblings, and came home and crashed for a nap. All in all, a very good weekend.

And for your viewing pleasure, a picture of me and Robert Johnson's son Claude. The t-shirt he's wearing is one of only 150 printed. We bought two of them, but Robert Johnson's family doesn't own the copyright to either of the 2 pictures of him in existence so they have to license them just like any random Joe Blow does.

1 comment:

Karoda said...

What a great photo of you and Claude!