Alabama hip-hop artist Yelawolf stopped by Memphis hip-hop boutique Sneak Peek for a brief instore Saturday afternoon, before heading to the Cozy Corner for a Memphis-style rib dinner and then his performance at the Hi-Tone.
Africa in April has become a spring tradition in Memphis, and while it might not be exactly Freaknik, it’s as close as we’ve ever gotten in Memphis, since it usually involves bright, sunny weather, street vendors, good food, live music and huge crowds of people. This year, Nigeria was the African country being honored, and the pretty weather brought out the people (and unfortunately, the politicians as well).
Binghampton’s Caritas Village is an amazing coffee bar, art space, community center, housing co-op and a lot more, and on Friday, they sponsored an art exhibit of works by students in some of Memphis’ public schools. The noted Memphis artist Frank D had invited me, and I was really impressed with the quality of the works displayed.
I drove down to Clarksdale last Thursday to meet up with Justin Showah, the owner of Hill Country Records, who was playing the opening night of Juke Joint Festival with Jimbo Mathus’ Mosquitoville touring show at the Delta Cinema. Once in Clarksdale, I met up with Robert Kimbrough, one of blues legend Junior Kimbrough’s sons, and got caught up in the street performances and general festivities. I bought some vinyl records, saw some performances outdoors and at Ground Zero Blues Club, and ate dinner at the famous Abe’s Bar-B-Q. I had always thought of Juke Joint Festival as a local festival, like most small Southern towns have, but it’s really more of a South By Southwest of the blues. A lot of fun, and it really wouldn’t get going good until Friday and Saturday!