Matt Rock Clarksdale House Party

It’s a Hill Country Thang in the MS Delta

Matt Rock. Matt Rock Clarksdale House Party

Matt Rock. Matt Rock Clarksdale House Party

Matt Rock Clarksdale House Party was an epic night of music. VIDEOS

Peep at a Clarksdale house party evening for the hard-core-all-night-long-hill-country folks.

Prior to two weeks ago the most serendipitous musical encounter I had experienced was in 2012 in Aussie Matt Rock’s backyard in a metal shed in Rosebud, on the coast of Melbourne, Australia, where he and his mates jammed for hours one Sunday afternoon. That singular experience has now been trumped by an incredible Clarksdale house party in Matt Rock’s blue shack on E. Tallahatchie St. just outside Clarksdale five years later. 

Fifteen of us (at least ten were musicians) enjoyed a hill-country blues, rockin’-ass time in Matt’s crib the other night. The shotgun shack had both front and back doors open, which provided a fantastic filter for the smoke, tunes and libation evaporation always ever-present with a hill country house party.

I am no stranger to the finest music in the world—Hill Country Blues—made famous by the likes of Mississippi Fred McDowell, Othar TurnerR.L. Burnside and others, but to hear it played in a Mississippi Delta tenant shack living room while sitting on a couch beneath the beat and peripatetically moving around the room at will swilling liquid gold and lightning whiter-than-a-virgin’s-wedding-dress was seriously unparalleled.

Uber-talented hill-country-blues road warrior and good friend Lightnin Malcolm (my favorite musician in the whole-wide world) jammed with Rosalind “Mississippi Rose” WilcoxMatt Rock, Artemis Lesueur, Deak Harp, Robert Kimbrough Sr. and Clark Winkel who lives in the Harp Shack next door, Bluesberry Café owner Bongo Art Crivaro, Robin Lane and a guitarist friend of Rockin” Bobby McDonald from St. Louis. Folks, you can’t get this shit in New York City, unless this crew was there and it still wouldn’t sound the same!

There was no play list or apparent order to what transpired other than gifted musicians willing to share the room and lead with other gifted musicians—in other words, no prima donnas shining their asses at the expense of others. Hill Country blues is like that; it’s about the beat, the smiles, and the groove; the getting lost in a swirling world of “so-fine.”

It began with an invite on Facebook and was still going when my old ass headed home several hours later. I dare say it was the closest thing to what folks coming to Clarksdale hope to experience. Similar, unique encounters happen every night and day in the Mississippi Delta, birthplace of the blues, but this experience has no peer in my opinion.

The fifteen included musicians, non-musicians, old, young, black, white, liberal, conservative, locals and those from afar, but what was in common mattered more than disparate characteristics the world too often focuses on, and that is a GOOD TIME!

Enjoy a composite clip from the Clarksdale house party evening and for the hard-core-all-night-long-hill-country folks, check out the EXTENDED video—a ten-minute impromptu jam of classic song “Meet Me in the City,” my favorite song in the whole-wide world. 

—Chilly Billy


Filmed 9/8/12 on a visit to Matt rock’s home south of Melbourne. He held a Sunday afternoon garage house party for us. This was shot during a break when the assorted musicians who showed up to jam.


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  1. Mike Lucas says:

    Great video thanks for posting!

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