Another Mississippi Delta Saturday Night

From Club to Club to Club

Poor William and his mother, Martha Jane, at cocktail party in Clarksdale. Photo by Maude Schuyler Clay

Poor William and his mother, Martha Jane, at cocktail party in Clarksdale. Photo by Maude Schuyler Clay



Delta folks ain’ scared of a party and that’s for damn sure. It’s always on in the Mississippi Delta: whether high-browing at the Country Club or low-browing just about any-damn-where-else. We Deltans love to party whether at a cocktail party, a tailgating event at one of the universities, or for the intrepid few: a local juke joint with beer, blues and sometimes BBQ.

Clarksdale has live music 365 days a year, so we are never without roots music to entertain and inform tourists the whole world over and to infinity and beyond. Folks dig music played in the spot where it originated and where it belongs. Many of our local musicians play not only the blues clubs but also private events and gigs at local restaurants. We are truly blessed to have these under-paid, talented folks doing what they love all for our immense enjoyment. Thank you!

This past Saturday night was just another night in the Delta. Magical Madge’s daughter Corinne was given an engagement party at the Clarksdale Country Club. They let me in about twice a year and through the back door only, but I was fortunate to be at this party. Dr. Alphonso Sanders, friend and all-around-uber-talented nice guy, was the music for the evening. He can play just about any brass instrument known to man, and is as smooth as a wispy, silk cocktail dress on a Delta beauty—fine and sublime.

After drinking, eating and meeting, we headed to Ground Zero Blues Club to hear Bill Abel (guitar), John Popper (harp), Tommy Warren (bass) and Sam Mohammed (drums). We love some Bill Abel and his brand of Hill Country Blues. This night included a long jam that was spot on, organic, and moved all us crazies up front to display our individual interpretations of the Delta Whirling Dervishes. Though I am not often a fan of harmonica being part of a hill country blues sound, Popper intuitively knows how to make that bad boy work.

After Ground Zero, we eased on down to our home away from home at Red’s Lounge to listen to the fabulous Louis “Gearshifter” Youngblood, who was playing with friends Preston Rumbaugh of local bass playing and counter-working fame at Roger Stolle’s (in)famous Cat Head Delta Blues & Folk Art and young-gun drummer Carl “Stud” White, grandson of the truly infamous T-Model Ford. It’s only about a two-minute walk from Ground Zero to Red’s. It’s worth the extra cover charge and the saunter.

Once again, a bunch of Delta Dervishes spin and do the white-boy blues hop at Red’s while Ellis Coleman, Super Chikan’s dancing-machine brother, appropriately wooed one lady after another to the dance floor. Magical Madge was in rare dancing form as always and her daughter, Corinne “the intended,” got her juke on with fiancée Bryan Fikes and some of the wedding party.

Well, Poor William here got to bed about 3:30am and got up at 6:00am to put breakfast out at the Clark House Residential Inn! I am still paying for it, but like a good Delta Boy I made it to First Presbyterian to hear two-thirds of the Blackwater Trio and part of a fabulous sermon; the other part I might have catnapped just a minute or two, but I’ll file it under “reflection!” Enjoy, and y’all come!

Please enjoy a few spliced together clips of just another eclectic night in the Mississippi Delta.

PS. Thanks to photographer Maude Schuyler Clay, another native Mississippi Deltan, who captured an amazing moment between Poor William and his mother, Martha Jane. CLASSIC!

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  1. G. Marquardt says:

    Thats one reason that I love Clarksdale and all the People there……………….!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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