Tonight, we played a wedding reception down in Clarksdale, Mississippi (right smack on the table-flat Mississippi delta) - a town that claims to be the birthplace of "Rhythm-and-Blues". Morgan Freeman owns a restaurant in Clarksdale and spends a lot of time hanging out there. Tonight, we played in this re-created juke-joint:
which is immediately next door to this antebellum hotel
Actually, the reception was held in BOTH buildings...along with a heated tent. Barbeque, vinegar-marinated prawns, beer, wine, bourbon, gin, and mint juleps all flowed freely.
It was really fun to experience our New Orleans-style brass band perform (off-the-cuff) '70's/'80's top-40 requests, along with "wedding tunes". (You REALLY should hear that tired-old tune, Chameleon
, played with this instrumentation...It rocks!...and isn't "tired", btw.)
Our original trombonist, Robert Harris, who moved back home to New Orleans several months ago, came up for this gig and for our New Year's gig at the Grand Casino...so our new trombonist (who is actually a red-hot sax player), Jim Mahannah, (since Breeze Cayolle is enroute somewhere with Elvis Costello again) moved over to play his "main" instrument...much to everyone's delight. (Jim is the guy who played the tasty/understated background tenor licks on that "Ghost of a Chance" recording)...No "understating" occurred tonight.
The bandleader (another sax player) had never heard Jim play sax, and was absolutely floored. (I had told him, but I tend to "under-represent"...I could only come up with the inadequate adjective, "god-like".)
Robert is staying out here in the country with me while he's up for these gigs, and we're having a lot of fun catching up (considerable car rides to/from Memphis train station and to/from gigs). I also put his horn back in good shape. These days, Robert is mostly working at Preservation Hall and outdoor brass band gigs back home in New Orleans - both being pretty hard on trombone slide alignment.
Here's an old picture of Robert Harris (far right) playing with us:
This is a great way to finish out 2007.