VIDEO plus PHOTOS
The DELTA BOHEMIANS® Magical Madge and Poor William recently attended their first Blues Music Awards (BMA’s) in Memphis along with Delta Bohemian’s Roger Stolle, owner of Cat Head Delta Blues and Folk Art in Clarksdale, Mississippi; Becky Bobo, friend of the Magical one’s; Sarah Ruskey, cool-ass wife of Quapaw Canoe Company’s cool-ass owner John Ruskey, and friend Janet Coursin. We also enjoyed seeing many of our Clarksdale and Delta Bohemian friends, including The KRUSH “Blues with Bowker” radio host Bill Bowker and his lovely wife, Lavonna.
Of course, a good time was had by all: blues legends were as thick as mosquitoes in August, libations flowed freely as seep water at full crest, but not quickly and often enough for Poor William, and some wicked tunes and performances were made edgily manifest.
The guitar riffs were insane and the blues harmonicas were off the chain. The show would likely have had more of an impact on the Delta Bohemians had it been a good bit shorter in duration, the acoustics had been tighter, and each incredible artist had been limited to one song each, other than Buddy Guy, of course.
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One of the highlights of the event for the Clarksdale caravan was hearing Roger explain all the ins and outs and intricacies of the old-school blues masters who lived the blues and many who still are alive and still play the blues.
Stolle, a transplant to Clarksdale, owns the most incredible music, folk art, and steeped-in-the-earth product offering that any one could find south of Saskatchewan. His love for blues musicians as people and his encyclopedic knowledge of the blues leaves the listener hungering for more anecdotal information about the men and women, who chronicled with music the hardships of growing socio-economically deprived in the Deep South. His new book, “Hidden History of the Mississippi Blues,” is hot off the press and is an easy but wonderfully informative read. One can order it along with other cool blues-related paraphernalia at www.cathead.biz.
Not long after the troupe of Delta troubadours arrived for the roots-based gala, Magical Madge assaulted the married couple Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi of the newly formed and long anticipated Tedeschi Trucks Band in the libation lobby, and not only garnered a cool photo, but later in the evening the serendipitously Magical One had a lengthy conversation with Miss Susan in the chick’s restroom. Madge’s bladder and her genial affability have afforded her more than one cool encounter with some better-than-okay celebrities.
One of the highlights of the pre-ceremony for Poor William was when Becky and Janet, both paragons of sartorial splendor, asked Poor William to go find out who that cool chick “over there” was and where she got her outfit.
Both of these girls have incredible taste, but Poor William could not bring his sometimes-shy ass to go ask the hot chick where she got her threads. Plus, though the Magical One trusts him completely, he did not want to appear to her or to the hot chick as a sycophant or “perv,” though Poor William has been accused of being an exhibitionist–He is!
Well, Magical Madge walked up and Poor William convinced her to go talk to the hot chick and find out where she got her apparel. Who was she? Turkish beauty and friendly woman, Ceren Alkac–the hotter-than-hot-ass wife of Jason Lee of My Name Is Earl fame, who was a presenter at the BMA’s. But let it be known, Poor William’s babe–Magical Madge–had no peer or equal that night, though many fine dames were in attendance.
The only real detraction to the event was that many of the cash bars closed down indiscriminately and the program lasted longer than a watched pot. As soon as Poor William would think he had hit his ADHD limit and he direly needed to flee like a lemming to the sea, a new blues artist would hit the stage and easily commandeer his full attention.
The Steve Miller Band virtually opened the evening, and this was nothing less than thrilling to this product of the 70’s. Miller, known for being a better studio musician than a live performer, enthralled the audience and seemed very at ease belting out a few of his blues-based hits from way back in the day.
Delta Bohemian Charlie Musselwhite won BEST INSTRUMENTALIST – HARMONICA and TRADITIONAL BLUES – MALE ARTISTS OF THE YEAR, while Cedric Burnside–a Clarksdale area favorite–won BEST INSTRUMENTALIST – DRUMS. Lightnin’ Malcolm, formerly of the Burnside/Lightnin’ Malcolm duo, did a superb job presenting at the BMA’s. His easy, comfortable-in-his-skin demeanor and silky gravel voice made him a Delta Bohemian favorite.
The event is a must for all blues aficionados and those who just like a romping good time with some good tunes and a cocktail or two. Plus, the outfits were incredible. Blues musicians and blues lovers have the coolest threads. Make it a point to attend the BMA’s next May in Memphis. Better yet, visit The Blues Foundation non-profit arts organization website and join today! Please read below the names of this year’s BMA nominees and winners. DB
Magical Madge has put together yet another one of her videos which will give you our Delta Bohemian Perspective from the evening. It includes brief performances by The Steve Miller Band, an amazing harmonica solo performance by Eric Esterin (formerly the front man for Little Charlie and the Nightcats) and a myriad of photographs with the tantalizing background music of the BMA Award Winner Derek Trucks and his band. Derek personally won Best Guitar Instrumentalist and The Derek Trucks Band won Best Band of the Year.
Just in case you missed it above, here is the video again!
2011 Blues Music Award Winners as reported by Roger Stolle in his highly informative CAT HEAD UPDATE: THE MISSISSIPPI BLUES NEWSLETTER
Acoustic Album of the Year
Last Train to Bluesville
Acoustic Artist of the Year
Album of the Year
B.B. King Entertainer of the Year
Band of the Year
The Derek Trucks Band
Best New Artist Debut
On the Floor
Contemporary Blues Album of the Year
Contemporary Blues Female Artist of the Year
Contemporary Blues Male Artist of the Year
Songs from the Road
Historical Album of the Year
(Bob Corritore & Friends)
Sonny Rhodes (Lap Steel Guitar)
Koko Taylor Award
Pinetop Perkins Piano Player
Rock Blues Album of the Year
Live! In Chicago
Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band featuring Hubert Sumlin, Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, Bryan Lee and Buddy Flett
Song of the Year
Tom Hambridge/Buddy Guy
Soul Blues Album of the Year
Soul Blues Female Artist of the Year
Soul Blues Male Artist of the Year
Traditional Blues Album of the Year
Joined At the Hip
Pinetop Perkins & Willie ‘Big Eyes’ Smith
Traditional Blues Male Artist of the Year
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