The First Day
Arrived safely in Memphis. I use the same shuttle service, TennCo Express. Alonzo picked me up and we had a chance to catch up.
After settling in to the EconoLodge, I planned the night’s activities. Thanks to a gift card from Mother and Sister, dinner was at BB King’s Club.
First, I toasted a high school classmate, Henry Allen Hankal. He was an architect and BBs was one of his projects. He passed away but not before we had one last time to talk some blues.
Next order of business was the meal. Catfish Creole, spicy enough to provide a burn I could live with. Ended with Peach Cobbler. Food and Blues do go together.
As the IBC really gets started on Tuesday, Beale Street was not as crowded as it will be the rest of the week. Add 4 Garth Brooks’ shows and it will be busy.
I made my way to the Blues Hall and the Rum Boogie.
Brian Hawkins and band were doing their regular Monday night show. How did he know I enjoy listening to some harmonica.
When he asked if there were any out of towners, hands shot up. As people shouted out the states they traveled from, I heard at least 7. The man from Montreal got the prize for the longest trip.
Just had to walk through the door to the Rum Boogie and Tas Cru. He had an extended group of Tortured Souls with the jam.
While watching Tas and crew ran into the Balkun Brothers and had a chance to catch up. They have a busy schedule across many states. They even had a chance to record at Sun Studios. Also met with friend Liz Sykes from the Ottawa Blues Society, who knew the Balkun name when I introduced her to Steve.
Then it was a walk back to the Econo. My cardio for the day was provided by a broken elevator and an eight flight walk up.
And it starts Tuesday with the International Showcase at the Clayborn Temple.
Questions/comments, I can be reached through the Blog comments or firstname.lastname@example.org. BluesBeatNews is written, produced, directed and photographed by Domenic Forcella. My weekly Blues Beat column appears in the New Britain Herald, Bristol Press, Middletown Press and Torrington Register-Citizen.