The Blues smorgasbord


John Hammond performing

Blues Guitarist John Hammond performs at the 2011 Blues Music Awards in Memphis TN. Not normally seen by the audience is the sound engineer in the pit below the stage. He coordinates with the board engineer on the hall floor. They make the music sound cool. Hammond was the winner of the Blues Music Awards "Acoustic Artist of the Year" award. As one listened to him play, it was no mystery why he won the prize.

Once a year, Blues aficionados  from around the globe gather in Memphis TN to bestow awards on those whom they believe have eclipsed everyone else in certain categories for the past twelve months. The event is the Blues Music Awards, a function of the Blues Foundation. This  year, due to some really good friends, we were a part of that crowd May 5, 2011.  The night rocked!

Smokin' Joe Kubeck

See Blues pictures at Corndancer dot-com

Before venturing further, may I suggest that you go to the Photo of the Week page at Corndancer dot-com where this story started and get in on the beginning. You will see pictures of performers Steve Miller and Buddy Guy, along with Smokin’ Joe Kubeck, whose thumbnail picture you see to the left. We will wait here for your eventual return.

As would be expected, you saw everything from designer togs to thready jeans, but it being a blues event, that’s exactly what one would expect. The crowd was milling around imbibing and chatting while perusing silent auction items, a staple at non-profit organization events. Attendees were seated 10 to round tables. We were fortunate to be seated with friends who are members of the Memphis Blues Society.

Janiva Magness

Janiva Magness, a former Best Female Contemporary Artist and BB King Entertainer of the year, wowed the crowd with her energetic vocals. She tours with her band and makes around 200 appearances a year. In her spare time she is a foster children advocate.

The Steve Miller Band was the opening act. He was followed by the likes of Buddy Guy, the Mannish Band, Janiva Magness, Karen Lovely, Willie  “Big Eyes Smith” and a host of other performers. Their acts punctuated the awards and kept the place rocking.

The Nighthawks Acoustic Blues Band

The Nighthawks Acoustic Blues Band,winners of the Acoustic Album of the Year for their "Last Train to Bluesville." They clearly demonstrated why they won.

See more Blues pictures

Check out the our three galleries of pictures from the 2011 Blues Music Awards. You’ll see Steve Miller, Buddy Guy and a host of other famous blues performers.

Blues Music Awards Gallery-1, 37 pictures

gallery thumbnail

Blues Music Awards Gallery-2, 20 pictures

2011 Blues Music Awards Gallery-2

Blues Music Awards Gallery-3, 29 pictures

2011 Blues Music Awards Gallery-3

 Speaking of punctuation, my enjoyment of the performance was temporarily punctuated by a waiter dropping a charger full of plated dinners on my person. I heard this strange noise and saw cheese and macroni, fish, green beens and rib meat, plates and lids tumbling into my lap. The wait staff was about to panic, but I assured them that all was well as I wiped cheese and macaroni from the back of a Nikon D300. Nothing was hurt but my feelings, so I laughed and told them to be cool.

Flooded house

Flooded residence on Arkansas Highway 1, north of DeWitt, Arkansas. We were on this road because the White River was over a bridge on I-40.

Due to the recent rains that have turned the Delta into a large pond dotted with islands of dry land, we took a detour route to Memphis which added about 45 minutes to the trip. Not too bad. Mostly a pleasant drive through the Delta. The pictures here are on the trip back.

Your own personal levee

Just a bit further down the road, we saw a residence where the owners took matters into their own hands. They built a levee around their house and barn which appears to be in the neighborhood of 15 to 20 feet AGL (above ground level).

Homemade levee around house

Ready for high water. Enterprising homeowners built their own levee.

Levee around delta home

Closeup of your own personal levee.

Since this is primarily an agricultural area, people are no strangers to working with dirt and have the equipment to do the job. Driving on, just outside DeWitt, we saw a tall plume of black smoke. If there was a fire, I wanted to see and shoot it.

House on fire

A burning house in DeWitt, Arkansas. I visited with neighbors who told me the fire was set deliberately to destroy the house.

We found the fire. After the neighbors told me it was deliberately set, I wondered why. Taking a second look at the flaming structure, I noticed that is was covered with old late 40s asbestos siding. Not a bad idea, but asbestos is not terribly flammable. Good luck folks.

land leveler towed behind pickup

Just east of Humphrey, Arkansas on Highway 152, we ran up on a pickup towing a land leveler which was as wide as the highway.

 Just 25 miles or so from home, we came up behind a land leveler being towed by a pickup. The driver did not notice us at first, but we eschewed honking the horn anyway. He finally saw us and carefully pulled to the right to let us by. I say carefully because that sucker would mow down mailboxes in a heartbeat.

A few minutes later, on the final run for home, we were not so fortunate. We came up behind a wide load personified as the dump body of one of those huge strip mine dump trucks which will hold approximately a small town. We followed him for about 15 miles when we reached an alternate route. Finally made it home in one piece. The dogs were glad.

Thanks for dropping by,
Joe Dempsey,
Weekly Grist for the Eyes and Mind

http://www.joedempseyphoto.com/
http://www.joedempseycommunications.com/
http://www.corndancer.com/joephoto/photohome.html

Bizarre and bizarrer


Elvis on Dickey Tree Services fire truck

Elvis on Dickey Tree Services fire truck in Portia AR.

Never before in the annals of mankind has the phrase, “you can’t miss it,” been more appropriate than when applied to the Dickey Tree Services fire truck parked on U.S. Highway 63  in Portia AR. One simply does not expect to see a life sized “Elvis,” holding forth (in silence) from atop the cab of a retired fire truck turned tree services truck. Not in your wildest tequila induced dreams. But when you wheel into Portia AR, population 483, there it is. You are not dreaming. It is for real.

40 chevy in wall

See more bizarre goings on at Corndancer dot-com.

Before we go much further with this Bizarre and Bizarrer treatise, may I suggest that you go to the Photo of the Week Page at Corndancer dot com and get in on the first part of this bizarre story.

You will see what appears to be an old Chevy attempting to open a new drive in at a salvage yard and you will begin to understand the high value of “bizarre” in our society. The business has taken a unique decorative track to grab the attention of passers-by.

Dickey Tree Services fire truck

Dickey Tree Services fire truck complete with "The King." Notice the small "Elvis" perched on top of the ladder.

The fire truck and Elvis are the handy work of Ed Dickey, proprietor of Dickey Tree Services. Ed Dickey and his crew are, until I hear a better term, “internists for trees.” Rather than hacking limbs off, Dickey and crew apply tree “medications” to cure afflicted trees, a noble undertaking. Since Dickey’s patients cannot come to the office and some are several stories tall, the retired hook and ladder truck makes good sense. With regards to Elvis, Emerson said it best, “Hitch your wagon to a star.”

Dickey Tree Services trailer and fire truck

Dickey Tree Services trailer and fire truck

Rain, rain, go away!

On another matter, down here in LA (lower Arkansas), we are making a supplication to turn the spigot off for a while. We understand that April showers bring May flowers. And we like how a nice rain populates waterfalls. But enough is is enough. Moderation in all things please. Amen

Rain on windshield

Rain on windshield at Taylor's Auto Salvage. Enough already!

Back in the seventies, the Carpenters, featuring the idyllic voice of Karen Carpenter, created “Rainy Days,” now considered a classic comment on a day like to today, a rainy Monday.

SEE OUR WEEKLY GRIST GALLERY:

old salvage yard building

See more pictures in our Weekly Grist Gallery

See more fire trucks and pictures from Taylor’s Auto Salvage, our bizarre and bizarrer stories of the week, in our Weekly Grist Gallery.  Who’s more bizarre, who knows, that’s up to you. If you decide, you can let the world know with a comment below.

Joe Dempsey
Weekly Grist for the Eyes and Mind
http://www.joedempseycommunications.com/
http://www.joedempseyphoto.com/
http://www.corndancer.com/joephoto/photohome.html


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