Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Marvelous Mississippi Delta Blues

There are times in one's life when opportunity knocks, and the result is amazing.  Recently, I had the opportunity to meet Roger Berry, a cigar box guitar maker and blues man from Hazlehurst, Mississippi.  Roger ask me to create a guitar case for him that would accommodate my 'LaGloria' guitar, which Roger wanted as well.

Hazlehurst is a small town in south-central Mississippi in the heart of Delta Blues music heaven, the birthplace of America's music, and the town where Robert Johnson was born, rich in history and very long on hospitality.

Because of a long career in newspaper and television, I've met a lot of very interesting people, but Roger Berry is one of the most sincere, likable, and generous people I've ever had the pleasure of knowing.  I only wish we had met many years ago.  But, at least we've met.   And, I know we will be friends for a good long time.  Thanks Roger for the opportunity!

I built the case, enclosed the guitar, loaded my car, and off my wife and I went to hand deliver Roger's new toys.  I could have shipped the stuff and been done with it, but something told me that I would be missing an experience of a lifetime . . . making and great new friend, and experiencing a musical adventure that cannot be explained, only enjoyed first-hand.

I cannot write about our trip, there,just isn't enough space or time, but I will add some photos and brief info, which I hope peeks your interest enough for you to explore the Blues on your own.

The case personalized with the 'RB' and the 'Maverick' logo.
You gotta be a bit of a maverick to do what we do.

The inside, complete with a collage of Delta images and 'LaGloria'.
An on-board amp to blow sound around, and a compartment for 
the little stuff completes the case.

Roger with his new gear.

Roger's shop -- Yes!, It's that clean and comfortable, and yes, it's where he creates wonderful instruments.

Juke joints where locals play outrageous blues.

Murals such as this decorate many buildings in nearly every town along highways 49 and 61,
commemorating famous area blues musicians.

Notable blues greats from 'Pinetop' Perkins to Muddy Waters played juke joints like these,
and B.B. King continues to make great music here on a regular basis.

The Poor Monkey Lounge outside Merigold, MS only has music on Thursday nights, 
and we missed it by a day.  Darn!

Ground Zero Blues Club and The Delta Blues Museum, are just two
of the many cool and interesting places in Clarkdale, MS at the 
Crossroads of highways 49 and 61.

Because blues music is so connected to the Mississippi Delta, it is easy to overlook the other venues that make the place famous -- Country, Rock 'N' Roll, Soul, Jazz, R & B, Classical, Gospel, and musical recording.

If you haven't been to the Delta, you are missing something very special.

Thanks Roger!

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