Mississippi and Paul Thorn

mississippi.jpgMississippi is like a different country. First thing that happened when I got off of the plane in Jackson was the rental car lot security lady asked me for my autograph. She didn't know who I was but I guess she thought I was famous because I had a guitar with lots of travel stickers on it. So I gave her my autograph while apologetically saying to her that she probably was mistaking me for someone else. Then we took a picture together and I asked her to come out to the show but she said she was Christian and didn't go out to bars. I drove 3 hours up to Starkville for a show that night with my friend Paul Thorn. Starkville is a college town in Oktibbeha County. It's also the home of The Mississippi State University Bulldogs. Paul Thorn is from Elvis Presley's hometown of Tupelo Mississippi so he was in his own backyard. But I gotta tell you that I felt like I was in a land far away. The bar we played was called Ricks and reminded me of something out of the movie Roadhouse. It was awesome! The crowd couldn't have given 2 shits about me when I walked out and played and I was sweating like a Calcutta street vendor in the middle of a cholera outbreak. I thought for sure the crowd hated me because they were talking so loud through my set but when I finished everyone was coming up wanting to buy cds or at least have a chat. Strangest thing I ever did see at a gig. The owner of the club is Rick and he was a great host even firing up the kitchen late at night to cook me some supper. I have a new love affair with the spooky south. I need to read more William Faulkner and Tennessee Williams and Richard Wright, Alice Walker and Eudora Welty. I love the soul food and the lush greenery and the musical history and I'm going to go back and discover more. Paul Thorn and his band are so cool to hang with. If you get a chance check 'em out. It was pretty cool hanging with Paul after the show and swapping stories of travel and music and life. I mean, this guy was a boxer who fought Roberto Duran for Crissakes! All I did was wrestle other 98 pounders but he got in the ring with Manos De Piedra. We also played shows in Jackson Mississippi and Memphis Tennessee. I wish I would have had a show in Oxford, Ms. Thats where Ole Miss plays football and Starkville and Oxford hate each other. I really want to play in Oxford because the Presidential debates are there this year and my friends in Blue Mountain tell me it's "more artsy." I got to hang with the Blue Mountain folks after my Starkville gig. They're awesome and you need to buy their new cd. My drummer and friend Patrick Dennis did the artwork. Frank Lee Drennen took the photos. The same guys that did the art and photos my new cds. I hope Mississippi votes Obama, but it's been a red state for years. Too bad because that state's got some soul. Some swampy greasy soul leaking out of its spooky pores. I'm going back and I hope it's sooner than later. Gator, Steve