Mid-August in the Mid-South – deep blues and Elvis worship

Blues at Cathead - Clarksdale If you want to get to the roots of what  Robert Palmer was talking about in Deep Blues, you have to be at  this year’s Sunflower River Blues and Gospel festival, August 12-14, in Blues Mecca, Clarksdale, Mississippi.  If you are looking for what some call the blues, as played on $1500 guitars on Beale Street, this probably isn’t the festival for you.  This festival is about the Deep Blues, rooted in the Delta and it’s culture, some raw and gritty stuff.  It is always sweaty, sticky, hot.  There are lots of impromptu performances around the Downtown Clarksdale Area,  and there are some interesting places to grab Bar-B-Q, delta tamales and a cold beverage.  Be sure and drop by Ground Zero.
It’s an easy drive (about 1.5 hours) down Legendary Highway 61 from Memphis.  Click here for information and lineup. 

But Wait!  That’s not all…….

Elvis ShrineThe Sunflower Festival overlaps Elvis Tribute Week, Graceland‘s biggest annual Elvis event, which culminates in the August 15 Candlelight Vigil on the eve of the Anniversary of Elvis’ death.  [Could be the reason why locals call it Elvis Death Week, but we are not supposed to say it].  Anyway,  the whole week is full of  Elvis’ pals telling stories, Elvis impersonators  tribute artists, fans with sideburns and Elvis tattoos, dressed appropriate to any phase of Elvis’ life.  This is a phenomenon beyond description.

 

 

 

I forgot to mention the shrines. Here’s my video of last year’s vigil.

It was over 90 degrees at about 11PM when most of that video was shot.

I don’t recall these 2 amazing events overlapping in the past. If you don’t live in Memphis, you can do them both in one trip. What a deal. Don’t miss it!

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Joe Spake is a Memphis-based Real Estate Broker and Consultant. He blogs at Joe Spake's Weblog and Memphis Real Estate Buzz. Joe's Social Network.