Memphis In May
Memphis in the month of May, what could be better? The yearly Memphis in May festival is one of the reasons why I’m really getting to know this city so much better, and falling in love with our new home. It helps us focus in the positives of what this city can offer and way from the negatives that are sometimes all too easy to find.
The Beale Street Music Festival, three days of music, has anything from from small acts to big name mega stars. We decided to head downtown to the Saturday events, and with with 5 stages, there’s a little bit for any music fan. There are people who try to go for all three days, but I think my back would be dead after a couple of days. And all this for $32 a person per day, what a deal!
We started the day by parking at my work (saving about $20 from parking downtown) and taking the trolley to the riverfront park. It’s a wonderful way to take in the sights of the riverfront, all for a dollar a ride. The vintage trolleys roll down the track with the wind blowing in through the open windows. It really takes you back in time.
We got into the park just before the first acts hit the five stages at 2 pm. We first got a drink and went to watch John Hiatt & The Combo. A great old sound. After a few songs, we headed over to the Blues Tent to watch Victor Wainwright and The Wildroots. They rocked the tent. There was an epic drum/piano dual that seemed to go on forever. Victor about fell out of his chair while whaling on the keys. There’s something about blues piano, like the harmonica, that just gets me hooked. Needlessly to say, they got a roaring standing ovation.
Next up was Kenny Wayne Shepherd. What can I say, one of my favorite performances. As a Stevie Ray Vaughan fan, Kenny Wayne totally reminds me of his sound. They played some of their new stuff along with some of the songs from their original album. What else can I say, a great time was had.
Next up, back to the blues tent to listen to Robert “Wolfman” Belfour. He’s near 80 years old and played on an empty stage. His sound was genuine and you could actually see the blues on his face, the expressions cut deep in his face from years of playing.
By this time we hooked up with some friends and headed to watch Buddy Guy perform. He mentioned more than once that he was 75 years old, and still knew how to have fun. He sure showed it when he went on a never ending guitar solo while walking through the crowd.
After 5 hours it was time for a break, another drink, and a bite to eat. The sun was setting and I was grateful that this year was bone dry, with no signs of rain (unlike other muddy years). On our way to Al Green, we ran into some more friends and waited for the soul music to start. We weren’t disappointed as Al Green tossed roses out into the crowd as he jammed out. By 10 pm we were beat and decided to call it a night, especially since K had to get up early the next morning. With another trolley ride back to our car, our day of music was over, spending Sunday recuperating. Now it’s back to work…
Have a great week everyone,