Sunday, February 27, 2011

Day 10 Off to Memphis to hear the Blues

On our way out of Nashville, we hit "Noshville" a NY deli right in the middle of Tennessee, complete with bagels and marble rye bread!  Finally something besides "texas toast" LOL!

finally, something besides "texas toast"

mmm coffee

We hit Memphis at right about lunch time, perfect time to see the famous Leonard's sign, another 50+ year business with a pit BBQ.  We learned the caption "Mr. Brown goes to town" is in reference to the "brown and white" meat you find in with a BBQ'd pig.  The brown is what is flavourful and cooked on the outside and becomes brown, mixed with whiter meat closer to the bone.  When you get a meal or sandwich you used to be able to specify your meat although the norm is to mix and chop both together.  We ordered sandwiches, memphis style: pulled pork with red bbq sauce and the coleslaw right on the sandwich.  Yummy!

messiest sandwich I'd ever eaten!

 We then headed to our downtown hotel and realised why it was so difficult to find a downtown hotel room. . .the Cotton Ginners were in town!  The cotton industry is a big one in the US and we passed the convention center where are the farm equipment was on display.  Every bar on Beale street also welcomed them and overalls were everywhere!

Farm equipment on display

Memphis Trolley line through downtown

Who knew the guy that revolutionized the grocery industry (made it self serve) was from Memphis?

What is this dude thinking?  Bear shoulders and man boobs are cool??  It was only 19 degrees!  LOL what NOT to not wear!
Our walk down Main Street showed us a downtown that is slowly rebuilding after a lot of migration to the suburbs.  Tons of amazing space available but lots of empty store fronts.  We wondered about who was coming down to the area and what business would be like.  There were gorgeous old buildings and we saw a world of possibilities.

We then began our walk to the Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Hotel.  We thought it was important to learn a little about this time in history.  And it was completely sobering.  Especially as a Caucasian Canadian.  We never had any of these race issues and I learned so much about the struggle that had happened in the South.  I think it took me longer than the Americans touring the museum because there was so much to read and learn.  It became very real to us and what hit me was the power of peaceful protest and "I am a MAN."
The Lorraine Motel, where Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated
The Lorraine Hotel, now the National Civil Rights Museum, photos were not allowed inside the museum

some local art near the Civil Rights Museum

As soon as we hit Memphis Elvis stuff was everywhere!!
 We then headed down to Beale Street.  The home of the blues and where it all started in Memphis.  The home to Sun Studios that recorded the first blues hits and first recorded Elvis.  The music history in Memphis is incredible and Beale street is full of plaques and history, you can learn as you listen to the blues and walk through the street with your "Beale Street big Ass beer"
Beale Street, a mini Bourbon Street, closed for pedestrians and ready for a Saturday night
getting my cd signed by the local band

local history all over Memphis downton

their sign said they won second place in the BBQ competition last may!  I just loved that Pork with an Attitude sign!

ok we were getting a little tired of Southern Food and tried some Japanese at a crazy neon lit up hotel bar .. . the Sushi chef was from Japan so it was really good!!

Our first sit down stop at Juke Joint after listening to some of the artists playing in the Plazas on the street
 The Juke Joint was our first stop and it was full of awesome memorabilia to look at when the band was taking a break.  Loved the music and that blues guitar just makes you feel!!
memorabilia in the Juke Joint on Beale Street
We then hit up BB King's spot to hear the BB King Allstars.  Fried pickles were on BB King's favourite platter along with ribs that fell off the bone, fried catfish, and wings. . . . This is why the Southern's have stores where the pants go up to size 72 and 6XL!
The band was amazing, played to the crowd and had everyone dancing!  We luckily caught a couple leaving and got amazing seats in the middle of this packed place!  (Felt just like getting star parking at the packed mall at Christmas!)

Beale street was a blast and full of the music that makes you tap your toes.  LOVED IT!
The BB King Allstars.  They were amazing doing all the funk and soul hits. . and PS that lead singer could DANCE, just like Soul Train!!

No comments:

Post a Comment