Oh, the things I miss back home in Mississippi! This weekend marks the annual Otha Turner Picnic at his family’s place in Senatobia, MS. Mississippi born and raised Otha Turner was one of the only last known American fife and drum blues guys, starting at age 16 with a fife made out of rivercanes. He started a tradition back in the 50′s at his home where he would kill, butcher and cook a goat in an iron kettle, while his band played for entertainment in the backyard. Hence, his first solo album name “Everybody Hollerin’ Goat”! Otha passed away at age 94 in 2003, but the picnic tradition has been kept alive by his family and friends. I was fortunate enough to attend one way back, when the crowds were small and the hype was low. Now a days, it’s a packed back yard with new and old blues fans and photographers abroad. Fun part is, you never know who will show up and play. Bobby Rush appeared the year I was there and played several songs. Otha’s granddaughter, Sharde, has been following in Otha’s footsteps since a tiny little thing.. playing and touring with her own drum and fife band and of course, is the highlight of the picnic! I know they are the highlight of the North MS Hill Country Picnic every year for me!
Also, a fun lil fact……Otha once made an appearance on “Mr.Rogers’ Neighborhood” back in the 70′s, where MS guitarist extraordinaire Luther Dickinson (North MS Allstars and Black Crowes) saw him and became first interested in music! ha! love that! Otha also has a tune in the movie Gangs Of New York.
Love this video of young Sharde playing Fife with her granddad at his place… great video.. gives you an idea of what the picnic is like too!
AND this is the video I took this year at the North MS Hill Country Picnic of all grown up Sharde and her band.. Rising Star and Fife Band!!
These are some pics I have from when Haisten and I went to the picnic about 7 years ago.. had tons more, but can’t find them. ugh. Haisten ended up on the flat-bed trailer dancing back up to Bobby Rush! priceless.
Haisten met so many friends, we ended up having this little Burnside home with us for the weekend!
6 hours would be how long I waited in line in the blistering NYC heat to witness and see live and in person THE Alexander McQueen Exhibit @ the Metropolitan Museum yesterday. I know, I know, I probably shouldn’t have waited to the very last day of its existence after its 4 month stint! In my defense, apparently it didn’t matter when you went, there have been horrendous lines since its opening in May. Close to a million people saw the exhibit, which made the exhibit the eighth most-visited show in the Met’s 141-year history, and the highest-attended exhibit created by the Costume Institute, which joined the museum in 1946. So, 6 hours, eh? I assume one would ask ” was it worth it?” 100%! So incredibly cool, and pretty sure I was in some type of outer body experience while walking through. I completely zoned out and went in to some crazy sedation gaze at each and every garment so closely, combing up and down each and every seam, detail and life behind each one of his creations. There was some eery presence of his I felt surrounding this too short of life collection from his MA final collection in 1992 up to his final collection before his death in 2010. Probably didn’t help that eery music was playing in background ;). All I wanted to do was find just one, maybe one little sign of imperfection to his construction which would help relay realism to his being. Umm, yea.. no luck finding such.
My line buddies from LA, who took the red eye and came straight to the exhibit on no sleep…. Jeremy and Sara. They were awesome.
FINALLY, we see the exhibit…
So, no cameras allowed of course.. especially flash. I broke the rules for about the first 5 minutes on a couple shots, then felt guilty and also went in to that sedation gaze I mentioned… So, the couple I did get…
“You’ve got to know the rules to break them. That’s what I’m here for, to demolish the rules, but to keep the tradition.”….Alexander McQueen.
Arrived at 9:45AM, here I am walking out at 4:45PM, 7 hours later, I am so happy I went!! and can go eat and get water now. whew.