Home of the Blues

November 16-19, 2009 Memphis, Tennessee.

Home of the Blues.

Birthplace of Rock and Roll.

We passed on the Gator Chips and Championship Gumbo (trophies fill the front windows) at King's Palace Cafe, but I went for the Crawfish Étouffée, "The embodiment of all that is good and right about Louisiana cooking served over rice." According to Fred Koeppel, "So good you'll want to slap your Pappy - not once, but twice." I don't recall an urge to slap my father, but it was good, and salty (I figure I surpassed my salt quota for the week in just under twenty minutes).

David on guitar and a coronet player who wandered out of the kitchen to join him:

B.B. King's Restaurant & Blues Club is just a dozen paces across the street. We stressed our hearts with super-salty fried dill pickles as Preston Shannon, The King of Beale Street, mesmerized us with his music.

Preston filled the house, shook the house, electrified the house! He's a phenomenal talent. Even the dance challenged ventured out onto the checkered floor...

B.B. King's Club (right corner) is the place for funk or soulful or soothing live music, every night. And Sweet Guitar Picks.

Sweet Guitar Picks:

Sweet tea Vodka Spash of lemonade

Mix to taste*

*Actually, it might be better to measure the vodka because it's a deceiving flavour in that you can't really taste the vodka at all ... and that could be dangerous in more ways than one.

By the way, B.B. himself makes the occasional appearance at the Beale Street club, "the original", but we missed him.

Trivia:  What is B.B. King's first name?

Answer:  Riley

We just learned that fact a few days ago while visiting the Riley Center in Meridian, MS, but that's for another post.

Here's another factoid for the B.B. fan. In the mid 50s B.B. King played a concert. Some fans became unruly and knocked over a kerosene stove, catching the hall on fire. B.B. raced out with the rest to safety, but realized he left his $30 acoustic guitar inside. He rushed back inside for it, "narrowly escaping death". He later found out the fight was over a woman named Lucille. He named his guitar Lucille as a reminder to never do a crazy thing like fight over a woman. "Ever since, each one of B.B.'s trademark Gibson guitars has been called Lucille."