As everyone starts traveling again, it's been SO GOOD to meet people who've been watching #LiveFromClarksdale all year. Meet Karen and Dan:
Karen's a blues fan from Boston who's been coming to Clarksdale for years. Dan's from Pocahontas, IL and hadn't heard much about our town until he stumbled upon Live From Clarksdale early in the pandemic. Tune in to one of our shows most nights, and Karen or Dan will be watching with you. Together with Stuart from Australia, Gail from "Table 6" in California, and so! many! wonderful regulars.
It's like a virtual blues "Cheers" up in here.
If you haven't experienced Live From Clarksdale yet, it's how we broadcast live blues to the world: unlike watching a recorded YouTube, viewers "juke up" together in the Facebook Live comments. They sometimes request songs, heckle the musicians, and chat with each other. It's always fun to see someone in Italy saying g'night as someone from Japan says good morning.
So when she could finally travel, Karen came to Clarksdale -- for the whole month. Dan has now been three times: with friends, then his wife, then back for a blues-family wedding of musician friends he met here.
It was so! special! to broadcast live with Karen and Dan in the audience, IRL.
We now give musicians a t-shirt when they play Live From Clarksdale, and it's been fun seeing them wear it proudly around town and onstage. As Karen and Dan sat in the audience, we turned the camera on them, and gave them t-shirts too -- because they have truly been Live From Clarksdale.
As Big A told Karen, "YOU'RE the important people."
It's true. It's the online fans who kept musicians going all year.
With the help of Visit Clarksdale, which sponsors our Live From Clarksdale project. We know it's been a lifeline for musicians, good for our venues, and good marketing for our town... but mid-pandemic, we pondered with the board, "Will it actually put 'heads in beds' and promote travel here?"
Apparently, yes! Tourism is roaring back to life. It's been so good seeing Karen and Dan -- and we can't wait to see many more of you soon.
Karen just returned to Boston, and was back in the online crowd at Ground Zero Blues Club last night. While it was bittersweet she's no longer here, it was so very sweet to see her "checking in" and bringing Clarksdale back to her living room.
Whether y'all are here in person or online, our whole town and the musicians especially! are so glad you juke up with us. What an amazing community.
Thanks for keeping the blues, and our spirits, alive.
Karen Nugent & Big A Sherrod outside the Bad Apple Blues Club.
Dan & Mandy Sidwell with Mississippi Marshall & grandson Grayson, the Bluesberry CAFE's Art & Carol Crivaro, and Live From Clarksdale's Colleen Buyers.