Sunday, August 12, 2012

Walking In Memphis

I had Marc Cohn's Walking In Memphis in my head for much of my weekend down South, despite having a hire car and actually driving around for most of it!

My hotel was a little way out, and getting to places I wanted to see was just easy with the car - plus the heat that weekend was oppressive, and would have been a factor in getting around without the joy of an air conditioned car to break up the stops. There are shuttle buses around Memphis to get out to Graceland and to Sun Studio, but I really recommend getting a car.

I made sure I went into town once the sun went down, to check out the scene that is the infamous Beale Street. I parked, and lined up at the security line to get into the street blocked off to traffic for the night. And it was teaming with people, out to have a big Saturday night.

The Home of the Blues strip is full of neon, outside drink stalls, clubs and spruikers, and music coming out of every establishment. Names like BB King's Blues Club are lit up, and create the buzz of blues and jazz all the way along the street.

Down here on Beale Street, a block party happens every weekend, both Friday and Saturday nights. It reminded me very much of Bourbon Street down in New Orleans.

About halfway down there was a park on one side of the street, with a market and a stage set up. A band played their mix of jazzy blues, and had gathered a crowd of listeners. I stopped here for a bit to let the moody tunes add to the atmosphere all around me.

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