Monday, May 2, 2011

Memphis in May 2011

Memphis is only about a three hour drive from where we live. Last year was my first trip to Memphis and my first time attending Memphis in May Beale Street Music Festival. This festival also has a nickname - Memphis in Mud - and boy, does it live up to its name. The first year I went I didn't know of this fabulous nickname and had to run to the local Wal-Mart and purchase some hot pink rain boats. This year we came prepare with rain boots, panchos, and wet bags for our phones and my camera. Other than the almost guaranteed rain, if you leave remotely near Memphis, you should check it out.


One of my very favorite parts of Memphis in May is the food. I mean, who doesn't love fair food. That's all there is, besides some delicious restaurants on Beale Street. The first thing I dragged Hubby to this year was a little yellow and black stand called "Shucks." And it lives up to its name. It's corn still wrapped up fresh from the stalk, roasted over an open-flame grill. Once you order these tasty starches they pull down all the outside and dip it into a huge tub of melted butter. Just that alone would be fantastic, but wait, there's more. You can choose from all the spices you could think of. My choices are Cajun seasoning and salt. Hubby chooses the classic salt for his. My mouth is watering just looking at this picture and I only just had one yesterday. I attempted to get their secret on how to make these at home, explaining that I've tried but did not prevail. His answer, "If I told you, I'd have to kill you." Hmph.

The main event of the festival is of course, music. Now, Hubby is a musician and  loves his rock and roll. I consider myself a mush pot of music. My mind is open to a lot of music, and I can listen to George Strait, 3oh!3, and Christmas music all in the same playlist. Random? Yes! But I leaves lots of options. Although this year there were more artists I recognized from last year. One of them is "The Killer" - Jerry Lee Lewis. Although Memphis in May doesn't allow artist to play two years in a row, they make an exception for this guy, with good reasons. Goodness Gracious Great Balls of Fire! Although this man is climbing up the aging staircase, he still rocked that piano hard. He even had his sister, who also plated piano and sang, and his niece, a blues singer, open for him. I guess talent really does run in the family.

The other artist I was dying to see was Sublime with Rome. Although I know it's not the "real" Sublime since Bradley passed...I figured the was the closest thing I was ever going to get. We waited all night to see them and I had to stand in the middle of too much illegal activity for my liking, but then it happened. They started playing and I loved it! I was having so much fun and then Rome says, "It's my first time here in Mississippi!!!" And you could have heard the crickets sounded from the river. Hey Rome, we're in Tennessee!! He killed my mood and although I loved watching the drummer, we left because my lungs could no handle the new air quality.


Although it's called the Beale Street Music Festival, the actual festival doesn't take place there, just a few blocks below it at Tom Lee Park. Beale street is a whole different experience! The street is lined with soul food restaurants, like BB Kings and Pig with Attitude. There's also some bars and gift shops, but the best part of the local musicians. Hubby, as a musician, always appreciates them and we tend to stop and listen for a while. This guitarist was playing with his teeth. And it sounded just like he was playing with his fingers. It was incredible. Almost as incredible as his hair!! 

Memphis in Mud also has tornado's. The very last day we were there the tornado sirens sounded and things got a little dodgy. This was a picture before things got bad, since I hit my camera safely in its waterproof bag tucked inside my backpack. The river was already high and then the storm came. Thunder and lightening with a forecast of hail (that never came. Yay!) Hubby told me what we would do in case a tornado did come. I could tell it may be serious when he starts to get to talking like that. My stomach did flip flops. But there was some people who were not smart and hid under trees, under metal structures, and in their cars. I know I'm not from the South, but isn't that storm/tornado etiquette? Don't hit under huge lightening receptors? Even after we shouted they should get away from them, they didn't listen. Which I guess was okay because we only got a bout of heavy rain and a few small formations in the sky, but no touch downs. 

It was a great vacation and getaway, despite the weather. But we made it back and now it's time to get back into the work routine. Think if I kick and scream enough they'll let me stay home from work a few more days?

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