Friday, May 21, 2010

Mississippi Blues

So, today, we had a long drive from the Badlands of South Dakota to La Crosse WI. I will do another post with photos from our trip from AZ to SD. But, I wanted to get this one in so I don't forget.
I had made reservations at a Marriott right on the Mississippi to, at least, have one night in a nice hotel. It is in a great spot situated on the banks of the Mighty Mississippi. Here's a photo from our room.

So, we went across the street to a place called Piggys for dinner. We had a glass of wine at the bar while waiting for a table. We were finally seated right next to a keyboard and drum set which I hadn't even noticed. But Judy said maybe we'll be gone before the band starts to play. It was 10 of 8.
At 8pm, on the dot, 3 guys came out of the kitchen with beers in their hands. Now, I've worked in a lot of restaurants in an earlier life. I've worked as a waiter, busboy, dishwasher and short order cook. I know what kitchen help looks like. These guys looked like the dishwasher and his 2 friends who came in for a free meal. The dishwasher was about 80, one friend had his Harley t-shirt on and the third had his hat pulled down over his eyes. When they sat down at the instruments and started to play, I was pretty shocked. The 80 year old was the keyboard player, the t-shirt sat at the drums and the hat played harmonica. Wow, these guys could play. They were the ultimate old time blues professionals. I'll bet this was one of the first time they actually played together as they had to pass the musical key down the line and were deciding what to play on the fly. But they didn't miss a beat. The keyboard guy did a sound check by asking me if they were too loud and could the guys in back hear OK. They played Louisianna, Chicago, Mississippi and Georgia blues and sounded as good as could be. All had played professionally for years with local and national blues bands. When their set was over, the keyboardist (octagenarian)came by and shook our hands and said, "thanks for hangin' in." It was our pleasure.


  1. Hi Tony and Judy,

    Woodie and I have enjoyed all of your adventures so much. You write and paint and enjoy life so well! Bravo to you both!

    I found and was the band Mississippi Driftwood?

    Have a safe trip home!

    Warm wishes,
    Maggie and Woodie

  2. Hi Margaret and Woody. Thanks for your comments. After I made the book of last year's blog I decided to keep a record of all our adventures, even little memories, for our own benefit. So, I enjoy it.

    I guess the band was Mississippi Driftwood as we were there on the 21st. It is not the band pictured on their website. I would guess that they are pretty good studio musicians who know how to jam as they just seemed to watch each other and know when to pass off the solos.

    I'll let you know if I have a show of any of my southwest work.

    All the best,