Photographer's Note

Not a particularly high quality photo for my last Memphis musician shot (for now anyway). But this shot does represent one of the best memories of the trip. Our last night there we walked down to the less busy end of Beale Street and heard ourselves being called into a nearby bar by the band inside - personally! They had only a few people in there, and they would break out of songs to try and recruit more passers by.

We went in, and I was pleasantly surprised by the quality - nothing mind-blowing, but good solid blues and R&B, despite the less than impressive presentation - a 'stage' formed by circling empty tables around a space in the corner, and a lead singer wearing an old ratty sweatshirt. Still, these guys - they called themselves the Juke Joint All Stars - could definitely play. I tried several shots, but the light was very very dime, and very very orange and red, so the quality here is not very good, but it's the best I could manage. And, of course, this one's all about atmosphere anyway.

After a while, the people who were there left, and my wife and I were the only two people inside for a good half an hour, broken up by a couple drunk women stumbling in for a few minutes (the person in the lower right of this shot was the drunker of the two). They left after not too long, but long enough to give me this great moment, both of them gesturing with the song. Despite the emptiness - in fact, maybe a bit because of it - we really enjoyed the show and it took us a while to leave to head back to the hotel.

Today's song: 'The Dark End of the Street', James Carr. Carr was an amazing talent with a deep, gorgeous voice. He was responsible for some truly great soul songs in the late 1960s, but largely faded into obscurity due to mental illness and early death. His most well-known song, covered by artists from Aretha Franklin to Ry Cooder to Percy Sledge to Cat Power, is this one, an ode to an illicit love affair, but I think it works here too.

"The Dark End of the Street", James Carr

At the dark end of the street
That's where we always meet
Hiding in shadows where we don't belong
Living in darkness to hide our wrong

You and me
At the dark end of the street
You and me

I know time is gonna take it's toll
We have to pay for the love that we stole
It's a sin and we know it's wrong
Oh, but our love keeps coming on strong

Steal away to the dark end of the street

They're gonna to find us
They're gonna to find us
They're gonna to find us
Lord, someday

You and me at the dark end of the street
You and me

And when the daylight hours roll round
And by chance we're both downtown
If we should meet just walk on by
Oh, darling please don't cry

Tonight we'll meet
At the dark end of the street

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Additional Photos by Andrew Lipsett (ACL1978) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 884 W: 75 N: 1695] (7511)
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