BIG BROCK'S 'BLUES BUS' HITS HIGHWAY TO MISSISSIPPI DELTA
July 29, 2009
Big George Brock (musician), Carol Boss (artist) and bus
Bus (side view)
Clarksdale, MS - 50 years after St. Louis-based bluesman Big George Brock left a cotton plantation in the Mississippi Delta, the stage is set for a big return via an old-school 'blues bus.'
"I may be 77-years-old, but I ain't dead yet," joked Brock. "I've got Big George fans older than I am here in St. Louis, so I'm taking some of them back home with me. We're going to have a wang dang doodle down there in Mississippi."
As part of his blues homecoming celebration, Brock is bringing his new blues bus down to the old Hopson Plantation in Clarksdale, Mississippi - just south of Memphis. He'll be performing a concert there on Saturday, August 8th (10pm) during Clarksdale's Sunflower River Blues Festival weekend.
"It's a big blues weekend in the Delta, so you know Big George just has to be part of it," according to Brock's manager and owner of Clarksdale's Cat Head blues store, Roger Stolle. "Big George grew up just outside of town here, where he worked on cotton plantations, fought in local boxing matches and learned to play the blues from guys like Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf. He loves to come home and play for visiting tourists and his local fans."
The eternal showman, Brock has never stopped looking for ways to entertain his fans and spread the word about upcoming performances. Three years ago, after he retired his last tour bus, he started renting one as needed. Then, in May, he came across "a deal he couldn't pass up," vowing to buy it and make it "extra special" this time.
"One of my fans here in St. Louis said she'd paint it for me," Brock explained. "I want folks to see that bus, turn around and follow me down the highway to Mississippi. We'll give them a real blues show down there - not rock or rap - just pure and natural blues."
Brock's artist-fan is Carol Boss. She's spent much of the past month painting the new bus based on photos by another avowed Brock fan, Joseph Rosen.
"Big George is a really big guy with a really big personality and stage presence," said Boss, who also operates a small design firm in St. Louis. "I just jumped at the chance to try and paint something as big as he is. When I drove it by his house the other day, he was all smiles, and I have to say, it turned a few heads on the drive over."
Boss cites the support of friends, family and C.R.E.W. Construction of St. Louis for helping to complete the big, bus undertaking.
"After they heard about the project, everyone volunteered to help out," recalled Boss. "It's not every day that you get to paint a bus for a musician from the Muddy Waters generation. It was a true team effort and a lot of fun."
Five-time Blues Music Award nominee Brock is recognized by fans as one of the last links to a bygone era in blues. In addition to Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf, Brock has enjoyed opportunities to perform with other music icons from Jimmy Reed and Albert King to Steven Seagal and Watermelon Slim. He's also toured overseas to England, Italy, Switzerland and France. Still, his favorite trip to take is to his native homeland - Mississippi.
Brock's new blues bus hits the highway for the first time next month for his homecoming performance at Hopson Commissary on August 8th (10pm). He'll also perform at the Cat Head Delta Blues & Folk Art store on that Sunday, August 9th (noon).
This newsletter is supported in part by funding from the Mississippi Arts Commission, a state agency, and, in part, from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.
This site is made possible through support from the Mississippi Arts Commission, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Rock River Foundation.
This site made possible through the support of Mississippi Arts Commission, National Endowment for the Humanities and the Rock River Foundation.
Support for the Delta Blues Foudation, Inc has been provided by explore.org, a direct charitable activity of the Annenberg Foundation.
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