Six Days Until The IBC: Where To Go – The STAX Museum

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This is the second article in a series that highlights places to visit while in Memphis for the IBC. Jimmi Langemo of Jimmi and the Band of Souls used to spend 12 to 15 weeks of the year in Memphis doing diversity and leadership development work.

The second place I recommend you visit is the STAX Museum. When I used to tell people I was going to take them to the STAX Museum, they would often express disinterest. When I told them that this was the recording home of Otis Redding, Booker T and the MGs and the Staple Singers, they would thank me for the trivia, but still be disinterested. However, after their visit they would always say it was an incredibly moving experience. So, if your first response to seeing the STAX Museum as the second place to go was disinterest, I strongly suggest you reconsider your point-of-view. You will not be disappointed in your visit. You’ll emerge inspired and rejuvenated.

When you visit the STAX Museum, you will get immersed in the beginnings of R&B. The first exhibit you walk through is a real country church that has been moved into the STAX building. As you continue through the museum, you get more information on the evolution of American music and the history of our fight for civil rights. By the time you get to the founding of STAX, you understand the context in which the studio was living. I love how the museum really tells a story. They do a great job of weaving individual biographies, the history of STAX, the evolution of music and the politics of the day into one story arc.

One other reason to go: STAX has the best gift shop in town. No joke.

It takes between 90 minutes and two hours to walk through the museum.

For more information, go to http://www.staxmuseum.com/

Note:

  • If you’re hungry and want to keep the learning going, eat at the Fourway. It’s not too far from STAX. Many civil rights leaders used to eat here, including D. Martin Luther King, Jr. The menu is real deal soul food. For more info go to http://fourwaymemphis.com/
  • Memphis Slim’s house is right across the street from the museum. Make sure you check it out.
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Seven Days Until The IBC: Where To Go – The National Civil Rights Museum

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For many people, the International Blues Challenge will be your first visit to Memphis, TN. I used to spend a lot of time in Memphis, so I thought I would take a little time to be your personal tour guide. You’ll be spending a lot of time on Beale Street, but you may be asking yourself, “What do I do during the day?”. I thought over the next seven days I would highlight some of my favorite spots in the city.

The first place I would recommend is the National Civil Rights Museum. From my point of view, if you can’t visit any other place while you are in Memphis, go there. This is such an incredible place, I suggest anyone with a heartbeat should visit it at least once. I have never been to a place that is so transformative. If you open yourself up to the story that’s told inside, you will emerge a different person.

The museum is housed in the Lorraine Motel, the location where Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. It also includes the boarding house where James Earl Ray stood in a bathtub, slid a rifle through a jimmied windowsill and killed the civil rights leader. As you come around the corner, you will see the balcony upon which King was standing when he was shot. To me, I feel like I am walking onto sacred ground when I see that view. Across the street from the museum is the boarding house where James Earl Ray was standing when he shot Rev. King. If you look closely, you can see the windowsill on one of the upper story windows raised slightly. It was through that window that James Earl Ray slid his rifle.

The museum tells the story of the struggle for freedom in the United States. It’s a powerful story in which heroes arise from every demographic: black and white, men and women, young and old, rich and poor. After all, the civil rights struggle wasn’t about black and white; it was about right and wrong.

I have been through the museum probably 50 to 60 times. Each time I learn something new about myself and about our history.

You can take as much time as you like when you go through. I’ve known some people who spend all day. Personally, I think for the first time through if you spend two hours on the motel side and 30 minutes to an hour on the boarding house side, you’ll have an incredible experience.

While you are there, stop to talk to Jacqueline Smith before you leave. She has been outside protesting the existence of the museum since it opened. It’s great to get different points of view and hers is fascinating.

If you are in Memphis, take the time to visit this national treasure. You’ll be glad you did.

For more information, here is their website: http://civilrightsmuseum.org/

How to get there: The museum is a short trolley ride from Beale Street. It’s easy to get to.

Other notes:

  • The Arcade Restaurant is nearby. It is Memphis’ oldest restaurant. Many movies have had scenes filmed there.
  • Cheesecake Corner is also nearby. The person who owns it specializes in cheesecake. It’s all he makes and it is tasty!
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New T-Shirts Are Here!

safe_image.phpThe 2014 Winter JATBOS Clothing line is officially open for PRE-ORDERS. That’s right! You can show your hip and cool in any environment by wearing the new Jimmi and the Band of Souls t-shirts. (A lot hipper and cooler than Jimmi ever looked anyway.)

Click on the “Store” on our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/JimmiAndTheBandofSouls or go to jatbos.storenvy.com to shop. PRE-ORDERS will be accepted through December 20. 

The new Jimmi and the Band of Souls t-shirts: Guaranteed to bring out the Gypsy Blues in you!

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T-Minus 8 Weeks!

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Our first show on Beale Street is only 8 weeks away. That’s right, the International Blues Challenge starts Wednesday, January 21st.  We are beside ourselves with excitement to represent Minnesota as the band contestant! It’s getting very real as we look through the list of bands coming to Memphis from around the world.  Hope we get to see many of you Soul Brothers and Sisters down there for the events!

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Getting Excited for November 9th!

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To all of you Soul followers out there we are getting really excited for our upcoming IBC Fundraiser (International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN)!  The show will be on November 9th at the Wicked Moose Bar and Grill in Rochester, MN!

Here are the details!

Jimmi & the Band of Souls and Brother Sun, Sister Moon are having a fundraiser on November 9 at the Wicked Moose! All proceeds will go toward helping us get to the IBC in Memphis, TN next January.

We need your support to help us get to Memphis, so we’ve planned a special show for you! The line up includes Brother Sun, Sister Moon, The Swamp Kings, Dave Lambert and the Motivators, The Annie Mack Band and Jimmi and the Band of Souls.

There is a suggested donation of $10. Give more or give less, we’ll appreciate anything you give. We know you work hard for your money!

There will also be a bake sale so you can take home a little something after the show.

Plus, the Wicked Moose will be offering a chicken dinner for only $5! That’s right – it’s blues, bread and a bird for you!

The show is presented in partnership with the Minnesota Blues Society, GRAB ME and the Wicked Moose. We look forward to seeing you there!

WOO!  See you all there.

In the words of Spike.

Peace and Blues

-Nate

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In the Land of the Souls…

7038_831648660199758_3658550733072398037_nIt’s been quite the last month!  We were honored to play both the Ely Blues Festival up in Winton/Ely, MN as well as the recent Porcupine Mountain Music Festival in Upper Peninsula, Michigan!  Both festivals were a blast and the crowds were amazing!

Since then, the souls have been hard at work on our next album “Graveyard Shift” (working title) and also, a really cool soundtrack piece that we are doing.  We finished laying down the last tracks for the soundtrack last night and are excited to be a part of local art!

Keep your eyes peeled to the calendar as we hope to see all of your faces out at our shows!  More exciting news on the horizon as we prepare for Memphis in January!

Have a good one!

-Nate

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Where Are The Souls This Week?

The Souls

We have a busy week ahead of us. Tonight, we are playing in the beer tent at the Olmsted County Fair in Rochester from 7:30 pm to 11:00 pm. Saturday the 26th, we make our debut appearance at the Prairie Dog Festival in Prairie Du Chien, WI.  We’re excited to be part of the line up, taking the stage at 4:30 pm. Then on Sunday the 27th, we are at the Great Midwest Rib Festival at Mystic Lake Casino in Prior Lake. We play from 11:00 am until 1:30 pm. Nothing better than barbecue and blues!

It’s going to be a great week of music, friends and fun! We look forward to seeing many of you at one of our shows this week.

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Live with Lady J at KFAI on July 22

We are excited to announce that we will be doing a live radio show with the one and only Lady J, this Tuesday, July 22, on KFAI radio. Lady J’s radio show, “Rollin’ and Tumblin” is   a blues mainstay. You can always kick back after a long day at work on a Tuesday and listen to Lady J spin some good blues music!

Her show airs from 4:oo to 6:30. We will be on sometime after 5 or so. Tune in at 90.3 FM in Minneapolis, 106.7 in St. Paul or live stream at http://kfai.org.

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Make Minnesota Safer By Sending Us Out Of Town

Gypsy Blues 2013 Blues Saloon

Want to keep the streets safer in Minnesota? Well, here’s a sure fire way to get ‘er done. On July 18, you have the opportunity to get Jimmi and the Band of Souls out of town for one week in January so they can go to Memphis and represent Minnesota in the International Blues Challenge. That’s right – one week in January they will be out of Minnesota and in Memphis, Tennessee representing 5 million people, 10,000 lakes and countless mosquitos as they compete against bands from around the world for the title of best blues band!

Here are the details: On this Friday, July 18, from 6 PM to 10 PM, we will be playing at the legendary Wilebski’s Blues Saloon at 1639 Rice Street in St. Paul. The show is a fund raiser. All proceeds go funding our trip to Memphis. The Minnesota winners of the solo/duo contest, Brother Sun Sister Moon, will also be playing.

The show is kid friendly! Bring the family. The suggested donation is $10. Pay more. Pay less. We’ll appreciate every dime and we’ll play for you like you paid $200!

So come on out! We have been preparing a special show just for you!

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CD Release Party at Famous Dave’s – No Cover!

We are excited to celebrate the release of our new CD, “Live From The Park Theater” this Wednesday at Famous Dave’s in Uptown. The show is from 6 to 9 PM. Perfect time for a week night show!

Plus, there’s no cover. Perfect for your budget. That’s more money to buy a beer for your sweetie!

We have some great local blues artists as our special guests. Boom Boom Stevie V will be sitting in for a few songs on harmonica. Dave Lambert, one-half of the Minnesota IBC winners Brother Son and Sister Moon, will be joining us too! Plus, Paul Wigen will be  playing keys.

So honestly, can you imagine a better time? It’s blues. It’s bbq. There’s no cover. And it’s a CD release party with Jimmi and the Band of Souls and their special guests! See you there!

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