John Saint Holiday was a new name for me, but his band of all-stars, thrown together for the occasion, provided some of the best blues I’ve ever heard on Beale Street. Judging from what I read online, he is an actor and writer in addition to being a musician, and he is from Batesville, Mississippi, which has probably produced quite a few great bluesmen. His drummer, at least for tonight, was an old acquaintance of mine, Cedric Keel, who provided a rock-steady foundation. Altogether an inspiring evening of blues at the Rum Boogie Cafe.
Coinciding with the International Blues Challenge, the Rum Boogie Cafe on Beale Street sponsored a Memphis Blues Showcase on Saturday, featuring an afternoon and evening line-up of local blues talent, including a new blues power trio called Blooz Emergency, featuring musicians who are also a part of Paul Taylor’s band Merrymobile. Their set was an interesting mix of traditional blues and roots rock, including a cover of Jimi Hendrix’s “Castles Made of Sand”.