If you like Blues & Americana music and photography, then you need to get yourself to Leek next week, where artist and photographer Karen McBride, is showcasing a special exhibition at the Foxlowe Arts Centre to coincide with the 2023 Leek Blues & Americana Festival.
Titled ‘Just South of Memphis’ it is a unique exhibition of guitars, which are covered in art and photography, stemming from a journey she made from Memphis to Clarksdale, Mississippi known as the ‘Home of the Blues’.
Karen said: “I grew up listening to my parents Elvis and Johnny Cash records and I developed a real love of music from the Mississippi Delta including the blues.
“In 2016 I fulfilled a long-time ambition to visit Clarksdale, Mississippi ‘The Home of the Blues’.
“I made the journey from Memphis to Clarksdale in a 1980’s rusty truck. The vehicle was my old friend and helped me get to places that were not on your typical tourist route. This was an unintentional journey that took me through the vast southern landscape of forests, bridges, and snake ridden lands. Through this, I not only found myself, but I created what was to become, some of my very best work.
“The 74 miles from Memphis to Clarksdale might not seem so far but those old dirt tracks made it tough driving. Driving alone in a country that belongs to music, bibles and guns the journey was heartfelt, soulful, and challenging.
“The slogan ‘Prepare to meet thy God’ was spread across the sides of tin clad buildings and wooden plaques. I began to understand what it was that caught my heart growing up on a north Manchester council estate, listening to my parents’ records. I felt at home in an environment that was as I now understand it to be, my heart home.”
Just South of Memphis will be on show on Wednesday 27th September at the Foxlowe Arts Centre at the Fine Lines and John Street Revival gig, it will then move around various music venues for the rest of the festival which runs to Sunday 1st October.
Why not saddle up and mosey on down?