Saturday, April 21, 2018
Music News, Concert Reviews

Grammy Museum opens in Mississippi Delta

JACKSON, Miss. — The second and only official Grammy Museum outside of Los Angeles opened March 5 in the Mississippi Delta, cradle of the blues.

Organizers chose Cleveland, Miss., for the nearly $20 million project and promise one of the most advanced museums in the country. It's a smaller but updated version of its sister museum in California and employs high-definition touchscreens and interactive technology to chronicle American music from before the first Grammy Awards in 1959 to the present.

The bedrock of that history is the Mississippi Delta, said Bob Santelli, executive director of the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles. The rhythmic guitar and soulful ballads of bluesmen like Robert Johnson and B.B. King traveled up the Mississippi and across the country, influencing nearly every style of American popular music: jazz, hip-hop and rock 'n' roll. The state also claims the most Grammy winners per capita in the world.

"Isn't that wild?" Santelli said. "You take the state of Mississippi out of American music history and you have a very large gap to fill."

The blues mesmerized musicians ranging from Tupelo, Miss., native Elvis Presley to the Beatles and more in generations since, said Patricia Walker, songwriter and head of Delta State University's music department. The original bluesmen — mostly African-American men living in the Jim Crow era in the South — lived off the land and eased their hardships through music.

"Everybody at one time or another has had the blues," Walker said. "The musicians that came out of here had to dig deep in the soil to make a living, and they dug deep to capture those feelings in their music."

Officials designed the museum with the Delta's history in mind. Corrugated metal on the building's exterior is a nod to the tin sharecropper shacks many blues musicians grew up in. The entrance looks like a big front porch, a common feature of many Delta homes.

The museum features a diverse collection, from the acoustic guitar Presley played during his landmark 1950s Sun Records Sessions to the feather costume Cee Lo Green wore at the 2011 Grammy Awards.

Pop singer Ne-Yo teaches dance moves from a life-sized screen over a multicolored dance floor that lights up like the one from Michael Jackson's Billie Jean. One booth lets visitors hear what Beyoncé would have sounded like on a gramophone.

Visitors can record and produce a song with Grammy Award-winning bluesman Keb' Mo' and trace the influence of Mississippians like Ike Turner.

Jessica Faith, a piano player and vocalist at Delta State, is scheduled to play at the museum's Beatles Symposium in April. The band is the focus of the museum's first traveling exhibit.

"The younger generation isn't very aware of the great legacy in their back yard," she said. "It's empowering for them to see that B.B. King was born here and grew up here and had such success. There's something in the water here, in the dirt. It's very deep. It's very real."

For information, go to grammymuseumms.org.

 
Comments
Record Store Day 2018: Vinyl lovers flock to indie record shops across Tampa Bay

Record Store Day 2018: Vinyl lovers flock to indie record shops across Tampa Bay

Record Store Day returned Saturday, and with it hundreds of early-rising vinyl lovers hoping to score exclusive records by Prince, Neil Young, Arcade Fire, Run the Jewels, the National and many others.At spots like Bananas and Daddy Kool in St. Peter...
Updated: 2 hours ago
RIP Avicii, an EDM superstar who helped break rave culture in America

RIP Avicii, an EDM superstar who helped break rave culture in America

Here's all you need to know about this decade's explosion of electronic dance music in America.In September of 2011, Swedish DJ Avicii played a late-night show at a nightclub on Ulmerton Road in Clearwater.By June of the following year, he was headli...
Published: 04/20/18
Producer and DJ Avicii has been found dead

Producer and DJ Avicii has been found dead

Avicii, the Grammy-nominated electronic dance DJ who performed sold-out concerts for feverish fans around the world and also had massive success on U.S. pop radio, died Friday. He was 28. Publicist Diana Baron said in a statement that the Swedish per...
Published: 04/20/18
Underoath’s Spencer Chamberlain talks breakup, reunion, getting sober and returning to St. Petersburg

Underoath’s Spencer Chamberlain talks breakup, reunion, getting sober and returning to St. Petersburg

ST. PETERSBURG — HGTV fanatic that he is, Spencer Chamberlain sees a metaphor for his band in the ever-evolving St. Petersburg skyline."When you go downtown and you look at the ONE, that used to be a dirt parking lot," said the singer, referring to a...
Published: 04/20/18
New Hot 101.5 Summer Jam bringing Meghan Trainor, Liam Payne, Alessia Cara, more to Amalie Arena in Tampa

New Hot 101.5 Summer Jam bringing Meghan Trainor, Liam Payne, Alessia Cara, more to Amalie Arena in Tampa

A new radio mega-festival is on its way to Tampa Bay.Hot 101.5 on Friday unveiled plans for its inaugural Hot 101.5 Summer Jam, June 29 at Amalie Arena.Based on the lineup, it sounds like a proto-version of the Jingle Ball. Best New Artist Grammy Win...
Published: 04/20/18
Joey Fatone’s hot dog food truck is coming to Plant City this weekend

Joey Fatone’s hot dog food truck is coming to Plant City this weekend

We're still a few weeks from Justin Timberlake's nearly sold-out concert in Tampa. Until then, you'll have to make do with Joey Fatone's hot dogs in Plant City.Timberlake's 'N SYNC bandmate has a burgeoning wiener empire in Orlando, Fat One's Hot Dog...
Published: 04/19/18
Huge concert week in Tampa: Foo Fighters, Kenny Chesney, 98 Rockfest, more

Huge concert week in Tampa: Foo Fighters, Kenny Chesney, 98 Rockfest, more

PURE NIRVANA: Foo FightersDave Grohl may be America’s last unquestioned rock god. He’s played with Kurt Cobain and Jimmy Page, Tom Petty and Trent Reznor and St. Vincent, and he also leads a pretty decent group — perhaps you’ve heard of them — called...
Published: 04/18/18
Updated: 04/20/18
SoundBytes: Steel Panther, Surfer Blood, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy and more

SoundBytes: Steel Panther, Surfer Blood, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy and more

— Florida's own indie rockers Surfer Blood are returning to Crowbar on Aug. 24, with the Blonde Tongues opening. Tickets are $13 and up. Click here.— Hair metal satirists Steel Panther are coming to Jannus Live on Aug. 16. Tickets go on s...
Published: 04/18/18
Shinedown’s Barry Kerch talks Jacksonville, rock festivals, the demons that inspired their new album and more

Shinedown’s Barry Kerch talks Jacksonville, rock festivals, the demons that inspired their new album and more

There was a time in the lifespan of Shinedown when Barry Kerch wasn't all that keen on festivals."Backstage for the bands has gotten a lot better," he said by phone before Shinedown was set to play a biker festival in Arizona. "It used to be an extre...
Published: 04/18/18
The Flaming Lips have a Record Store Day beer. Here’s where to get it in Tampa Bay

The Flaming Lips have a Record Store Day beer. Here’s where to get it in Tampa Bay

It's no surprise the Flaming Lips are behind one of the most unusual collectible items this Record Store Day. This is a band, after all, whose past Record Store Day stunts include an album encased in a life-size chocolate skull and another infused wi...
Published: 04/18/18