Category Archives: Music

Things to do when it rains!

Keep out of the rain with this list of indoor activities in Natchez, Mississippi!

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D'evereux Foods

 

For more information on these locations and more in Natchez, go to visitnatchez.org.

New Year’s Events

You can start your New Year’s resolutions after you party down in Natchez. (We won’t tell anybody!)

There are quite a few venues with live music this year and did we mention FIREWORKS on the bluff?!?! The Castle Restaurant at Dunleith will be open beginning at 7 p.m. and will have champagne and party favors. Restaurant 1818 at Monmouth will have a special New Year’s Eve menu, if you are up for some delicious food (6:30 p.m.) and the Quitman Lounge will also be open. (5:30 p.m.) Rolling River Bistro will also have a special NYE menu. Other restaurants that will be open on NYE are Biscuits and Blues, Cajun Cooking, The Carriage House, Cotton Alley, Fat Mama’s Tamales and Natchez Coffee Company.

The Camp will have their first Annual Recovery Brunch on New Year’s day. Bring on the bloody mary’s!

Fireworks on the bluff are always a must. These will start at 8 p.m.

Christmas broc. fireworks

And now for the New Year’s Celebration stations….

Isle of Capri Casino will be hosting a NYE bash with the band, The Fabulous Steelers and will also have champagne and party favors.

Magnolia Bluffs Casino will also have a NYE party with live music from Coop D’Belle. Dinner and the show are only $20.

MoJo Mudd will be rocking and rolling at Rolling River Bistro starting at 8 p.m. and will ring in the New Year with you!

Bowie’s Tavern will also be ringing in the New Year with live music, champagne and party favors! There is a $10 cover charge. There will also be free shuttle service from The Castle to Bowie’s.

Hors d’oeuvres, champagne and a good time with live music from SCRATCH will happen at the Natchez Community Center. Admission is $80 per couple and the party starts at 8 p.m. and lasts until.

For a full calendar of events, please visit our website.

Blues Music in Natchez

When thinking of Natchez, music may be the last thing that comes to mind. Natchez is actually a part of the Americana Music Triangle, the birthplace of American music. From the tribal music of the Natchez Indians to the slave musicians who entertained at formal and informal gatherings to the burning of the Rhythm Night Club, Natchez’s music history runs as deep as the Mighty Mississippi. Gold Record Road- Americana Music Triangle

Natchez was once home to more millionaires per capita than anywhere in the United States until the outbreak of the Civil War. After   sharecropping became popular in the Mississippi Delta, many African Americans moved to find work at the same time blues music was taking off. Although very few commercial recordings document the sounds of blues in Natchez prior to WWII, we were still home to Geeshie Wiley, Bud Scott and band, guitarist William “Cat-Iron” Carradine, and saxophonists Earl Reed and Otis Smith.

The most memorialized musical event in Natchez happened on April 23, 1940. Walter Barnes of Chicago and his band made their way to Natchez to perform for over 200 African Americans at the Rhythm Night Club. While performing, a fire broke out. Walter Barnes, his band and some 200 people perished in the fire. The tragedy struck the nation and received extensive press, being picked up by several famous blues musicians who later wrote songs about the fire. The most notable of those is Howlin’ Wolf’s, The Natchez Burning. 

New talents began to emerge in Natchez clubs and cafes. The most notable was Alexander “Papa George” Lightfoot. Lightfoot was known for playing a mean harmonica and recorded for several important record labels, such as Aladdin, Imperial and Savoy. Alexander “Papa George” Lightfoot is now commemorated with his own Mississippi Blues Trail Marker in Natchez.

Besides all of the places in Natchez where musicians performed, the most important live venue for blues stood in Ferriday, LA, just ten miles west of Natchez. Haney’s Big House was operated by African American entrepreneur, Will Haney. The stage had been graced by legendary blues artists, such as B.B. King, Ray Charles, Roy Brown, Johnnie Taylor and Joe Turner. Haney’s was also an opportunity for local talent like Y.Z. Ealey, Elmore Williams, and Hezekiah Early to perform. You would some times see Jerry Lee Lewis or Jimmy Anderson wandering about the crowd. In 1966, however, the club mysteriously burned to the ground along with other African American owned businesses near by. You can hear an interview of Hezekiah Early from American Routes here.

Other noted musicians around the Natchez area are Gray MontgomeryScott Dunbar, David “Bubba” Ealey, “Hound Dog” Taylor, Mickey Gilley, and more. “Hound Dog” Taylor was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 1984. Lil’ Poochie is also from Natchez and recently played in Paul McCartney’s “Early Days” video, released in early 2014.

Today, you can get a glimpse into the Natchez area’s music history at any of the five Mississippi Blues Trail Markers, the Delta Music Museum, the Rhythm Night Club Memorial Museum or the African American History Museum. You can still hear live music in many venues throughout town and during festivals.