I drove ten miles out of town to Taylor, a collection of ramshackle buildings and home to the Taylor Grocery store where I met Ace Atkins and enjoyed some catfish for lunch. Then we sat out on the front porch and had a long chat for the radio show about blues, Mississippi and his career.
A siesta was in order but I was meeting Jimbo Mathus back out at Taylor later that afternoon. His email simply read ‘Talor Gro.’ I assumed that was the same place where I had just had lunch. I arrived just before time and then wondered if he had meant City Grocery, drove back into town and realised that was wrong so headed back to Taylor. Sometimes I confuse myself!
A Ford camper van towing a trailer laden with garden tools and other equipment emerged from the bushes just near the Grocery Store, a hand waved forward as if directing me and I followed. When we headed down a narrow dirt road through some trees I began to wonder if this was Jimbo Mathus or whether I was headed for a different fate.
We came to a large clearing with a lot of shacks at various places and Jimbo emerged from the van to greet me. Phew! Had a great chat. My favourite song is ‘Fucked Up World,’ from his Blue Light EP (on vinyl with a download card). Jimbo is like the essence of Mississippi, as if he emerged from the land fully formed, gold tooth and Southern drawl. He told some great stories.
Back at Square Books that evening I met Scott Baretta, author, broadcaster and one of the people involved in the Blues Trail. We did an interview and then adjourned for dinner at the Ajax. The pork chop was rather tasty with my two favourite vegetables: mac and cheese and red beans & rice.