Tupelo music hall speed dating

  "I played a Fender Esquire for a little while, when I was in the Navy.

But when I started playing standing up, it wasn't comfortable - which is why I switched to Gibson. Today, my instrument of choice is a Chet Atkins Country Gentleman model. I made it feel good -- like an old pair of house shoes, or like cuddlin' a girl up in the cradle of your arm" - Ponderosa Stomp performer Scotty Moore   This May, the New Orleans, Louisiana-based music festival the Ponderosa Stomp - on the road since hurricanes Katrina and Rita devastated the Crescent City and the Gulf Coast - is setting its sights on Memphis, Tennessee.

By sixteen, Pitts was playing with the Isley Brothers, then, a few years later, he joined Wilson Pickett's Midnight Movers.

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After a few singles on Atlanta's Peachtree Records and a stint in Bobby Blue Bland's band, Jones retired, only to resurface in the late '90s to reclaim his crown with new albums on the Black Magic and Northern Blues labels.

  Harmolodic guitar master James Blood Ulmer- - who plays a Gibson Byrdland model - started out with gospel and doo-wop, backing groups like the Del-Vikings and the Swing Kings.

The author of Guitars, Bars and Motown Superstars, Coffey appeared in the critically acclaimed documentary Standing in the Shadows of Motown.

With his quartet, he performs regularly at the world-renowned Detroit jazz club, Baker's Keyboard Lounge.

  Nashville-based R&B king Johnny Jones has parlayed his skills on the Gibson ES-335 into a life-long career as a studio musician and first-rate performer.

As the founder of the Imperial Seven, Jones crossed paths with a young Jimi Hendrix - then playing alongside future Band of Gypsies bassist Billy Cox in the King Casuals - who often showed up at gigs at the New Era Club to sit in and glean tips from the master.

After years of riding his funk-punk-jazz-melt-in-your-mind synthesis, Ulmer started laying down the blues, recording two phenomenal albums, Memphis Blood: The Sun Sessions and Birthright.

  The best guitar slinger South Louisiana has to offer, Lil Buck Sinegal - whose weapon of choice is a Gibson ES-335 - honed his chops as an Excello session man and Clifton Chenier's longtime guitarist.

By the mid-1960s, Jones was playing alongside Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown on Hoss Allen's mind-blowing TV dance show "The!!!!

Beat"; soon after, he joined the King Casuals, who were signed by Brunswick Records in '68 and released a trio of singles, "It's Gonna Be Good," "Soul Poppin'" and a soulful rendition of "Purple Haze" that rocked the blues world.

Factor in the series of recordings he cut at Roland Jane's Sonic Studios from 1963-67, which yielded such brilliant instrumental singles as "Scratchy," "Firefly," "Tech-nically Speaking," "Night Train," "Hideaway," and "Hallelujah I Love Her So," and you'll wonder why Wammack isn't a household name.

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