Real is hard to find

po' monkeys jukeIn today’s increasingly homogenized world finding what’s real is becoming more difficult. The effort to make one McDonald’s look just like any other McDonald’s is rampant throughout our culture.

In the world of blues both the people and the players have abandoned the simple, crude, and unique juke joints of yesterday in favor of trendy night clubs, cruise ships, and casinos. But, there’s still a few jukes that have refused to die and thus become renowned meccas for the world’s blues fans. One is Red’s Lounge in Clarksdale, MS. Another, but lesser known, is Po’ Monkey’s in Marigold, MS.

Po’ Monkey’s is literally nothing more than a shack made from found materials sitting in the middle of nowhere. Like Red’s it’s only open a few nights a week but people come from around the world to get a taste of what Delta life was like when the blues were born. I’ve been to Red’s but have yet to make the trip to Po’ Monkey’s. Given the high death rate of jukes  I should probably make it quick.

ADDENDUM: Interested in the remaining juke joints? Here’s an article from the New York Times that might hold your attention. Also, I have a friend who is a blues fanatic and professional videographer. He just attended this year’s Juke Joint Festival in Clarksdale, MS and posted a ton of photos on Facebook. I was going to go this year but let lazy get in the way. Now I hate myself!

NOTE: I’m publishing this on my birthday and a few days ago my wife asked me what I wanted to do for my birthday. Maybe I should’ve said a trip to Po’ Monkey’s.

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