I went to Blue Canoe in Tupelo last night for Alvin Youngblood Hart and Muscle Theory, and the title of this post was a comment made by a patron at the show. “Tupelo has needed a venue like this for a long time.” I agree.
First, I want to say if you weren’t there, you missed a HELL OF A SHOW! Alvin didn’t disappoint, and the rhythm section was right there with him the whole night. Thank you, Adam and Meredith, for bringing Alvin and ALL of the acts you’ve brought to Tupelo.
Bars/Nightclubs like Blue Canoe are getting harder to find. In this age of DJ’s and dance clubs, finding a place to enjoy local cuisine and ORIGINAL live music (both local and regional acts) is akin to finding Jimmy Hoffa’s body. If you don’t fit in the same mold as every other band on the radio (bleck!), the chances of booking anything other than your local Open Mic Night greatly decrease. College towns tend to be a little more enlightened and you can find a variety of music to enjoy, but in a town of less than 50,000 people, Cable and Internet Radio is about the only way to find new music, and even then, it’s heavily filtered.
Just this year, I’ve enjoyed the music of George McConnell, Lightnin’ Malcolm, Gary Clark, Jr., Alvin, and a host of other musicians that I wouldn’t have been able to enjoy before Blue Canoe. The music fans in the area have started taking matters into their own hands and are creating venues for original music, which makes me (and a lot of other, I’m sure) very happy.
Now, I don’t mean this as a slight to any of the other bars/clubs in the Tupelo-area. I patronize most all of the clubs in Tupelo, as they all have something of value to add to the local scene. Romie’s (both sites), Stables, Woody’s, The Spot, and Nautical Whimsey Bistro all have great menus and live music, most of which is local. Each has its own list of regulars you’ll find sitting there every day. All are open and accepting of original music, but none push for it quite like Blue Canoe. Thank you all for giving us “music fans” a place to sit back and enjoy good food and great music.