Sunday, July 7, 2013
Waterfront Blues Festival, July 5, 2013
It's Friday, July 5, and I'm sitting in front of the Front Porch Stage--on July 4th, the home of all-things-local-blues-wise and the Journey to Memphis' International Blues Challenge next January and on July 5th the makes-your-body-move sounds of zydeco, actually the best of the three stages if you ask me 'cause you can get so close to the music and there is a huge, well-laid, dance floor beneath gauzy, shade-making cloth stretched from here to there. I'm taking zoom-lens-photos of strangers taking a zydeco dance lesson on the well-laid dance floor when a known face dances into my camera's viewfinder from the left, but a profile I know and love. Malcolm White!
That first second, though, I don't recognize Malcolm. It wasn't until this second photo that my synapses clicked properly and hollered at me, "It's Malcolm," sort of like Cat Deeley does on "So You Think You Can Dance"!
The two of them glided across the dance floor, right in step with the music!
Turning his partner, Malcolm dances out of the frame--too many other zydeco-lovin' folks between the two of us.
The music stopped. How many times have we who know, love, and appreciate Malcolm seen him animated like this?
For me, this photo is the best metaphor for Malcolm White that I could have ever hoped to shoot. Pointing upward toward a vision he wants us all to share, that's Malcolm, currently chairman of the Mississippi Blues Commission and the head of Tourism for the Mississippi Development Authority. Right after I took this photo, I waved madly at Malcolm who grinned and waved back. Bliss. A kind couple agreed to watch my seat on the metal bench and I quickly walked over to say, "Hello! Come on over and join me when you're done dancin'!" Malcolm's reply, "It will be hard to sit down with this music!" No surprise there.
He introduced me to Bev and I bade them good-bye. Later on Malcolm and Brandi Katherine Herrera, whom I had texted with my discovery of Malcolm on the dance floor, joined me and we rocked it out to Chubby Carrier and the Bayou Swamp Band until we were completely out of gas. I could still hear them tearing it up as I waited a couple of blocks away for my first bus on the homeward commute. Last Waterfront Blues Festival sight of the night, looking from the eastbound bus window down on the Front Porch Stage, just north of the Hawthorne Bridge.