MPB tour takes Molly and the rest to Mississippi where Ned uses this
stop to teach Jack, Fi and Carey about the history of Mississippi and
the blues. While in
Mississippi they are staying at a local inn, The Clarks Dale Manner.
When they arrive, they are welcomed by Ms. Alice Foster who
runs the local inn. She
gives them a tour of the suite, and explains that if they need
anything that all, all they have to do is dial 29,or they can nock on
the door that says Foster on the third floor where her and her son
live. Fi asks Ms. Foster
if she owns the place, and Ms. Foster explains that she just works at
the manner. Ms. Foster,
helping them move their luggage in, tells Fi that it was a thrill to
meet her mother and asks if the guitar that she's carrying is her
mother's. Carey reveals
to her that it's his guitar, and Ms. Foster explains that her
grandfather used to play or so she has heard.
Later, Ned and Jack are unpacking the groceries. Jack asks Ned how grocery shopping fits into history class. Ned explains that “This is Mississippi. You can't separate the history of the south from the history of southern cooking.” Ned pulls several items out of the grocery bag: Crawfish, Cornpone, Okra, Mock Cooter. Fi jokes to Ned that it sounds like the history of indigestion. Ned then asks if anyone wonders about how hush puppies got their name. Jack then questions to Ned that “they aren't made from actual dogs, are they?” Ned explains that the cooks on the plantations used to toss them to the dogs to make them be quiet, hence the name, HUSH puppies. In the background Carey is playing a tune on his guitar and then Ned points out that another piece of Mississippi is the blues. Jack questions to Ned if the club that Molly is playing in used to be a blues club. Ned explains to Jack that The Yale, was one of the first blues clubs where many famous blues musicians played (i.e.: Son House, Natty Bookman, Robert Johnson.) As Ned is going over a list of great blues musicians which at one time played at The Yale, he then remembers something he forgot to buy, Succotash. Ned asks Fi to start the Corn Pone while he goes back to the store to get Succotash. As Fi is searching through the bags to find the Corn Pone, she hears Carey playing something and asks what he's doing. Carey explains that he is getting an open tuning so he can “play some slide.” Carey then proceeds to play a very mesmerizing blues tune. Fi tells him that what he is playing “totally rocks.” She asks him if he just made that up. Carey replies that he thinks he did, but he seems a little confused as to where it came from. He then plays another riff of the tune that is invading his mind.
The Yale, the blues club, Molly
is outside gazing at the place in awe of it's rich history.
Irene steps out of the club and tells Molly that Ms. Clemons
wants to meet her. While
inside, Irene introduces Molly to Ms. Clemons.
Molly informs Ms. Clemens what an honor it is to be playing in
her club and that she
only hopes she can only live up to its history.
Ms. Clemens then comments to her that the “history doesn't
sell tickets” and that the club is a “pop venue” now which is
why she booked her. She
proceeds to explain that the blues had its time, but that time is long
past. While Ms. Clemens
is having Irene sign some papers, Molly asks to look around the place.
While Molly is looking around the club, suddenly she gets a
melody in her head which she starts to sing. This is the same melody
which Carey was playing at the manor. The words seem to just flow out
of her mouth, and Molly thinking she is being inspired by the history
of the club, writes down the words and melody that is coming to her.
Molly begins to sing: “Eleanor come and wipe my brown.
Only you can sooth my fevered brow.
Your tender touch is all that comforts me, now.”
Irene then goes to tell Molly that everything is set.
As she walks over by Molly Irene hears the tune Molly is
singing and inquires about her “sudden burst of inspiration.”
Molly reveals that it's not like her usual stuff at all and it
must be the club inspiring her. Irene
asks Molly what the song is about.
Not sure Molly explains to her that it seems to be about a man
singing to a woman. Then
this man starts talking about a devil.
Irene asks Molly if she has a melody for it.
Molly then continues to sing the rest of the song: “Eleanor
the devil is near to my door. Soon
he will be coming through that door.
And when he's gone I fear I'll be no more.”
Ms. Clemens walks into the club area seemingly upset and asks
Molly what she is doing. Molly
tires to explain to her that it's a song that just came to her.
Ms. Clemens then makes it perfectly clear to Molly that “We
do not play the blues in this club anymore” and asks them to leave
so she can close the club early.
that evening, just as everyone is finishing their meal.
Irene comments how wonderful the dish was even though she
doesn't know what it was that they had.
Carey complains that the okra was too slimy.
Irene then voices that the “first one to complain has to do
the dishes” and pulls Carey off the couch to do the dishes.
Everyone else gets up to help with the dishes when Ned lays on
the couch to relax. He
takes out his harmonica and starts to play that memorizing tune that
Carey and Molly had been compelled to sing earlier.
Carey and Molly turn around speechless to hear Ned playing the
same tune that each thought they had made up.
Carey then tells Ned that it was the song which he was playing
earlier. He asks him
where he heard it. Ned
tells him that he didn't hear it anywhere, but Carey insists that they
must have heard it somewhere and picks up his guitar and starts to
play with him. Molly is
then compelled to sing the song with
the others. Molly begins to sing “Eleanor that devil tried to steal
you away. He tired in
vain to take your heart away. But
his gold and silver will you not make you betray. Eleanor
remember what I say, don't forget these last words that I said.
He can't have you so he aimed to have my soul instead.”
Fi is watching them as they “Jam” and thinks it's a bit
weird that they had the same tune in their head at the same time.
|| Turn Page ||