Funny the slogan for the town of Bluffton is “a state of mind”…your guess is as good as mine as to what it really means – but they now have me, Leslie and Blues411 as full time residents. My figuring is that it sorta fits with the Blues411 lifestyle “a state of mind” seems to be what we are all about.
We are not tied into any specific national/international region, or sub-genre of blues: we are where the music takes us from Florida and the Bradenton Festival, to Norwich and the Chenango Festival, to a fantastic Blue Mountain PA Blues Fest then across the country to the Earl Thomas Raise The Roof Cavalcade of Stars, we really are about the music and where it is at any particular space in time.
But is also pertinent to my lifestyle over the years. Having lived in many places (was just going over the list with my oldest brother – who has moved or lived in exactly 2 places) each has offered what was needed for me at that time. Living in NYC I grew and was exposed to all the whole ‘yin and yang’ of life. I choose from both sides enthusiastically. The wilds of the suburban lifestyle served my career as a graphic designer until the eventual health issues from burn out sent me to culinary school, where I acquired the moniker ‘chefjimi’. This path took me to Western NY and as a small business operator I developed my sense of branding and culinary skills.
Then about 8-10 years ago when a chance vacation trip to South Carolina exposed me to XM radio (pre-merger) and the thriving world of Blues music. Well, y’all know pretty much the rest of that story up to the last month or so. Let me drop the other shoe on what has been happening of late.
Loving Coastal Carolina (the Low Country, as it is called in these here parts) it seemed it would be a great place to set up permanent residence at some point. Little did we know that the future was coming full speed ahead. As I grew Blues411, my wife Leslie worked in the corporate world for the worlds largest wine & spirits company. Her job was endless working with both coasts as well as Europe, China and Australia/New Zealand…yeh what time zone was that 2:00pm meeting in ??? Yet as is the way with corporate life there comes a day when the rug or plug gets pulled – and that situ seemed to be becoming more of a probability than possibility.
This takes us to about 10 weeks or so ago. Those tea leaves had been stirred and it was coming up leaving time. So we talked it out and sought an exit strategy for the life we had been leading, and open a new chapter for the one we wanted to lead. That’s when the dome of silence came down (think ‘Get Smart’ with agents 86 and 99) and we began putting a package together that would get us to where we wanted to be now and for the future.
May 1st, Leslie submitted her retirement intentions and over the course of the month things got worked out and settled. May 20th, the moving truck (and I mean truck) showed up and on Saturday May 25th, it got here to our home. Oh yeh there are still plenty of boxes despite the great snaps I put up on Facebook, and Leslie is still in Rochester coordinating the transition and all that corporate jibber jabber stuff.
Why Bluffton, SC. Big thing is NO SNOW! Yeh enuf of all that shoveling, icy roads, freezing stay in the house weather…gimme sun, surf, lanai’s and one floor living (yeh I am old and the knees ain’t what they used to be). But with the heat the knees are doing better and I have already lost ten pounds of seemingly permanent winter weight. Plus playing tennis three to four times a week helps too.
So what’s on tap for us and Blues411?
Well being this far South opens up a plethora of new venues and events that we can take part of and bring to light for our readers. We are 2 hours from Charleston, where there is a good music base. Savannah is about 30 minutes from us, and Jacksonville is a short 3 hours —- but think about it, Atlanta is a one day drive, Memphis & Nashville are a long one day or two day trip. Mississippi Virginia and the area is all within striking distance. Many new worlds to be seen, many new friends to make and all for the picking.
Also looking forward to hitting the streets and getting some live blues music down these parts. Looking for clubs, festivals, and might even start a blues society. we will not be idle-trust us.
Funny, as I have been writing this, Bluesville has been playing just the right songs, from Danny Brooks ‘Miracles for Breakfast’, Buddy Guy ‘Damn Right I Got The Blues’ and so on. A sure sign that we are on the right road and right turn, the right place and right time.
Thank you all for the support and understanding you know where to find me, don’t be shy. Special thanks to Bluesville for keeping the Blues thriving and Betsie Brown of Blind Raccoon and Mark Pucci of Mark Pucci Media for getting me the very first new deliveries of great music to help with the packing. Two pleasant surprises to mention one from Lisa Grissom of Tall City Blues fest for the new edition of ‘West Texas Blues’ magazine, and the other from Vicki Markusic for a very cool CD. These things have made me feel at home and comfortable. And as the song that’s playing now says “I’m a rockin’ mother foyer I ain’t gonna tell ya no lie”.
Tonight (Monday) you can catch up with me on Vinny Marini’s Music On the Couch show with Brad Vickers, Shakura S’Aida and the Blues Women International recording group. http://www.blogtalkradio.com/musiconthecouch/2013/06/04/brad-vickers-shakura-saida-wib-international-and-blues411 .
Love, Peace & Chicken Grease
Where Blues Thrives
Photos: Leslie K. Joseph, ‘Lobstah Feast’ by Jen Taylor