Archive for May, 2012

The only problem with stories like this is that they make me hungry.


People in Alabama love to gather and, when they do, it’s usually around football or religion and it is always fortified with plenty of food and drink. What would happen, the organizers of a recent event called the Alabama All-Star Food Festival wondered, if you gathered people just for the eating and drinking — and elevated the discussion of local food in the region while you were at it?

Yes, there was pulled pork and white bread drowning in sauce, but the convention center where the recent All-Star Food Festival was held on account of rain was also full of Gulf shrimp and grits, local gumbo, crab cakes, and of course cold cans from Good People and Back Forty, two of the state’s three microbreweries. The building filled up with farmers, chefs, and food pioneers celebrating a new wave of Alabama food, and wafting over the sterile convention center…

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So says Gregg Allman, so it must be true. 

The Huntsville Times compiled a list of nine Southland venues “every music lover” should visit.  I’ve been to four, and walked or driven past a couple of others, so maybe I’m just a music liker.

The article begins with Allman’s assertion (for the 1995 The History of Rock ‘N Roll documentary) that rock was born and raised in the South, so labeling some rock as ‘Southern’ is redundant.  The writer points out that St. Louis-born Chuck Berry might take exception to that, but especially with the University of Missouri in the SEC now, is St. Louis really all that un-Southern?

And since we’re not just talking about rock, why not mention that jazz, blues, and country all come from the South, as well?

This music is the fruit of the South’s long history of widespread oppression, exploitative economies, enthusiastic religion, and social repression.  You’re welcome, America.

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Not all of us who holler, hate.
Not everyone who drawls or twangs
Speaks hatefully, nor everyone
Who prays in stiff-backed pews demands

That God incline to those like us.
Not all of us who ache for fall,
For fishing and football think in thick
And arid ruts.  Not all of us.

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