Elvis might seem a little incongruous with some of the other personae featured in my blues haibun collection, but I think he's important to any story about Mississippi music. I've always been intrigued by the early tours of Elvis with Scotty Moore, especially some of his ventures into my native Texas. The band would play an oil patch camp in East Texas or play a high school gym or American Legion Hall. Once they played Fort Worth in the afternoon and scooted over to Dallas to play that same evening. On the Fourth of July in 1955, they played Stephenville at 10:00 a.m., DeLeon in the afternoon, and Brownwood in the evening. That's a hard-working band. Given the opulence and superstardom often associated with Elvis, I think it's important to remember these very humble beginnings. Envisioning these early performances, especially in light of what Elvis would become, seemed poetically rife. I repurposed this piece, originally set in Breckenridge, Texas, to take place after a 1955 Clarksdale, Mississippi, performance. It is told from the point of view of a nameless driver taking the King back to his rented room after the show.
"Three Forks Store" tells the story of a late night escape from a hotel room to the alleged site of the juke joint where Robert Johnson was poisoned. There is nothing there for the speaker but a few artifacts and ghosts.