Christmas is here! Seeing the beautiful houses and downtown businesses in the city adorned with lights and hearing the "Merry Christmas, Jackson" compilation CD made by local bands has put me in a festive mood.
Jackson had a great turnout of musicians for Hal & Mal's Salvation Army Toy Drive, Esperanza Plantation's Showcase at the Capri, the canned-food drive hosted by The Bailey Brothers at Fenian's, DREAMZ Jxn's "Concert For a Cause" and the other charitable concerts this season.
If you pick up the JFP early enough on Wednesday, take a much-needed break from the holiday chaos by checking out my good friend and musician Anna Kline singing at F. Jones Corner's blues lunch. Also, Martin's hosts Christmas rapping with DJ brikAbrak & Friends Hip-Hop Show at 10 p.m.
On Thursday, all you ladies out there should head down to Ole Tavern for Ladies' Night with DJ Stache. Also Thursday, Blind Dog Otis is at Underground 119 and Dead Irish Blues plays at Fenian's. Go track Santa on Christmas Eve (anyone else remember when Woody Assaf did that on WLBT?) while partying with the cool kids at ToMara's (formerly The Warehouse on Highway 18) who'll be tush-pushing, two-stepping and riding the mechanical bull at Pop's Saloon.
Christmas Day is a day to spend time with your family, but don't forget your friends. When you're looking for some holiday rehab, F. Jones Corner has it starting at 10 p.m. The Jackson Convention Center hosts the Holiday Blues and Soul Festival, featuring The Manhattans, Mel Waiters, Bobby Rush, Willie Clayton, plus many others. Go to http://www.jacksonconventioncomplex.com for more details.
Suite 106, the "urban hang suite," is hosting an after-Christmas dinner party Saturday night, starting at 10 p.m. Not only is admission free all night, so is wine and the gifts the guys will be giving out all night (until 11 p.m., that is). Martin's hosts its annual Christmas show Saturday with Mr. Kid, The Brothers Fox and Dent May.
Continue catching up with friends and family on Sunday while enjoying Knight Bruce for brunch at Sophia's in the Fairview Inn. Burgers and Blues hosts Fulkerson and Pace from 4-8 p.m.
Monday, Dec. 27, shake off any Christmas blues with the Central Mississippi Blues Society Jam from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. at Hal & Mal's. Also starting at 8 p.m., Hunter Gibson with Rick Moreira will play all your favorite dance tunes—a great way to burn off all those sweets you gorged on—at Fitzgerald's.
Tuesday has open-mic night at Fenian's, Time Out and at Ole Tavern—take your pick. The Xtremez break it on down at Shucker's, and McB's has karaoke.
I'm so looking forward to hearing The North Mississippi All-Stars at Hal & Mal's, Thursday, Dec. 30. I'll be the tall blonde, front-row center, shaking what my mama gave me.
If you haven't made plans for New Year's Eve, yet, come hear Clinton Kirby and me acoustically accost you at our Soulshine/Township's unplugged show. We would love to see you, but never fear, the city is ready to welcome 2011. Poets II hosts Diesel 255; Martin's New Year's Eve Bash with Spacewolf; Reed Pierce's has the Tommy Akers Band; Ole Tavern hosts The Peoples; Georgia Blue has Richard Davis, Shaun Patterson and Kenny Davis; ToMara's gets down and country with The Colonels; Burgers and Blues has The Lucky Blues Band and the Mark Whittington Duo; and Fenian's throws down with my musical mentor, Chris Derrick & Blind Dog Otis. Please check with these fine establishments on cover charges and times of shows.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you, Jackson! I hope your holidays are awesome and 2011 rocks your world!