Saying goodbye is never easy, but it can be more bearable, at least, if old friends are present, good music's playing, and toasts to the future are strong and plentiful. For better and worse — mostly worse — there are ample opportunities this week to say bon voyage to beloved players and enduring musical institutions.
Thursday, March 6th, the Cadillac Cowgirl Nancy Apple celebrates 14 years of hosting Nancy Apple's Pickin' Party at Kudzu's. Dampening the festivities somewhat is the fact that it's also Apple's last Pickin' Party at Kudzu's.
"I haven't had time to find a new venue," says Apple, who will continue to play a regular "honky tonk happy hour" show at Kudzu's starting in April.
When the guitar pulls Apple regularly hosted outgrew her farmhouse living room, she moved them to the outskirts of downtown Memphis, and the open acoustic jam attracted numerous regulars over the years.
"It's mostly original material, and we've all learned how to play with each other," Apple says. "I can pick up an accordion or guitar and sit in with anybody. And they all know my songs too."
Friends and fellow musicians will gather at Otherlands on Sunday, March 9th, to say goodbye to washboard player extraordinaire Black Jack Adcock who passed away last month.
Area music fans who never caught Adcock singing the Josh White novelty "One Meatball" with Professor Elixir's Southern Troubadours missed a special collision of artist and material, and Loverly Records did Memphis music fans a great service by pressing a live recording. Adcock was also a gifted painter, sculptor, and mask maker whose works were often exhibited locally. A lover and builder of exotic musical instruments, Adcock also provided a comic soundtrack for the early days of Memphis' burlesque revival.
Nancy Apple's Last Pickin' Party at Kudzu's, Thursday, March 6th, 8 p.m. • Bon Voyage Black Jack Adcock at Otherlands, Sunday, March 9th, 4-8 p.m.