What do you do when a new friend from Spain wants to experience some real North Florida downhome culture?
Take her zydeco dancing at Bradfordville Blues Club, that’s what!
A word about Bradfordville Blues Club – it’s been a juke joint forever and was a staple on the Chitlin Circuit, a stop for all the blues and R&B musicians playing every little roadhouse from here to the Mississippi Delta and beyond. It’s not much to look at – a concrete block box situated beneath some impressive patriarch oaks dripping with Spanish moss. It’s adorned with strings of lights, there’s a perpetual bonfire burning outside, you can purchase some damned fine fried catfish if all the dancing works up an appetite, and you’ll meet a cross-section of Tallahassee folks who will become your best friends if you go more than once.
The night we went, we were glad we had made reservations – the joint was packed and jumpin’ as JB worked the squeezebox and the rest of band kept the zydeco rhythms hot and happening.
As usual, it was a visual as well as an aural feast – there was the parade through the club led by rubboard virtuoso Keith McCraw, with ladies hoisting parasols and waving hankies, there was some inspired and wonderful zydeco two-steppin’, and there was a whole lotta photo-snappin’ goin’ on inside and outside the club.
It made me wonder why it had been so long since I had visited the BBC. The folks are so friendly, the music so good, the vibe so perfect – I will be back very soon, to catch some good ol’ gut-bucket blues and some hot contemporary blues and some tail-feather-shakin’ R&B and, yes, some more zydeco.
Y’all come on down – you may walk in a stranger, as Lucia did, but you will leave a fan and friend for life.