Mr. Gip Tries to Keep the Blues and his Juke Joint Alive


“I worked at the cemetery this morning cutting gas and cleaning up headstones at Pine Hill Cemetery. I found some people’s graves. I have had that cemetery about 20-25 years.I am retired, but I like to be busy. I hurt my hand today cutting grass. It is swelling, I hope I can still play tonight. I play before the band starts.

“This isn’t a club, it is a juke joint. It started after traveling to Mississippi, New Orleans, Chicago and Detroit. We didn’t have a place for the blues here and I am trying to keep the blues and this juke joint alive. Sometimes we have about 200 people on a Saturday night. People from across the country will be here tonight. People show up on nights we don’t have music just to stop in and have a beer and see the place. Sometimes I just sit out here and play. I like going to Red’s Place and Po’ Monkey’s in Clarksdale and met a lot of people there. There were a lot of people I knew in the Mississippi Delta. I played with T-Model Ford in Jackson, Mississippi a couple of times and he has played here. I played with BB King when he came to Birmingham. I played songs with BB for a long time. I knew him for over 60 years. So many blues men have passed on but I try to play their songs, Robert Johnson and Muddy Waters.”

“The blues is a feeling. When people play the blues it brings them from the back to the front. It was started by black people and people liked it because it was a life story being told about people. I grew up in Uniontown and my story is a life on the mend. I think God led me to it. I want to bring people together and we all walk the road home safely. Wherever there is good, evil will be present but good will overcome evil. God said it would. I know the end times are coming soon.”
(Gip Gipson, the 97-year-old bluesman has Gip’s Place in Birmingham)





1 Response

  1. Thank you for sharing. I was having my morning coffee and listening to a little Howlin Wolf when I read this. Always an inspiration to hear about people who are trying to keep the blues alive!

Leave a Reply