Special to The Star
The Meridian Star
Mississippi Public Broadcasting (MPB) highlights some of the most well-known names in the Mississippi music scene in this week’s episode of “Mississippi Roads.”
The program features interviews with Meridian native Pat Sansone of the band Wilco and his father Tony Sansone. The show also showcases Morgan Freeman and Robert Plant at the Sunflower River Blues & Gospel Festival. “Mississippi Roads” airs tonight at 7 p.m. on MPB TV.
"Known as the birthplace of American music, Mississippi's musical roots run deep. MPB constantly strives to bring to our audience all the great music that originated in or has ties to Mississippi,” says Key Ivy, executive producer of “Mississippi Roads.” “Our musical heritage covers multiple genres and styles and it is something we should take great pride in sharing with the world."
The show profiles musician Pat Sansone of the internationally acclaimed indie band, Wilco. Sansone and his father Tony Sansone share stories of the musical influences in Meridian that inspired him on his path to stardom.
“I think of Meridian’s Temple Theatre as a sacred place for me because that is the place where my dad put on shows in the 1970s,” said Pat Sansone. “I love to perform. The feeling that you get in that conversation between yourself, the audience and the band can be a thrilling feeling.”
“I’m about as proud as a dad could be of a son that has done real well and is a nice person,” said Tony Sansone, well- known music promoter in Meridian. “Patrick is a nice person who happens to be a great musician.”
Exclusive to “Roads” is Pat Sansone’s performance of the acoustic version of “Hot Burrito #1” by Meridian’s Chris Ethridge.
Led Zeppelin’s front man, Robert Plant, came to perform at the 2012 Sunflower River Blues & Gospel Festival. The festival is a three-day music fest attracting people from all over the world to Clarksdale.
“Clarksdale is a condition I’ve had since I was a child,” said Plant. “I was 13 when I heard Sonny Boy Rice Miller play. I loved how he played. The music is so evocative, infectious and alluring.”
“This is where American music gets its base,” said actor Morgan Freeman. “All of American music can be traced to the Blues and Gospel — right here in the Mississippi Delta.”
Host Walt Grayson and the “Roads” crew also visit Clarksdale’s Riverside Hotel, where Blues legends such as Muddy Waters, Sonny Boy Williamson II, Robert Nighthawk and Sam Cooke once resided. The hotel is the fourth marker on the Mississippi Blues Trail.
“I’m just a caretaker,” said Frank “Rat” Ratliff, owner of Riverside Hotel. “The people that come here, they are the owners. You stay here — you just bought stock in Riverside.”
Find out more about what's around the bend this season with Mississippi Roads at www.mpbonline.org/mississippiroads.