There is a short detour through some cotton fields but once you see M&G Store, you’ll know that you’ve made it to Holly Ridge, Mississippi. The cemetery is just south along the train tracks in front of the old gin. Don’t mind the dogs, they don’t bite.
I met a man named Jackie over at Club Ebony in Indianola and told him about my visit to Holly Ridge. He gave his knee a big old slap, told me that he was born and raised there and started naming off all of Asie Payton’s children. I traded him a chicken breast for some great stories. I asked him about M&G Store and he said that back when Mary and George were alive, the store was the place to be. Asie and Willie Foster were regulars singing and playing out on the old front porch bench. He said that Model T. Ford would drive over and join them quite often. I learned that Asie “loved to drink that MD 20/20″ and Jackie told me a story about Mary and George’s pet parrot that I probably shouldn’t repeat on the world wide web. One thing that he said to me before I left hit me square in the chest, although I already knew that it was truth. He said “Baby, all that stuff is COLD, COLD, COLD.” Mary and George died years ago, the old store is closed and the bluesmen of Holly Ridge are long gone. So, take a few minutes and listen to the links below and let’s keep these men, these stories, this music… ALIVE.
Willie James Foster
M&G Store and Jackie the storyteller