On June 8, 12-year-old Brady Geilenfeldt and Grandpa Craig Peterson set out from Baxter on an adventure that would eventually lead them to Clarksdale, Miss.
Brady had been awarded scholarships from the Pine Top Perkins Foundation and the Blues Foundation Generation Blues Program to attend the Guitar Masters Workshop. The workshop was at Hopson Plantation, boyhood home of Pine Top Perkins.
En route, they visited the St. Louis Arch, the St. Louis City Museum and took a boat ride on the Mississippi River. In Memphis, Tenn., they toured the Gibson Guitar Manufacturing Plant, Sun Studios, Beale Street and Graceland.
The guitar workshop was June 12-15. Brady, along with 13 others from all over the United States, took guitar instruction from Bob Margolin, who played with Pine Top Perkins in Muddy Water’s band. During the day, the students learned and practiced and at night, they jammed together. Other students attending the workshop took instruction in harmonica and keyboard.
The students attended a reception at the Delta Blues Museum in Clarksdale, where Brady met blues musician Watermelon Slim. The grand finale of the workshop took place at Ground Zero Blues Club where the students performed. Brady appeared on stage three times during this evening show.
“I thought the workshop was really fun and I learned a lot,” Brady said. “Everyone was so friendly. I learned how to do a little solo for the first time and got to use a slide. I was really nervous at first, but Bob and Austin helped me get through that by teaching me things I really never knew before. Ground Zero was so fun; my guitar pick is battered and beat up now. Everybody had a blast.”