Rev. Rob Mortimer
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Rev. Rob Mortimer

Greenville, Mississippi, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2003 | SELF | AFM

Greenville, Mississippi, United States | SELF | AFM
Established on Jan, 2003
Band Blues Americana

Calendar

May
24
Rev. Rob Mortimer @ B-Side Memphis

Memphis, TN

Memphis, TN

Jun
22
Rev. Rob Mortimer @ Greenville Arts Council

Greenville, MS

Greenville, MS

Jul
05
Rev. Rob Mortimer @ Walnut Street Blues Club

Greenville, MS

Greenville, MS

Jul
06
Rev. Rob Mortimer @ Walnut Street Blues Club

Greenville, MS

Greenville, MS

Oct
10
Rev. Rob Mortimer @ Mighty Mississippi Music Festival

Greenville, MS

Greenville, MS

Oct
11
Rev. Rob Mortimer @ Mighty Mississippi Music Festival

Greenville, MS

Greenville, MS

Oct
12
Rev. Rob Mortimer @ Mighty Mississippi Music Festival

Greenville, MS

Greenville, MS

Oct
18
Rev. Rob Mortimer @ Walnut Street Blues Club

Greenville, MS

Greenville, MS

Oct
19
Rev. Rob Mortimer @ Walnut Street Blues Club

Greenville, MS

Greenville, MS

Nov
02
Rev. Rob Mortimer @ Belmont University

Nashville, TN

Nashville, TN

May
17
Rev. Rob Mortimer @ Walnut Street Blues Club

Greenville, MS

Greenville, MS

May
04
Rev. Rob Mortimer @ Beale Street Music Festival

TN

TN

Feb
04
Rev. Rob Mortimer @ International Blues Challenge, Memphis, Tenn, USA

TN

TN

Feb
03
Rev. Rob Mortimer @ International Blues Challenge, Memphis, Tenn, USA

TN

TN

Feb
02
Rev. Rob Mortimer @ International Blues Challenge

TN

TN

Feb
01
Rev. Rob Mortimer @ International Blues Challenge

TN

TN

Dec
31
Rev. Rob Mortimer @ The D

Houston, TX

Houston, TX

Dec
23
Rev. Rob Mortimer @ Walnut Street Blues Club

Greenville, MS

Greenville, MS

Dec
16
Rev. Rob Mortimer @ Walnut Street Blues Club

Greenville, MS

Greenville, MS

Nov
23
Rev. Rob Mortimer @ Walnut Street Blues Club

Greenville, MS

Greenville, MS

Oct
25
Rev. Rob Mortimer @ Proud Larry's

Oxford, MS

Oxford, MS

Oct
22
Rev. Rob Mortimer @ Private Show

MS

MS

Oct
15
Rev. Rob Mortimer @ Hot Tamale Festival

MS

MS

Oct
01
Rev. Rob Mortimer @ Mighty Mississippi Music Festival

Greenville, MS

Greenville, MS

Sep
30
Rev. Rob Mortimer @ Mighty Mississippi Music Festival

Greenville, MS

Greenville, MS

Aug
06
Rev. Rob Mortimer @ Walnut Street Blues Club

Greenville, MS

Greenville, MS

Aug
05
Rev. Rob Mortimer @ Walnut Street Blues Club

Greenville, MS

Greenville, MS

Jul
14
Rev. Rob Mortimer @ Tokyo FM

Tōkyō, Japan

Tōkyō, Japan

Jun
25
Rev. Rob Mortimer @ Walnut Street Blues Club

Greenville, MS

Greenville, MS

Jun
24
Rev. Rob Mortimer @ Walnut Street Blues Club

Greenville, MS

Greenville, MS

Apr
13
Rev. Rob Mortimer @ Goode Festival

Jackson, MS

Jackson, MS

Apr
02
Rev. Rob Mortimer @ Greenville Arts Council

Greenville, MS

Greenville, MS

Mar
26
Rev. Rob Mortimer @ Walnut Street Blues Club

Greenville, MS

Greenville, MS

Mar
25
Rev. Rob Mortimer @ Walnut Street Blues Club

Greenville, MS

Greenville, MS

Mar
04
Rev. Rob Mortimer @ Dave's Darkhorse Tavern

Starkville, MS

Starkville, MS

Music

Press


Interview: Good Paper Frontman Talks Music and Paper
Jerry Johnston
Issue date: 10/19/07

Good Paper has become a fixture in Starkville's music scene as of late. Formerly known as Don's Chuck Wagon before changing its name to Moose Pass, the band got its start eight years ago in Greenville, a city most notable for blues-heavy musical heritage.

Mortimer was able to sit down and speak about the band's experiences.

What do you do to prepare for such an energetic show, or is that just the band's personality set to music?

R.M.: Basically, I am a hyper-active person and I love everything about James Brown: his music, dancing, clothes, his cape and just his basic point of view. That being said, in the early days of the band we recorded ourselves playing for a small crowd at Tipitina's in New Orleans. After the show, we watched the show on VHS. We decided that our stage presence was awful.

When be got back to the Delta, I watched "James Brown: Live at the Apollo." Next, we learned the song "Sex Machine" and I tried to act just like James Brown. "Sex Machine" is a song that has to be done at the end of a show, because of the amount of intensity it brings.

A band can get boring to watch if stage presence is not there. I'd rather watch a mediocre band with a gimmick and great stage presence than a phenomenal band that sits or stands in one place. 90 percent of it is looking good.

How can you describe Good Paper's sound and live performance to readers that haven't heard or seen you guys before?

R.M.: We are original pop, rock and soul group, strongly influenced by Delta blues. We were once described in a Colorado newspaper as "Modest Mouse with Ike Turner singing." - STARKVILLE DAILY NEWS


"Good Paper - Good Music"... A jam band plays the...
author: Encore Magazine: (Serving the Cape Fear Coast of North Carolina)
Good Paper encapsulates my need for quality entertainment, with a laid-back atmosphere and music that is sophisticated, pleasant to the ears and a little funky. They weave together elements of jazz, rock and blues that soulfully carries listeners on a junket of funk. Personally, Good Paper reminded me of a mixture of Widespread Panic and Lynyrd Skynyrd, with a little Reel Big Fish flavor that includes up-tempo collaborations and music that will make you want to get up and dance. With typical jam band influences, these guys also include a mixture of covers in their sets, but worry not, they also play an extensive list of original titles you can be certain will entertain that first much-needed show after the New Year. Overall, Good Paper will bring an evening of fine talent and musical enlightenment. Some of the lyrics are a little to simple for my taste, but it doesn't change the fact that the music can only get better live. And I anticipate that most will not be disappointed. Their name alone should be enough to intrigue you. Head to The Whiskey Friday January 7, 2005 to see what the buzz on Good Paper is all about. - Encore Magazine


Bridging the Blues’ Mighty Mississippi Music Festival Announces Lineup

May 01
09:52
2015
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by Warren Hines
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IMGP1571Downtown Greenville, Mississippi was buzzing yesterday evening with the announcement of yet another world class line-up of entertainers for the third annual Mighty Mississippi Music Festival. To quote Ketch Secor of Old Crow Medicine Show, Mighty Mississippi is growing “at the speed of asparagus”. With down home Mississippi Delta Blues and Rock holding down the roots for this year’s line-up, festival ring leaders have once again booked world class acts for the main stage.

The headliner for this year’s Mighty Mississippi Music Festival will be Old Crow Medicine Show. One of the world’s most popular and most loved Bluegrass and Americana bands will be playing with the Mississippi River itself as the backdrop to the stage. As the group continues to forge new hits as recently as this year, the river crowd may wind up the first to hear some fresh hits.

The Band of Heathens will return to the main stage this year, righteously sharing the lime light with OCMS. Back from tours of Europe, America and new solo adventures, the Heathens are currently recording in an old chapel in North Carolina. American folk and rock singing front men, Ed Jurdi and Gordy Quist are expected to rock the crowd with some new goodies this year.

Fans can expect to see Jason Fratesi & the Dirt Road Jam Band to rock the house with another winter of fellowship pickin’, huntin’, and playing in the Delta under their belt. Steve Azar, L.C. Ulmer, The Kudzu Kings, The Cedric Burnside Project, Jimbo Mathis, Rob Mortimer’s Good Paper, Goofy Boots, and Basement Brew will all be entertaining on the main stage this year.

It will be the first year for Goofy Boots to hit the main stage. Old friends and pickers Spike Brown, Jeffery Tonos, Will Coppage and David Morgan will hit the stage with a style of rock and roll that will take you back to the 70’s… until they start to cover Jay Z!

On the Highway 61 Stage, Blues fans will be entertained by Delta Blues legends such as John Horton, Cedric Burnside, Pat Thomas, and Mickey Rodgers. Jimmy Phillips will also bring soulful variety of American folk music to the Blues stage.

The Mighty Mississippi Music Festival at Warfield Point Park outside of Greenville, MS has once again set itself apart from other festivals across America. The festival has grown at leaps and bounds with ambitious leadership over the past several years, and this year is poised to be the best year yet with world class entertainers and home grown Delta rhythms all weekend long. - American Blues Scene


Grave Marker Dedication for Delta Blues Artist James “T-Model Ford” Scheduled

May 12
10:17
2014

by Matt Marshall

The Gravestone of T-Model Ford
The Gravestone of T-Model Ford

The Mt. Zion Memorial Fund, on behalf of Estella Ford and Fat Possum Records, invites blues enthusiasts and the general public to the dedication ceremony for the headstone of James Lewis Carter “T-Model” Ford at Green Lawn Memorial Gardens Cemetery off of Highway 82 West outside of Greenville, the “Queen City” of the Mississippi Delta.

The graveside ceremony will be held at 4:00 on Saturday, May 31, 2014. The reception will be held afterwards at the Walnut Street Blues Bar at 128 South Walnut Street in Greenville. Local food and live music will be provided.

T-Model Ford died at home in Greenville of respiratory failure after a prolonged illness on Tuesday, July 16, 2013. Amos Harvey, formerly of Fat Possum Records, contributed to help cover the costs of the visitation at Redmond Funeral Home on North Broadway Street in Greenville. Friends and admirers of the blues musician held fundraisers at the Walnut Street Blues Bar in Greenville, the North Mississippi Hill Country Picnic in Marshall County, and other locations throughout the state.

The funeral service was held at the Washington County Convention Center on July 27. Musician and songwriter Robert Mortimer, Jr., who co-owned Mortimer Funeral Home and managed Green Lawn Memorial Gardens Cemetery, donated the burial plot and vault for the local blues singer in the newly named “Legends” section of the burial ground. The grave marker was designed by Amos Harvey and engraved by Alan Orlicek. - American Blues Scene


Mighty Mississippi Music Festival Announces Hit Lineup

July 25
13:56
2014
by Warren Hines
Mighty Mississippi Staffers and Friends gather around announcement for a picture from a drone
Mighty Mississippi Staffers and Friends gather around announcement for a picture from a drone (Photo by John Montford Jones, Flat Out Delta)

The Mighty Mississippi was flowing in the evening sunlight as citizens of the Mid-Delta gathered for a celebration of the announcement of the main stage lineup for the Mighty Mississippi Music Festival, slated for October 3rd – 5th. Fans were thrilled to see Gov’t Mule, Dr. John, The Band of Heathens, Alvin Youngblood Hart and countless famous Delta bands and blues musicians on the list for the weekend-long, camp -out festival at Warfield Point Park which could be described as the “Golden Buckle on the Bridging the Blues Experience”.

The citizens of Washington County were all in high spirits to welcome a man who knows Delta blues and has been a pioneer in southern rock, Mr. Warren Haynes, to play on the banks of it’s sacred waters. Haynes’ soulful work with Gov’t Mule, and his solo work have inspired countless fans, as well as being the driving force of The Allman Brothers’ Band for years.

Dr. John will bring his own variety of funky, New-Orleans style jazz-rock to the riverside festival. Fans of jam music are in for a treat watching this music legend all with the Mississippi River flowing in the background.

Alvin Youngblood Hart is slated to play the main stage. A celebrated blues player in his own right, there were whispers at the Warfield Point get together about the magic that happens when he and Warren Haynes jam out together on the stage.

The Band of Heathens, a favorite song-writing, cosmic Texas rock band who make you want to boogie and also make the hair on your arm stand up, will be playing the main stage as well. Founders Gordy Quist and Ed Jurdi each have a unique sound, and when they come together with their band, the blend has a classic sound somewhere between The Band and The Subdudes.

Of course, the Mighty Mississippi would not be the same without it’s Delta natives. Mr. Steve Azar, a ring leader of the music festival, will be playing the main stage along with Jason Fratesi & the Dirt Road Jam Band, which is filled with river-rat characters. Shannon McNally, Jimbo Mathus and my old friend, The Reverend Rob Mortimer will be hitting the main stage with his band Good Paper.

Fans will also welcome the return of Cedric Burnside, who is slated to play on the Highway 61 stage and the main stage. Growing up in a family of blues legacy, Cedric keeps the Delta sound alive and well. Lightnin’ Malcolm, who was once a two-man wrecking crew with Cedric, will also be on the Highway 61 stage. John Horton will be playing old Howlin’ Wolf and other boogie-down favorites like “Mustang Sally”, and Jimmy Phillips singing Delta classics about fried chicken and life on the farm.

After Steve Azar thanked the sponsors, he gave the floor to Mr. Billy Johnson who showed us the painting that will be the artwork for the Highway 61 Stage t-shirts, which was a blues man playing a guitar in a canoe! He talked about how we were gearing up to bring a lot of tourism to the Mid-Delta with the Bridging the Blues project.

I got a chance to speak with one of the festival ring leaders, Mr. Wesley Smith about his work with the Bridging the Blues project. What a lot of people don’t realize is that acts like B.B. King and Stevie Ray Vaughn used to play at the Mississippi Delta Blues Festival, only a few miles from the riverside campground where the Mighty Mississippi will take place this October. It has since been over shadowed by the fantastic, internationally renowned, King Biscuit Blues Festival which will follow the weekend after the Mighty Mississippi. Along with the Sam Chatmon festival and the ones already named, there are a total of about eight festivals in the Delta around the time of the Mighty Mississippi Music Festival.

The Mighty Mississippi is an invitation to Americans and to blues lovers across the globe to incorporate the Mid-Delta into their pilgrimage to the home of the blues. What Bridging the Blues offers is a guarantee that between Helena, Greenville, and Memphis, you can spend more than two weeks in the Delta and see a blues show every night! The only disappointment you will have is if you can’t make it! - American Blues Scene


And Down the Mississippi Blues Trail We Went…


Article & Photos by Rebecca Long

As a teenager, I swore I’d leave Mississippi one day, move to a “cooler” place—I had almost no pride in my home state because we’ve been so close to last on so many lists. After a few years living in Oklahoma, though, I moved back to the Delta in my early twenties, and my attitude changed almost immediately. The weekend after I got back to my hometown of Greenwood and got settled in, there was a free Blues festival scheduled in Whittington Park. What the heck? I thought. There’s nothing else to do on a Sunday in Greenwood.

The Blues changed my life, beginning that weekend. It was exactly the right time in my life to get introduced to this “old-timey” music from my stompin’ ground. I think people’s tastes in music change over time, and if I’d tried to listen to the Blues before that weekend, I doubt I’d have found it as profound and as important as it really is. I finally began to understand that the Blues is truly American music, and that so many other types of music draw heavily from the Blues. And I was learning that this all started in my home state, right down the road.

IMG_7466On the day of that fateful 2002 festival in Greenwood, I met a handsome hobo Blues musician from Seattle, Bobby “Blues” Rutledge. We began dating soon thereafter, and in the time I spent with him, he showed me things in my Mississippi Delta I didn’t know existed. On one trip to Clarksdale, years before the Mississippi Blues Trail was established, he directed me to drive through Tutwiler to see the spot W.C. Handy was first sitting when, as legend has it, he heard a lone guitarist who struck his heart’s chords so loudly that Handy became known as the “Father of the Blues.” He took me to Dockery Farms; on the way he explained that Charley Patton, “King of the Delta Blues,” had learned to play guitar in this tiny once-plantation-town. Soon thereafter we went to a tribute for Patton in Holly Ridge; the guitarist spent his last year there and is buried beside Willie James Foster and Asie Payton.

Even long after Bobby moved away I was attending Blues festivals and learning what I could about these musicians who invented out of the doldrums and necessity new ways to play the guitar, whose lyrics came from real-world strife (not the invented, first-world troubles so many of today’s “musicians” sing about). If there’s one thing I learned from my friend Bobby about the Blues, that was it: the Blues isn’t happy—a lot of it comes from the musicians actually living through the hardships they sing about. If you listen, the strife creeps through in the dark places of the songs.

Golda McLellan, my road trip buddy - at Cat Head in Clarksdale, Mississippi
Golda McLellan, my road trip buddy – at Cat Head in Clarksdale, Mississippi

I love the Blues. And I love driving down backroads in Mississippi. The Delta is my favorite place to drive, too, so at the beginning of May I planned to go on a road trip visiting Blues Trail markers I hadn’t seen yet. The weather was icky then, so I decided to just take photos of the sites around Greenwood, where I happened to be visiting family. The remainder of the trip finally got re-planned when I found out about the May 31 gravestone dedication ceremony for T-Model Ford in Greenville. Having seen T-Model play more times than I can count, I still get emotional when I think about his death, and I found myself really wanting to attend the ceremony. (Note: I didn’t realize until I started putting this story on the web that the first time I ever saw T-Model play was on that fateful Sunday in Greenwood!) I invited my best friend Golda/Ellie McLellan to accompany me and figured we could go see all the Blues trail markers on my list before the 4 pm dedication ceremony.

Hardly anything about the trip went as planned and we got fairly soggy with rain, but we still had an enjoyable time. At T-Model’s ceremony I had an epiphany about the Greenwood sites I had visited a month prior, and while my comrade and I learned about the Blues, we learned even more about the state of our home state.

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First of all, the number of markers is remarkable—at last count there are 165 markers scattered across the state, and 11 more out of state. (You can visit www.msbluestrail.org for a list of markers and info about each one.) When I was deciding what route I would take to get from Oxford to Greenville, I became really thankful for Google Maps. It displayed that I basically had three routes from which to choose; it estimated that each route would take almost exactly the same amount of time, so it wasn’t an easy decision. The first of the three would have taken me through Greenwood (where I’d already been). The second route would have had us heading West on Highway 6 through Marks and then South on Highway 49, passing through towns with markers like Tutwiler and Ruleville, and hitting Highway 82 in Indianola to see all the B.B. King markers. But I chose the third route, with the markers I most wanted to see: we headed West on Highway 6 through Clarksdale, and then South on Highway 61 until we finally hit Highway 82 in Leland.

My advice is to have an entire day for this trip—it’s easy to misjudge how long your adventure will take, and it’s a lot less fun if you’re rushed. A great idea Nature Humphries had was to drive down to the Delta on one highway and return on another, to maximize the number of markers you might see. And take some music —the radio stations in the Delta are fairly awful (though we heard perhaps the most amusing religious ad ever, since my CD player is broken).

On our way to Greenville, there was little of interest until we got closer to Clarksdale. I had decided to see if The Dutch Oven in Clarksdale was open; we were famished and this Mennonite-run restaurant has amazing food. A lesson you can learn from our trip is: The Dutch Oven is closed on Saturdays and Sundays. But if you do get to eat there, I recommend the Reuben, and you shouldn’t skip the pie!

Cat Head Delta Blues & Folk Art in Clarksdale, Mississippi - I call it "home base" for Blues fansI hadn’t planned to stop in Clarksdale at all until my hunger got the best of me—exploring all the Blues history in that one town can take all day! But I figured as long as we were downtown we would stop in Cat Head Delta Blues & Folk Art, because Ellie had never been. I describe Cat Head (not related to the vodka) as kind of like a “home base” for Blues enthusiasts. Owner Roger Stolle is usually there and it’s always good to see him. This time, however, Preston Rumbaugh was running the shop and telling a group of teenagers all about Charley Patton.

Preston Rumbaugh explaining to four eager young men about the Blues Trail and about Charley Patton - at Cat Head in Clarksdale, MississippiEllie and I browsed for a few minutes and as I listened to Rumbaugh talk I realized these kids would be on the same part of the Blues Trail as us—he was drawing them a map to maybe the most important Blues site of them all, Dockery Plantation. I paid for my bumper stickers and when asked, told Rumbaugh why we were headed to Greenville. We left “home base” and had what should have been a quick lunch across town. When we were done eating, I realized exactly how little time we had before the 4 pm ceremony. We headed straight to Greenville from Clarksdale, not stopping once, and were still fifteen minutes late.

At Greenlawn Memorial Gardens - in Greenville, MississippiWe did arrive late for a ceremony that was fairly short, and moments after the gravestone was unveiled the rain began. One of the awesome things about the Delta is that you can see the weather coming and going from miles away, because the land is so flat. We knew it would start to storm soon, and I needed to visit more trail markers to finish this story, so we opted out of going downtown for the reception and headed back down the Blues Trail. The weather cooperated for the most part—it rained cats and dogs on the way to our first stop but slowed to a drizzle when we got to Leland.

Bluesman James "Son" Thomas' Blues Trail marker next to Highway 61 Blues Museum in Leland, MississippiThe Highway 61 Blues Museum was closed when we arrived but it’s a pretty cool place; the Blues Trail marker for James “Son” Thomas stands in front of it and the Johnny Winter marker is across the street. Around the corner is the “Corner of 10 & 61” marker, with a wall of Blues folk art beside it. The rain stayed calm through our visit to the graveyard in Holly Ridge. I paid my respects to Charley Patton and headed back up 61 towards Clarksdale.

Then the bottom dropped out. The rain made visibility really poor but luckily it let up before we went through Shaw. While headed through town to find the marker we saw a train painted on a building’s outer wall. Not only in Leland and Shaw but in other towns too, notably Clarksdale, the towns embrace Blues tourism with art like this—look for it! As I was driving up to the Blues Trail marker in Shaw for Honeyboy Edwards, I saw a place called “Bear’s” with guitars and music painted on the outside so I snapped a picture. The guy who had been sitting on the porch asked me why I was taking pictures and I told him I once saw Honeyboy play in Clarksdale and that I respected him a lot. He said “Alright” and seemed less affronted, but he guy sure scowled when he first saw me.

IMG_7454Next we visited the marker for “The Peavine” in Boyle. Charley Patton made this railroad branch well-known with his song “Pea Vine Blues,” which is a great tune with lyrics that have always touched me: I cried last night and I ain’t gonna cry no more, cause the good book tells us you got to reap just what you sow. Stop your way of livin’ and you won’t have to cry anymore. Patton has always had my heart as “King of the Delta Blues,” even though I’m from Greenwood and it would make sense for me to be a champion for Robert Johnson since we spent time on the same stompin’ ground. So this turned out to be an unintentionally Patton-centric trip; I only wish I’d had his music playing while we drove around.

Nice paint job on the Dockery Service Station!After we left Boyle, we arrived in Cleveland and veered down Highway 8 so we could go to Dockery Plantation, where Charley Patton spent so much time in his younger years (around 1900). Since I last visited ten years ago the site’s changed a little. I don’t remember the “Dockery Service Station” out by the road having such a shiny paint job, but it looks nice. There’s a guestbook now, protected from the rain, and mounted signs direct visitors to check out www.dockeryfarms.org.

Different view of the sign - what a beautiful spot Dockery is located on!And of course, the Blues Trail marker at Dockery reads “Birthplace of the Blues?” There’s a button installed right behind the trail marker; when depressed it plays Patton’s “Spoonful Blues” and other tunes through speakers all over the farm. It was fun to tromp around Dockery, but after we left there we were soggy and ready to return to Oxford. We made one last stop in Alligator, and I not only learned that Robert Johnson once lived there, but that Robert “Bilbo” Walker called Alligator home at a young age. If you ever get the chance to see Walker, he puts on a heck of a show.

Ellie and I talked about our trip the following day, and we took away similar feelings from our foray into the Delta. She said some poignant things, and one statement that truly resonated is, “I felt like a tourist in my home state.”

"Bear's" in Shaw, MississippiWhat’s important to see when you visit sites on the Blues Trail is the Delta itself. The men from these tiny towns who became well-known because of their music had a lot to sing about poverty and living conditions. And if you take a good look around you’ll see that not much has changed in many of these places. I once edited a sticker that read “I Believe in the Delta” with a new phrase: “I Used To Believe in the Delta,” and I’m ashamed of ever thinking that way. Please realize as you head out of Oxford on your way to the Delta how beautiful and well-maintained things here are, and how much stuff you have access to. When you arrive in the Delta, notice the lack.

I missed Anthony Bourdain’s recent Parts Unknown episode filmed in Mississippi, but I read what he had to say about our state and he was right on target: “It’s a poor state—and investment in infrastructure—whether renovating your home, modernizing your restaurant dining room, redeveloping an abandoned section of town is not much of a priority or even an option much of the time. So it looks much as it did in the movies you’ve seen. That’s both curse and blessing. If you are focused on change? You will likely be frustrated. But if you like the good, old school shit—you will find it in Mississippi.”

"Alligator Blues" trail marker in Alligator, MississippiAt least one Yankee gets it. What about all the other privileged Blues enthusiasts who visit our state, though? Do they think the poverty is just for show? I read a lot of comments recently on a blog of photos taken in Greenwood’s “Baptist Town” which amounted to this: people from the outside have no idea how underprivileged a lot of communities are in the Delta, and they think the residents should just pull themselves out of it through sheer willpower…like there are jobs to be had…like the education system there isn’t completely screwed up. But those are subjects for another article, and I get overly passionate about them.

in Alligator, MississippiI haven’t given up on the Delta, but there isn’t much I can do about most of the residents. But thinking about all this hit me especially hard when I tried to narrow my thinking to a Blues musician I knew: T-Model Ford didn’t live like a rich man. He certainly didn’t have a lot of money towards the end. If it weren’t for the Mt. Zion Memorial Fund—including Euphus “Butch” Ruth (amazing Delta photographer), “Skip” Henderson, and T. DeWayne Moore, plus Ford’s friends Amos Harvey, Alan Orlicek, and Rob Mortimer, where would T-Model’s bones be resting right now? Thank the gods for those guys, and for the Blues Benevolent Committee and Music Maker Relief Foundation who have helped artists like T-Model over the years. Without the generosity of men like these, who knows what would have happened to some of our most beloved musicians? Please keep your eyes open when you go to the Delta and remember what the Blues is all about. - The Local Voice


This undertaker knows the blues.
Rob Mortimer, president of Mortimer Funeral Home, Inc., provided the lead voice for the first place winner of the Mississippi Delta Regional Blues Challenge; winner goes on to complete in the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Tennessee on February 1 - 4, 2017.
Mortimer said he was surprised to by the win.
"It feels great. I didn't expect it. There were a lot of good acts here competing," he said.
The Belzoni native has DYNAMIC stage presence, and his songs are based on personal experiences. He sings about love, religion, politics, catfish, cotton and Delta towns. His lyrics are funny and at the same time insightful. - Enterprise Tocsin


Discography

"Lock It Down Tight"    2019

Photos

Bio

Rob Mortimer is a 2nd generation undertaker in the Mississippi Delta, a reverend, singer-songwriter, and entertainer. Born in the the funeral business, he acquired ownership of the business in 2003; he has also been entertaining the Mid-South region for the past 18 years. Good Paper has gone through some changes since the last studio album "Our Stupid Selves", 2010. Rob Mortimer is the only remaining original member, bearing the name "Good Paper of Rev. Rob Mortimer.

Good Paper was originally a three piece; and is now: Rob Mortimer- vocals, guitar, keys; Jeffrey Tonos- guitar; David Morgan- Bass; Art Edmaiston- sax; and Bob Dowell- trombone; the new band members spent the past couple of  years playing shows around the Mid-South, appearing in the IBC, and playing festivals with other touring regional and national bands. The band is shaking up things with a demanding live show that is described as "James Brown fronting the Beatles", as a fan summed it up. 

After seven years, consisting of all new members, Good Paper enters the studio for the first time in 7 years; he found the songs he had written shared some emotional states and narrative threads of Southern history, death, reassurance, power, love, trust, commitment, and communication between lovers, both real & imagined. These songs culminated in "Lock It Down Tight" a diverse collection of stories and mindsets. "These songs were composed almost immediately in my garage.  The band got real comfortable with the songs, for over a year, by playing them live on stage. I wrote these songs to illustrate a rhetorical point-of -view and reveal paradoxes. Plus, I wanted to add some Memphis-ness to the sound; and historically, that means horns. 

"I met up with my friend, Art Edmaiston, who was playing sax for J.J. Grey/Mofro and Gregg Allman at the time,  I told him that Good Paper needed a horn section; Art made that happen, and wrote the horn charts for most of the songs." Mortimer stated. At that time the "Memphis-ness", Mortimer was looking for appeared. In early 2018, GP of Rev. Rob Mortimer was in American Studios in Memphis, TN recording "Lock It Down Tight".  Each was allowed compositional and musical freedom, forming an artistic democracy allowing each artists style to stand out. 

Good Paper dynamically polished and expanded their musical approach; then let the horns drive this album, creating 'Swampy Mississippi Delta-Memphis soul melodies. The opening track "Who's Gonna Take This Bad Ass Down" demands your immediate attention with powerful, cocky congressman-like lyrics in front of a strong groove. Mortimer says that he made the sounds with his mouth that he wanted the guitar solo to sound like, & Tonos turned those sounds into musical notes. The satire of struggling relationships with lovers are in the front seat with tracks like; the up-tempo 1960's British Pop/Musle Shoals pouncing bass line in "When I'm Gone", the Last Waltz inspired accidental love of "I Hope", and   "I Don't Need You" the meaningless argument, about nothing, between a couple, backed by a 1965 Bob Dylan-ish melody over a the vocal mix and hand claps of a barber shop quartet.  Mid-way through the album a little extra James Brown sass is added into Tom Waits'  "Such A Scream". Mortimer shows his growth as an artist by taking listeners for a walk in the mindset of a king/prince/heir with newly aquired keys to a broken kingdom, dynamically infused influences of 70's R & B and soul with the lamentful "This Ain't No Throne". "Delta Side of Vicksburg" has a mid-tempo swampy feel remembering 1920's great wealth and conflicted social differences in the Mississippi Delta; inspired by the Eddie Murphy's movie "Life". Mortimer's second generation undertaker's notes  take hold, you can here the gravely Seger growl and feel of "High Ground" and the tonal Weezer-ing of the track "Lock It Down Tight" will remind you to plan ahead. 

Rick Steff (Lucero, Cat Power, Hank Williams, Jr.) appears on keys in Tom Wait's "Such A Scream", "I Hope", and "When I'm Gone".

Is this blues?  "I was born on the same soil as Charley Patton, BB King, and Muddy Waters. I swim and drink the same Mississippi River water as they did.  Some folks drink coffee, You may like beer, he may like whiskey, and she may like milk; but, we all like water and we all need water to live. To me, BLUES is WATER. My songs may not be traditional blues songs, but there is plenty of WATER in my songs.  My songs change course every now and than Just like the river.  So, is this blues? You decide, but don't tell me that there is NO WATER in my songs." Mortimer explains. 

In scope, palette, and composition, "Lock It Down Tight" is a game-changer and the birth of a new sound for an undertaker's band.  Good Paper of Rev. Rob Mortimer just kick-started their career with this new release. 

Band Members