I heard John Heim (aka Big Mo) on KCCK talk at length about MayRee’s hand battered catfish tonight. There was much more detail than usual. I can’t remember all of them. One I do remember is that her joint is on the corner of Highway 6H and Snowflake Road-sort of.
MayRee will give you a choice of 3 beverages that sound like a crazy cross between a soft drink and white lightning moonshine or something. One flavor is “clear” and another could be something like pumpkin spice, but I probably misheard that.
I got a comment from a blogger, Everyday Lillie. She has not heard of nitrates in catfish but appreciated the information.
MayRee cooks them with “manic delight.” They are really something, I guess.
I heard this Sonny Landreth piece tonight on the show.
This song is by Iowa’s own Kevin Burt. I heard it on the KCCK Big Mo Blues Show. I don’t know anything about music, but “Smack Dab in the Middle strikes me as being about dichotomies, which can be reduced to the old saying, being between a rock and a hard place or being neither fish nor fowl.
But it can be about not wanting to make a choice, or feeling like both sides of a person or issue are important.
I think the lyric “went down to the crossroads” in the lyrics might be an allusion to Robert Johnson, who went to the crossroads and sold his soul to the devil in exchange for his guitar playing gift.
I heard this one and recognized Aretha Franklin’s voice before Big Mo ever announced her on KCCK.
I also heard a little more about MayRee and her hand-battered catfish. It’s tenderized to perfection, but you already knew that. Big Mo said her establishment is located at what sounds like the corner of Highway 73 and Snowflake Road.
I suspect it’s not on any GPS. I might have to ask somebody to draw me a map.
I heard John Heim aka Big Mo on the blues show tonight on KCCK radio 88.3 and he actually spelled the name of MayRee, the name of the cook who makes that good hand-battered catfish; it’s better because it’s battered and so the legend goes.
I knew a cook a long time ago in Austin, Texas, her name was Miss Mack. She ran the student cafeteria at Huston-Tillotson College (now Huston-Tillotson University) in Austin, Texas way back in the 1970s. It’s one of the country’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). And it’s one of the oldest.
Some students made fun of Miss Mack’s food. Some were brave enough to eat it. I was one of them, but I did make a Church’s Chicken run occasionally. Church’s Chicken was a fast food joint that got started in San Antonio, Texas in the early 1950s.
I also heard this old number by Eric Clapton, Going Down to the Crossroads.
Two songs I heard tonight on the Big Mo Blues Show on KCCK 88.3 radio out of Cedar Rapids & Iowa City, and I can’t pick the best one. One is new, by John Primer, “Hard Times,” out in 2022 and speaks to how hard times are right now.
The other is old, by B.B. King, from 1971 and speaks to how hard times could be back then.