This past summer, my co-blogger Jennifer and I lured our longtime friend Cam into hitting the road down to Mississippi with us. If you check the roadtrip tag at the bottom of this post, you can read some of our other recollections from the trip, but for now, go read Cam’s lovely article about our visit with Rat at the Riverside Hotel in Clarksdale.
Taking a roadtrip to Mississippi to learn about the blues… it’s like a post from Things White People Like, but it is indeed what this white girl did. I don’t remember when I first heard Delta blues music, but it was likely as a part of some “history of rock ‘n’ roll” documentary I watched as a music-obsessed pre-teen. What I do remember is being immediately drawn to the emphasis on rhythm and the guttural vocal delivery. In the intervening years, my relationship with the blues was an on-again-off-again affair until the time I realized that all the music I really loved, the music that spoke to me the most, drew heavy influence from the blues, especially the Delta blues. The Black Keys, A.A. Bondy, the Gutter Twins, the Felice Brothers, the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion (obviously), etc., have all paid tribute to various Delta bluesmen – from T-Model Ford to Skip James to Mississippi John Hurt – and allowed the echoes of these Mississippi artists to inform their musical paths.
Delving into the music that influenced the … Continue reading