Category Archives: Alan Lomax

Chasing the Delta Blues: The Mississippi Blues Trail, Part 2 (Blues Stories, 26)

[This is the second and concluding post about the trip the Willowy Bride (AKA, the WB) and I took along the Delta portion of the Mississippi Blues Trail in May 2013.  For Part 1, go here.] * * * * … Continue reading

Posted in "Charley Patton", Age of Jim Crow, Alan Lomax, B.B. King, Big Bill Broonzy, David "Honeyboy" Edwards, Delta Blues, History, History of Rock and Roll, Howlin' Wolf, Interdisciplinary Work, John Lee Hooker, Leadbelly, Mississippi John Hurt, Muddy Waters, Popular Culture, Research, Retirement, Robert Johnson, Son House, Southern History, The Blues, Uncategorized, WP Long Read | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Blues Masters from the Delta (Blues Stories, 21)

 A Review of Ted Gioia, Delta Blues: The Life and Times of the Mississippi Masters Who Revolutionized American Music. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2008. [NOTE: Once upon a time,  I hoped to write a book on the origins … Continue reading

Posted in "Charley Patton", Age of Jim Crow, Alan Lomax, American History, B.B. King, Bessie Smith, Books, Chicago Blues, David "Honeyboy" Edwards, Delta Blues, History, Howlin' Wolf, John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters, Popular Culture, Retirement, Robert Johnson, Son House, Southern History, The "Great Migration", The Blues, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Rev. Gary Davis, Blind Guitar Guru (Blues Stories, 20)

A Review of Ian Zack, Say No to the Devil: The Life and Musical Genius of Rev. Gary Davis.  The University of Chicago Press, 2015. “I done come this far, I don’t find no fault, well I feel just like … Continue reading

Posted in Age of Jim Crow, Alan Lomax, American History, Books, Historical Reflection, History, Interdisciplinary Work, Piedmont Blues, Research, Retirement, Southern History, The Blues, Uncategorized, WP Long Form, WP Long Read | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“The Blues Had a Baby” (Blues Stories, 18)

A Review of John Milward, Crossroads: How the Blues Shaped Rock ‘n’ Roll (And Rock Saved the Blues). Boston: Northeastern University Press, 2013. “’The blues had a baby,’ Muddy Waters sang, ‘and they called it rock and roll.’ Yeah, and … Continue reading

Posted in Alan Lomax, American History, B.B. King, Big Bill Broonzy, Books, Chicago Blues, David "Honeyboy" Edwards, Delta Blues, Historical Reflection, History, History of Rock and Roll, Howlin' Wolf, John Lee Hooker, Leadbelly, Mississippi John Hurt, Muddy Waters, Popular Culture, Research, Retirement, Robert Johnson, Son House, Southern History, Teaching, The Blues, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Early Blues–Full of Sound and Fury, Signifying Everything (Blues Stories, 17)

A Review of R.A. Lawson, Jim Crow’s Counterculture: The Blues and Black Southerners, 1890-1945. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2010. As I’ve explained elsewhere, my initial interest in the Blues developed because my older son and I were trying … Continue reading

Posted in Age of Jim Crow, Alan Lomax, American History, Big Bill Broonzy, Chicago Blues, Civil Rights Movement, Delta Blues, Historical Reflection, History, History Curriculum, History of Rock and Roll, Interdisciplinary Work, Leadbelly, Popular Culture, Robert Johnson, Southern History, Teaching, The Blues, Uncategorized, Urban Blues | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Son House–Preacher, Killer, “Father of the Delta Blues” (Blues Stories, 10)

A review of Daniel Beaumont, Preachin’ the Blues: The Life & Times of Son House. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2011. The cover picture on the double compact disc, “Son House: Father of the Delta Blues: The Complete … Continue reading

Posted in "Charley Patton", Alan Lomax, American History, Books, Delta Blues, History, Research, Retirement, Robert Johnson, Son House, Southern History, Teaching, The Blues | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Big Bill Broonzy–The Blues Man as Pragmatist (Blues Stories, 9)

A Review of Robert Riesman, I Feel So Good:  The Life and Times of Big Bill Broonzy.  Chicago and London:  The University of Chicago Press, 2011. [NOTE:  2011 was a very good year for Blues biographies:  three reputable university presses … Continue reading

Posted in Alan Lomax, Big Bill Broonzy, Books, Chicago Blues, Delta Blues, History, Muddy Waters, Research, Retirement, Southern History, The Blues | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Electric Mud–The Life and Music of Muddy Waters,1915-1983 (Blues Stories, 7)

Muddy Waters (April 14, 1915-April 30, 1983) was born McKinley A. Morganfield in Rolling Fork, Mississippi. His family moved farther north, to the Stovall Plantation near Clarksdale, when he was about three, and it was there that he eventually taught … Continue reading

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The Mississippi Delta and the Blues (Blues Stories, 6)

Geographers define a “delta” as the triangular-shaped fertile area created by siltation at the mouth of a river.  But, when Blues fans refer to “the Delta,” “the land where the Blues began,” we mean “the fertile alluvial plain shared by the … Continue reading

Posted in "Charley Patton", Alan Lomax, American History, Delta Blues, History, Muddy Waters, Research, Robert Johnson, Son House, Southern (Georgia) History, Southern History, The Blues | 4 Comments

20th-Century Blues Men (Blues Stories, 5)

[Note:  This post is the companion piece to “20th-Century Blues Women.”  A slightly different format this time, without an introductory essay (for those interested in one, go here.); instead, I offer biographical sketches of some favorite 20th-century Blues men and a song or two that capture the essence … Continue reading

Posted in "Charley Patton", Alan Lomax, American History, Blind Willie McTell, Chicago Blues, Delta Blues, History, Howlin' Wolf, Muddy Waters, Piedmont Blues, Research, Robert Johnson, Son House, Southern (Georgia) History, Southern History, The Blues | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment