Tag: blues

Delta spirit

Boston Globe, February 18, 2011 One hundred years ago – the exact date was May 8, 1911 – Robert Johnson was born in Hazlehurst, Miss. He lived 27 years and left only 29 songs, but his impact on the blues and its progeny, rock ‘n’ roll, is immeasurable. The legend around Johnson – its crux […]

Straight from the Crescent City

Boston Globe, March 12, 2010 No city in America owns a musical tradition as rich and distinctive as that of New Orleans. The paradox of this state of plenty – with famous destination events like Mardi Gras and Jazzfest and a year-round cornucopia of restaurants and club dates – is that great New Orleans musicians […]

The South comes up North

WNYC News, May 30, 2008 Up from the Deep South… all the way to Brooklyn. A two-week festival is underway that celebrates the culture of the Mississippi Delta. WNYC’s Siddhartha Mitter reflects on the birthplace of the blues.

A convergence of cultures in Afrissippi

Boston Globe, May 9, 2008 Sometimes an artistic project comes along that seems at once utterly unlikely, yet at the same time completely logical. Unlikely because of the strange sequence of events that it took for it to occur; logical because the connections it explores are ones that were present, if submerged, all along, just […]

No time to quit the blues: Koko Taylor

Boston Globe, August 17, 2007 Koko Taylor’s new album is called “Old School,” and rarely was a title ever so succinct and so apt. There’s no blues artist active today who so perfectly channels the thrill, the sadness, and the power of classic Chicago blues as Taylor, who left sharecropper Tennessee for the Windy City […]

She sings blues, and then some

Boston Globe, November 12, 2006 Shemekia Copeland sings the blues. This fact alone sets her apart from virtually all the singers of her generation. And at age 27, with four albums to her name on Alligator Records, the Chicago-based contemporary blues powerhouse label, she’s already amassed a considerable portfolio – and she’s just getting started. […]

Rolling “Thunder”

Boston Globe, September 22, 2006 Cassandra Wilson has long since cemented her place as one of America’s great singers. Hers is a music of confluence, in which the blues, jazz, and pop provide aesthetic guidance that’s all the more powerful because it’s so free-ranging and loose. On her latest album, “Thunderbird,” the Mississippi-bred, New York-seasoned […]

They keep the Mississippi sound alive

Boston Globe, November 12, 2005 When you name your band after the place you call home, you’re making a statement. When the place is Mississippi, you’re also staking out spiritual ground, raising ghosts. Field hands birthing the blues in the ruthless Delta heat. The young Elvis Presley, cutting his teeth in Tupelo. Emmett Till, the […]


Boston Globe, January 28, 2005 To a younger generation of music fans, the rootsy multi- instrumentalist Olu Dara is better known for his progeny than for his output. The father of acclaimed rapper Nas, he has appeared several times on his son’s records, most recently on “Bridging the Gap,” an enthusiastic genre-crossing duet that vaulted […]