Tag: deep south

Rapper Big K.R.I.T. serves rhymes caught in a time-honored tension

Boston Globe, April 29, 2012 There’s a juxtaposition you sometimes hear in hip-hop, a mood swing that throws the listener from heights of hedonistic excess to the depths of an artist’s soul-searching on life, loss, and the meaning of it all. Strip-club anthems might give way to raw expressions of despair, even laced with evocations […]

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 […]

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 […]

Surviving a rough patch: Drive-By Truckers

Boston Globe, March 21, 2008 Last year was a time of transition for the Drive-By Truckers, the Athens, Ga., band with the dual gift for high-octane rocking and magisterial front-porch storytelling. Personnel flux and a sense of fatigue led the group to pare down its sound, perform acoustic gigs, and take time out to serve […]

He’ll keep trucking, but solo: Jason Isbell

Boston Globe, July 15, 2007 The Alabama band Drive-By Truckers has earned something of a cult following both for its fresh take on classic themes of Southern music and for its powerful three-guitar front line, made up most recently of Patterson Hood, Mike Cooley, and Jason Isbell, all native sons of the musically distinguished Muscle […]

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 […]

An heirloom rice returns

Boston Globe, September 21, 2005 CHARLESTON, S.C.—In the Colonial era, this elegant seaport was the richest city in the New World, thanks to an exquisite variety of rice known as Carolina Gold prized as far away as China that blanketed the lowlands of the coastal era. The hallowed grains are on the rise again. Carolina […]