Following the route of the Great Migration, we travel from Mississippi to Chicago to the Chicago Blues Festival and talk with Clarksdale's Lucious Spiller and Visit Clarksdale director Bubba O'Keefe. Music by Keith Johnson and the Big Muddy Band and Lucious Spiller.
Nominated for a Blues Music Award for Best Emerging Artist Album, blues band GA-20 have tapped into the raw, gutsy sound of the original electric blues greats. They have perfected the stripped down sound of a trio with a message. Their origins are in the Boston area, but their roots are in the Delta. Initially hitting the road opening for Kingfish Ingram, they’ve established their own loyal fan base and are taking their brand of blues to Europe during their recent tour.
Blues guitarist Tommy Castro has been nominated for countless awards and this year he’s been nominated for no less than six Blues Music Awards including his 4th nomination for Entertainer of the Year. With around 20 albums under his belt, he always looks for a way to keep his blues playing fresh, the latest example being his album A Bluesman Came to Town, also up for album of the year and best contemporary blues album at this year’s BMAs.
Kevin Roosevelt Moore was born in 1951 in Los Angeles, but changed his name to Keb’ Mo’ when he started playing the blues. He’s played with papa John Creach, Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt, Lyle Lovett and Kermit the Frog. But it’s his partnering with Taj Mahal that earned him his most recent Grammy Award, and this year he’s up for Best Acoustic Artist at the Blues Music Awards.
Everyone is talking about the Juke Joint Festival in Clarksdale, Mississippi, which is almost sold out! Sean "Bad" Apple, the unofficial master of ceremonies is pumped for this weekends events, and Ryan Lee Crosby will be playing music from his new album "Winter Hill Blues" which is coming out in June.
Music from Sean "Bad" Apple and Ryan Lee Crosby
One of Clarksdale’s best-known resident musicians is legendary harmonica player Charlie Musselwhite. He learned at the feet of Chicago bluesmen such as Muddy Waters, Howlin Wolf, Sonny Boy Williamson and Little Walter. In addition to his own recordings, Musselwhite has guested on numerous recordings. He was inducted into the Blues Foundation’s Blues Hall Of Fame in 2010, has been nominated for eleven Grammy Awards (winning one) and has won several Living Blues Awards and Blues Music Awards. I talked with him just before the 2022 Grammy Awards.
Music by Charlie Musselwhite
In 1973, I read Feel Like Going Home by Rolling Stone writer Peter Guralnick where he described his journey though the south in the late 60s to interview the last living blues artists. He visited and talked to several of the same musicians I had filmed in 1971.
50 years later, I finally had the chance to talk with Peter about his journey, his career, and what the music meant to him.
Musicians include Johnny Shines, Muddy Waters, Robert Pete Williams and Howlin' Wolf.
If you're heading to downtown Jackson, Mississippi, make sure you stop by Hal and Mal's, and introduce yourself to co-founder, Malcolm White. Have lunch and listen to some great local and national blues artists.
Malcolm is also the executive director of the Mississippi Arts Commission - one of the original forces behind the creation of the Mississippi Blues Trail.
Music clips from King Edward and JJ Thames.