Photographer, filmmaker, author and historian Will Ferris started documenting black southern culture in the 1960s and has over 15 films and a dozen books to his name, along with a Mississippi Blues Trail marker and was Chair of the National Endowment for the Humanities under the Clinton administration. Our paths crossed but we never met when I was making my student film in 1971, so this was my chance to at long last meet this remarkable individual.
Whether by land or by river, Clarksdale's environs always hold new surprises for the the first timer or the seasoned visitor. In this episode we talked with Clarksdale historian Robert Birdsong who bases his operations out of the Hopson Commissary, and John Ruskey, founder of the Quapaw Canoe Company on the banks of the Sunflower River.
This episode we're celebrating one of the greatest blues solo instruments of all time--the harmonica, AKA the harp and the Mississippi Saxophone. A long history of harp players hail from Clarksdale, MS, and we're visiting with resident harmonica players Deak Harp and Watermelon Slim.
Taking a break up north in Gloucester Massachusetts for the Gloucester Blues Festival and a chance to catch up with Blues Music Award winner King Solomon Hicks talking about his upcoming follow-up album. Then, an interview with Boston's WUMB radio host Holly Harris about her first trip to Clarksdale in 1989.
One of the most popular music venues in Clarksdale is also a restaurant, and owners Carol and Arthur Crivaro started it years ago with the idea of opening a health food store--we learned about how that went, along with getting to know who comes there. Then it's this episode's edition of the Blues Trail Music Report. Music from Watermelon Slim, Mississippi Marshall, La la Craig and Kingfish Ingram.
We travel up to Memphis to talk with the Blues Foundation's new president, Patty Aden and find out what plans she has for the Foundation's future. Then we talk with Blues Music Award winner King Solomon Hicks, the 26-year old winner of the Best Emerging Artist Album category. Then we wrap up with Tameal Edwards from Ground Zero in Clarksdale and the Blues Trail Music Report.
Juneteenth is coming this Saturday, and we're checking out a couple of new Clarksdale, MS music venues--the Delta Blues Alley Cafe and the Bad Apple Blues Club--and ask the owners what it takes to bring even more music to Bluestown. Featuring music by Earnest Guitar Roy, Frank Rimmer, Lucious Spiller, Sean Bad Apple and Anthony "Big A" Sherrod.
Introducing Steve Azar, Mississippi's Official Cultural and Music Ambassador, songwriter, musician, philanthropist and filmmaker--and creator of the Blues Trail Revisited theme song, "Flatlands." We're also introducing a new department on the podcast, the Blues Trail Music Report, with Tameal Edwards, booking manager at Ground Zero Blues Club. She will be joining us on every podcast to tell us who's coming to play in Clarksdale.