The Blues Is More Than A Feeling

June 03, 2014  •  Leave a Comment
 

Until recently there was a poster on the wall above my computer here declaring “the blues is a feeling.” I just returned from the land of the Delta Blues and I can say with certainty that, yes, it’s a feeling, but it’s much more than that. 




The Hopson Plantation is the site of the Shack-Up Inn in Clarksdale, Mississippi.

The Shacks all have porches and bear names like "Pinetop" and "Crossroads".

It is a way of life that has been passed down through generations in music and lyrics and stories. The stories range from those of hard labor, hard times and hard drinking to those of the comforts of a Sunday service, a home-cooked meal or a big-legged woman, but together they make up a tapestry of Delta music and Delta lifestyle. Through these stories of how the people of the Delta have survived, it’s clear how its Blues has survived. It’s as integral today as ever, maybe more. It’s everywhere. Museums, art galleries, clubs, lodging – all based on the Blues. In a way it seems odd that the music itself has become the story. But the music does such a powerful job of telling its stories – sharing its feeling – that surely the culture and heritage, the way of life of the Delta will continue to survive through it. 




Bubba Sullivan owns Bubba's Blues Corner  in Helena, Arkansas
and has a story about every piece of memorabilia on the wall.

Based on my visit, I’m sure the stories of these places and people will be preserved for many more generations to come. 


As for that poster that used to be on my wall? I replaced it with one of the  photographs it took recently. One thing the 365 Project (a picture a day for a year) I took on last year forced me to do was to get out and explore more; and to pay attention more; and to experience more. I hope to follow up on that this year with photos and stories of my experiences; of the things I see. With a little luck, maybe they can evoke just a fraction of the feeling those Blues songs do. Maybe I’ll even work my way up to writing some Blues songs of my own . . . .




Po Monkey's in Merigold, Mississippi is legendary.
Wllie Seaberry owns Po Monkey's.
It's still all about the music.
Eric Hughes was performing at
Ground Zero Blues Club in Clarksdale, Mississippi
the night we were there.
 

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