Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Jose Padua: The Art of Moving or Alternate Interpretations of an Old Blues Song

Back then, whether or not you agreed with the white man, you didn’t question him, because that meant trouble and my family didn’t want trouble with anyone.

June 21, 2019 · Leave a comment

Cornelius Eady: Nina’s Blues

We drum rest
We drum thank you
We drum stay.

May 14, 2019 · Leave a comment

Video: Billy Branch and the Sons of Blues — As the Years Go Passing By

. You know my love will follow you As the years go passing by Give you all that I own That’s one thing you can’t deny… . “As the Years … Continue reading

March 30, 2019 · Leave a comment

Audio: Mississippi John Hurt “I shall not be moved”

. Biography by Bruce Eder No blues singer ever presented a more gentle, genial image than Mississippi John Hurt (1892-1966). A guitarist with an extraordinarily lyrical and refined fingerpicking style, he … Continue reading

March 15, 2018 · 2 Comments

John Lawson: For Jefferson Beauregard Sessions and my cousins Billie and Dave

When I was a boy in a Virginia suburb, The maids came on the bus each day, And cleaned and ironed and made us lunch. Outside, the colored vendor (“colored” … Continue reading

February 8, 2018 · 4 Comments

Doug Anderson: Morning Blues

Winter sneaking through the trees with his bag of salt. Winter sneaking through the trees with his bag of salt. Dark days coming ain’t nobody’s fault. Used to think love … Continue reading

December 9, 2017 · 1 Comment

Video: Mighty Sam McClain — When The Hurt Is Over

. Samuel McClain (1943 – 2015), billed as Mighty Sam McClain, was an American blues singer and songwriter. Born in Monroe, Louisiana, McClain began singing at the age of five … Continue reading

April 15, 2017 · Leave a comment

Video: Seasick Steve — Roy’s Gang

. Steven Gene Wold (born in 1940 or 1941) commonly known as Seasick Steve, is an American blues musician who plays custom guitars, sometimes made from found materials such as … Continue reading

April 14, 2017 · 1 Comment

Audio: Etta James — “The Sky is Crying”

[Email subscribers can click the title of this post to listen to the song for free.] . “The Sky is Crying” is included in the 2004 CD Blues to the Bone. … Continue reading

September 27, 2016 · Leave a comment

Audio: “Santa” by Lightnin’ Hopkins

Sam John Hopkins (1912 – 1982), better known as Lightnin’ Hopkins, was an American country blues singer, songwriter, guitarist, and occasional pianist from Houston, Texas. Musicologist Robert “Mack” McCormick opined that … Continue reading

December 24, 2015 · 3 Comments

Video: Willie King at Bettie’s Place

For a real blues experience nothing beats going to a juke joint in the deep South. There aren’t many left, but if you’re willing to go off the beaten track, … Continue reading

September 18, 2015 · 1 Comment

Video: Big Mama Thornton and John Lee Hooker — “Down Home Shakedown”

1960 harmonica jam session. If you love the blues, this performance is not to be missed. The harmonica, also called French harp, blues harp, and mouth organ, was developed in Europe … Continue reading

February 20, 2015 · Leave a comment

Video: B.B. King animated by Blank on Blank

In this animated video by Blank on Blank, B.B. King tells the story behind the naming of his legendary guitar Lucille and talks about his attitude toward life and music. … Continue reading

February 9, 2015 · 4 Comments

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