Even Jewish Girls Get the Blues

A trip to Clarksdale, Mississippi introduced me to more Blues than I could have hoped for. Plus I learned that it’s an international destination: a family from Austria came to the US for the summer and went to Miami, NY, and Clarksdale!

At the Delta Blues Museum you wander through rows of albums and memorabilia. A private tour, which I think is standard for all guests, taught me that Blues was called “race entertainment” so many pop artists did covers of blues tunes, leveraging the song-writing talent for a broader market. Women recorded the first blues albums in the ’20s—we are more in touch with our feelings, you know.

I was wary of walking by myself to hear music, so the owner of the Riverside Hotel, “where the Blues people stay”, arranged for me to go with the son of the Austiran family. Still a stranger, but “safer” because he also stayed at this quaint yet creepy hotel.  Bessie Smith died in room two. Ike Turner wrote “Rocket 88” living in room seven. And according to the brochure, Sam Cooke, John Lee Hooker and others “had the joint jumpin’.”

So the stranger/safety escort and I met his parents at Red’s Lounge where we spent hours immersed in the music and parade of people. It was a happy night and they played a happier side of blues, if such vocabulary is appropriate.

Do you prefer your blues with lyrics or without?
Do you like it moody or dance-able?

Can’t see the slideshow? Click here.

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Blues, posted with vodpod

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