Sunday, January 23, 2011

American Blues

Blind Willie Johnson, "John the Revelator"

American blues may be the greatest music ever, and while I enjoy modern blues, my heart and soul belong to the Depression-era musicians. Born in 1897, Johnson made himself a cigar box guitar and taught himself to play at age five. He died poor in 1945.

I was in New Orleans twice before Katrina. Both times, the tail end of Mardi Gras, followed by a few days of drinking, moseying, exploring, and looking. And mostly listening. I'd go into any bar that had a musician, have a drink, and listen. For hours. It was the first time I had ever heard the blues, and I went back to my hotel room the very first night and cried. I never fail to feel like crying when I hear the old blues still. NOLA, you are in my heart forever.

I came across this video here.

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