Wednesday, December 12, 2012


When RL Burnside sang a song it was from his life. When Junior Kimbrough packed a juke joint it was seduction. The draw was the purity of either. Their pilgrimage was honesty and celebration. To take part in what that was is the greatest gift I personally received from the north part of Mississippi. I can't think of that place without thinking of that music.

Here's RL singing Big Bossman.

These boys do a rendition of that song. The first few notes, as soon as the crowd recognizes what they're going to play, elicits a scream and the boys smile. Then. Well. You know.

I had never heard the blues before I moved up to Tunica, didn't listen to them when I lived in Horn Lake but not long after I bought that house in Senatobia was I introduced to um, how do you describe it, in a small room on the left of highway four. I didn't even realize what it meant to be in Junior Kimbrough's place that night, who RL Burnside's sons were. All I know to tell you is that you only have to listen to the blues played that way once, live.

After that you're hooked.

Garry Burnside

Charlie and a fan.

Now I am living in a more central part of the state neighboring a town which brags they have the museum of Jimmie Rodgers. They do, and there is a reason for that. There is a music all over this earth that speaks of the region from which it came, the soil that grew it. Jimmie is the Junior and RL of Meridian.

When Mrs. Annie picks up some spoons of course she's going to play them.

And Tyler, the kid with no head but carrying a banjo and having a band, is this area's Woodstomp.

Tyler and Wayne on the front porch.

The music playing in my house at 2:00am is Kelly Joe.
Here now all of a sudden it makes sense, my love for what he does.
Bluegrass and blues blended and circling around each other.
They say that guy was born in Washington but I'd swear he was raised on this road.

Today I am grateful for all the music we share, everywhere. It's all good from what I can hear.


Anonymous said...

Nice, love it and the music.

Shea Goff said...

Oh good. Thank you, Anonymous. Reading your note seems like a Christmas gift. You've been missed.