Salutations and welcome to yet another new year… Hmmm, so where do I begin? This entry was prompted by a news article that I received this morning about a visiting blues musician who made his way down south wanting to share his talent and absorb the delta blues. The article further mentions performances at the 308 Blues Club and Cafe and Club Ebony here in Indianola. As a fellow musician, I am always willing to share and am open to visiting artists. However, upon reading the article, I had to voice my concern.
Personally, I have been involved with music for the most of my life. I have experienced and performed many styles including: classical, rock, jazz, and hip-hop. And truly, it has been only within the last decade that I have become intrigued by the sounds of the Mississippi Delta. Though born here, I was raised up north. So with my arrival and introduction to the likes of Mr. David Lee Durham, Paul “Wine” Jones, Lil’ Dave Thompson, Mississippi Slim, Lil’ Bill Wallace, Wesley Jefferson, Willie King, and the few remaining “True Bluesmen”, including: Mickey Rogers, John Horton, Terry “Big T” Williams, King Edward, Pat Thomas, Jerry Fair, etc.; I came with a listening ear of respect. I can account for several nights being on stage with many of the men mentioned here and having turned my volume down, out of sheer reverence.
And so, I offer a few words of advice to those visiting musicians to the Mississippi Delta: Sometimes you have to know when it’s time to turn down your volume or simply leave your guitar at home. An open ear and closed mouth that lends humility will gain respect and take you further along the blues trail. Fore, this is how we keep our blues sacred.