Blues, Booze, & BBQ
“From these former cotton fields came a new art form. Out of commerce, out of slavery, out of greed, out of necessity, out of Africa, came the BLUES. Yes, the music: blues, jazz, rock n’ roll, and rap came from these cotton fields. Out of these cotton fields and out of these little one-room churches came the voice of an enslaved people. The voice of the men and women that toiled in these fields is the blues, and it is still a voice heard around the world.”
—David Alan Harvey
Blues, Booze, & BBQ, the first book by Michael Loyd Young, documents the 150 miles of Highway 61, the famed blacktop road snaking from Memphis, Tennessee down to Greenville, Mississippi. At the halfway point, in the heart of the Mississippi Delta, sits Clarksdale, the city considered the birthplace of the blues and the location of Robert Johnson’s famed “Cross Road Blues” intersection of Highway 61 and Highway 49.
The Delta has been home to blues legends such as Charley Patton, John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Ike Turner, Cadillac John Nolden, B.B. King, T-Model Ford, Mississippi Slim, Big Jack Johnson, and Willie King, among countless others whose music has become the glue that holds these communities together as they struggle to survive. Young’s photographs, taken at juke joints, in private homes, or while just hanging out, illustrate the bond blues creates between the Delta and its people. It is through this music that the people pass on their heritage and culture to future generations.
Author proceeds will be donated to the Delta Blues Museum.
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The Medieval Book: Illustrated from the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library (MART: The Medieval Academy Reprints for Teaching)