Blues is the name given to both a musical form and a music genre that originated in communities of primarily the “Deep South” of the United States at the end of the 1800’s from spirituals, work songs, field hollers, shouts and narrative ballads. Blues Music is responsible for and ubiquitous in jazz, rhythm and blues, and rock and roll. Blues Music is truly the Backbone of American Music.
My introduction to the Blues came at an early age in my Grandfather’s tobacco fields. Granddad’s help would sing work songs and field hollers as they primed tobacco walking bent over in the long, long rows of those tobacco fields. That’s where my fascination and my appreciation of Blues music began. Come Saturday night, the farm workers would meet with their guitars, harps, dobros and drum sticks at D.E. Baker’s Country Store. They’d buy some wine and gather round back to sit, drink and play the blues. Those drum sticks bouncing on a steel barrel and wooden Pepsi crate set the back beat to my introduction to renditions of my first Muddy Waters, Lightening Hopkins, Willie Dixon, Sonny Boy Williams andHowlin’ Wolf among others. I just couldn’t wait for Saturday night’s at Granddaddy’s store. I ease out the back door of the store with wine and an occasional jar of Granddad’s Moonshine so those men would continue to play. Those days and that music has never left me.
Sleepy Wilkins and Memphis Red Hicks, hard working men and great blues artist, told me tall tales about their travels on the Blues Highway out back of that country store. Tales of their migration from Mississippi up north to Chicago in their younger years just added to the lore of the music. The Blues Highway, Highway 61 that starts in New Orleans and parallels the Mississippi River north. Highway 61, the route that crosses Highway 49 in Clarksdale, MS where legend has it Blues Great Robert Johnson sold his soul to the Devil. The Great River Road, Hwy 61, that was the conduit for spreading the Blues from down south to Baton Rouge, LA, West Memphis, AK, Memphis, TN, St. Louis, MO, to Dubuque, Iowa on to St. Paul, MN. Sleepy and Memphis Red spun tales of good times, rolling turmoil, and great blues music that was spawned in Juke Joints, Barrel Houses and Road Houses dotting the roadside along the way.
From that early introduction to the music and from the stories of adventure, the live music, the dancing, the beer and hard liquor, the gambling and the raw energy of it all has come “Confessing the Blues”, a new conduit for the spirit and passion of Blues Music and Blues Artist to reach the masses to relay their stories of Living and Loving, Fighting and Forgiving and the Ruin and Redemption of Life… Join the Roadhouse Party and let “Confessing the Blues” Radio spark the Blues fire in you ….