40 Years of the Delta Blues Museum (Part 3 of 3)

Continued from Part Two … But funding continues to be a challenge. “Fundraising is really crucial, especially now as the museum environment becomes more competitive,” Ritter says. “The museum receives a dedicated tax millage from the city, and then our other monies are primarily admissions and gift shop sales.” Gresham notes that the millage represents

40 Years of the Delta Blues Museum (Part 2 of 3)

Continued from Part One … Ruskey says that he first came to Clarksdale on King Biscuit Weekend in 1991 “on a pilgrimage, attracted by John Lee Hooker and Muddy Waters. A native Coloradan, he thought that Clarksdale sounded exotic. “I camped out on the banks of the river, lived at the Riverside Hotel. I was

40 Years of the Delta Blues Museum (Part 1 of 3)

Assuming the story is based in any kind of fact, it still remains a matter of contention as to the location of the crossroads, site of the legendary pact between the Devil and Robert Johnson. That mythical spot is variously identified as lying in the Mississippi towns of Beauregard, Clarksdale, Dockery and Rosedale. Today, each

Album Review: Bask — III

For a small city, Asheville is home to musicians representing a staggering array of musical styles. In an era that many see as post-album, post-rock and post-all other manner of things that make music special, it’s surprising that there’s a small but solid heavy rock scene in and around the city. A vivid testament to

The Church: Further, Deeper, Infinity

This essay appeared previously in NewCity. The Church debuted with Of Skin and Heart (known worldwide as The Church) in 1981. The Australian foursome never fit neatly into the then-thriving new wave movement; while guitarist Marty Willson-Piper’s jangling guitars bore some sonic connection with the American West Coast’s so-called “Paisley Underground” movement, the band’s moody,

Free Planet Radio: In Pursuit of Modern Jazz

When Free Planet Radio debuted in 2001, the Asheville-based trio was often described as a world music group. And while by definition that label casts a wide net, it was never quite expansive enough to get to the heart of what Free Planet Radio does. The three creatively adventurous musicians have always explored many styles,

Holiday Music for 2019

‘Tis the season for holiday music. It’s a genre that often gets a bad rap, for good reason: a lot of it is pretty dire. Though there are classics (like Roy Wood’s “I Wish it Could be Christmas Every Day,” ELP’s “I Believe in Father Christmas” and the Kinks’ rocking “Father Christmas”) it remains a

Hunger for the Dreams: ‘The Allman Brothers Band’ at 50

When the eponymous debut album by The Allman Brothers Band appeared on record store shelves in November 1969, record buyers may have thought they were discovering a new group. To be fair, they were, but the group’s members were already seasoned veterans of the music scene. Founded by brothers Duane (guitar) and Gregg (keyboards) Allman,

Hundred-word Reviews for December 2019, #1

As 2019 heads toward its end, there’s time for one more house-cleaning set of quick reviews. Here’s a look at notable new releases in jazz, blues rock and even country. Junior Watson – Nothin’ to it But to Do it Let’s not hold it against the artist that the cover art for this album is

Rock and Bounce: Big Freedia and Low Cut Connie

Note: This story was originally published in October in Mountain Xpress. Combing different musical genres is more common than it was a generation ago; the barriers between styles have been knocked down by groundbreaking artists. While a hip hop/rock hybrid like Run-D.M.C.’s “Walk This Way” was revolutionary in 1986, today’s musical marketplace is filled with