Blues Traveling: The Holy Sites of Delta Blues

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Univ. Press of Mississippi, 2009 - Arts - 289 pages
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At a crossroads in the Mississippi Delta, Robert Johnson is said to have sold his soul to the Devil so that he could become a guitar virtuoso and King of the Delta Blues. Blues Traveling: The Holy Sites of Delta Blues will tell you where that legendary deal was supposed to have been made and guide you to all the other hallowed grounds that nourished Mississippi's signature music. Johnson, Mississippi John Hurt, Memphis Minnie, Jimmie Rodgers, Bessie Smith, Muddy Waters, Mississippi Fred McDowell, Howlin' Wolf, B. B. King, Little Milton, Elvis Presley, Bobby Rush, Junior Kimbrough, R. L. Burnside-the list of great artists with Mississippi connections goes on and on. A trip through Mississippi blues sites is a pilgrimage every music lover ought to make at least once in a lifetime, to see the juke joints and churches, to visit the birthplaces and graves of blues greats, to walk down the dusty roads and over the levee, to eat some barbecue and greens, to sit on the bank of the Mississippi River, and to hear some down-home blues music. Blues Traveling is the first and only guidebook to Mississippi's musical places and blues history. With photographs, maps, easy-to-follow directions, and an informative, entertaining text, this book will lead you in and out of Clarksdale, Greenwood, Helena (Arkansas), Rolling Fork, Jackson, Natchez, Bentonia, Rosedale, Itta Bena, and dozens of other locales that generations of blues musicians have lived in, traveled through, and sung about. Stories, legends, and lyrics are woven into the text so that each backroad and barroom comes alive. Touring Mississippi with Blues Traveling is like having a knowledgeable and entertaining guide at your side. Even people with no immediate plans to visit Mississippi will enjoy reading the book for its photos, descriptions, and lore that will broaden their understanding and enhance their appreciation of the blues. Steve Cheseborough is an independent scholar and blues musician. His work has been published in Living Blues, Blues Access, Mississippi, and the Southern Register .

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Blues traveling: the holy sites of delta blues

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Independent scholar and blues musician Cheseborough has compiled a detailed guide to blues music landmarks in Mississippi and Memphis. Providing excellent maps and driving instructions, he begins the ... Read full review

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Steve Cheseborough's book took on a magical quality as it guided us through some of the most rural back-roads of the Mississippi Delta. My son and I spent a week in the Delta seeking out the origins of the great American Music Revolution that spawned Rock & Roll, Rhythm & Blues, Soul, Funk, modern Jazz and modern Country music. I challenge anyone to try and locate the graves of Mississippi John Hurt and Sonny Boy Williamson II or even Poor Monkey's Jook Joint, without this book. The book is both accurate and informative and you should not even consider this trip without it.
Neil Miller


Looking for the Blues
Down Highway 61
The Clarksdale Area
The MidDelta
The Greenwood Area
Greenville to Vicksburg
The Jackson Area
East Mississippi
North Mississippi Hill Country
Recommended Reading
Recommended Listening

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About the author (2009)

Steve Cheseborough is a blues performer, lecturer, tour guide, and writer. His articles have appeared in Acoustic Guitar, Living Blues, Delta Magazine, and Mississippi.

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