To The Best of Our Knowledge
from Wisconsin Public Radio
Suddenly we're seeing the Blues everywhere. There's
Martin Scorsese's Blues Project on PBS. Many communities are holding
special lectures and concerts. Even Congress is getting into the
act. They declared 2003 "The Year of the Blues." In this
hour of To the Best of Our Knowledge we'll celebrate the
year of the Blues. But not by looking back. We'll talk with young
blues musicians, poets and artists about the future of the blues.
Shemekia Copeland - Madison Blues Festival
Chris Thomas King
Shemekia Copeland with Jim Fleming
|Shemekia Copeland is a young Blues
singer who's already being compared to the greats. Jim Fleming
talked with her backstage at the Madison Blues Festival. Shemekia
talks about singing the Blues with her famous father, Johnny
Copeland, and working with her producer, Dr. John. Shemekia
Copeland's new CD is called "Talking to Strangers."
We hear excerpts from her recordings and exclusive live excerpts
from a recording of her Madison concert.
||David Hajdu recently wrote a controversial
article for The New Republic about the legacy of Alan Lomax.
Lomax and his father made field recordings of thousands of
folk and blues songs including work by Leadbelly and Muddy
Waters. Hajdu says we owe Lomax an enormous debt for preserving
the history of what became all of popular music, but feels
Lomas was wrong to add his own name to the copyright. We hear
musical illustrations and excerpts of Lomax from his own field
recordings. Also, Kevin Young is a blues poet. His
new collection is called "Jelly Roll: A Blues."
Young tells Steve Paulson what makes a blues poem and gives
him a couple of examples.
Chris Thomas King
played blues legend Tommy Johnson in the film "O Brother, Where
Art Thou?" His tune on the soundtrack won 3 Grammy Awards.
King sees his music as a bridge between the worlds of hip hop and
the Blues. King tells Anne Strainchamps he mixes both genres to
make what he calls 21st century blues. And we hear examples.
Cassette copies are available
at 1-800-747-7444. Ask for program number 03-09-21-A.
- Kevin Young, Jelly Roll: A Blues (Knopf)
- Various Songs and excerpts
from the following CDs:
- Shemekia Copeland, Wicked. Alligator Records.
- Shemekia Copeland, Turn the Heat Up. Alligator
- Shemekia Copeland, Talking to Strangers. Alligator
- Chris Thomas King, 21st Century Blues. . . From
Da Hood. 21st Century Blues Records.
- Chris Thomas King, Dirty South Hip Hop Blues.
21st Century Blues Records.
- Other music heard during the show:
- Muddy Waters, "Rolling' and Tumblin' (Part
- Muddy Waters, "Feel Like Going Home."
- Johnny Farmer, "Insrumental." Wrong
Doers Respect Me. Fat Possum Records.
- Leadbelly, "Good Morning Blues."
- Chris Thomas King, "Hard Time Killing Floor
Blues," O'Brother Where Art Thou? Soundtrack. Lost Highway.
- RL Burnside, "Shuck Dub." Come On In.
Fat Possum Records.
- Mississippi Slim, "Slow Blues." Blues
in the Mississippi Night. Rounder.
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