To most people Mississippi remains both familiar and exotic. The birthplace of Muddy Waters, Jimmie Rodgers, Robert Johnson, William Faulkner, Elvis Presley and Leontyne Price, its influence is felt everywhere, yet it remains shrouded in mystery, rich in legend.
It was a place of Native heritage and early exploration (at various times "claimed" by France, Spain and England), a major player in the Civil War and its aftermath and a battleground in the civil rights struggle. Mississippi blues musicians (Son House, Charlie Patton, Booker White, John Hurt, etc.) were well represented in the commercial recordings of the '20's and 30's, and rural traditions were documented by the WPA and Lomax projects in the '30's and beyond.
As place influences culture, culture influences place. Mississippi's music has radiated to the whole country for generations and continues to do so today. The shape for this opening concert in Chico Schwall's 2017-18 American Roots series will be geographical rather than chronological. We'll travel Mississippi's colorful territory (the Yazoo Delta, forests and hill country) and equally colorful place names (Tupelo, Avalon, Biloxi, Meridian, etc) and collect the scraps to make a big patchwork quilt of story and song.
Chico is joined by Alli Bach, Corwin Bolt and Josh Britten.
, vocals, banjo, fiddle, lap steel, accordion, guit.
Alli Bach, vocals, autoharp, accordion, danceCorwin Bolt
, guitar, banjo, bass