"The blues ain't nothing but a good man feelin' bad.""The blues", everyone has them; those days when the world weighs heavy, the future is dark and invisible, the past a clouded mess of chaos and the present, a frantic attempt just to keep your head above water. If you've got "the blues" it will probably rain or snow; surely life would be better if you could hibernate in a dark, warm, quiet cave, all by yourself. Yes, everyone gets "the blues".
~ Leon Redbone
But not everyone can play the blues. Chester Burnett, "Howlin' Wolf" was born near West Point, Mississippi and became one of the most successful blues artists of the 50's and 60's. Several years ago the Howlin' Wolf Blues Festival was held in West Point, only a twenty mile drive from our house in Columbus, Mississippi. Nyssa and I had never been to a blues venue so we went. It was a typical hot Mississippi summer night and the crickets were going strong. Group after group got up to play and there were horns, piano, electric guitar and that swaying beat of the drums. My favorite group was a family one with a couple of small boys playing the horns; though they weren't more than 10 or 11, the sounds that came from those horns was unbelievable. The women in the audience were humming to the music and we had those old time hand held fans going double time in the heat. It was a great experience; people came and went as they felt, refreshment stands did a great business and the music continued late, or should I say early into the next day, according to the papers. Unfortunately, it was a school night so we had to leave before the major group performed. Several of the surviving members of Howlin' Wolf's band had returned to play together in his honor.
We moved away several years ago. I wonder if musicians still gather in that little town on a hot Mississippi night to sing and play "The Blues".
Submission for PhotoFriday topic "The Blues". (end of post)