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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

North Mississippi Hill Country Blues from 1967 documented in a new book

Folklorist George Mitchell began making blues recordings and interviewing artists in the early '60s when he was still in high school -- reading Sam Charters' book The Country Blues led him and a friend to head up to Memphis from their home in Atlanta to look up blues veterans.

In 1967 Mitchell, then in graduate school, returned to the greater Memphis area to document local music, and among his great "discoveries" were R.L. Burnside and Jessie Mae Hemphill. The recordings of Burnside initially came out on the Arhoolie label, and Hemphill was one of the subjects of Mitchell's now very difficult to find book Blow My Blues Away.

Over the last decade Oxford's Fat Possum label reissued all of the recordings made by Mitchell in Memphis, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and elsewhere via CDs, LPs, and a boxed set available either on CD or 45rpm singles.

This fall the University Press of Mississippi will issue a new book by Mitchell titled Mississippi Hill Country Blues: 1967.  Last week they blogged about the book, and included nine wonderful photos contained in its pages as well as a video of R.L. Burnside.

Here's the blog post.

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