Highway 61 Radio

October 20, 2010

Mississippi: State of Blues

Filed under: — Scott Barretta @ 1:21 am

For the last several years photographer Ken Murphy and I  travelled around Mississippi assessing the contemporary blues scene. The result is the book Mississippi: State of Blues, which officially came out in November of 2010. The book, which you can sample at our website, features 102 large format photographs by Ken, as well as  long essay by me on the current state of Mississippi blues as well as detailed notes about the photographs. The site also lists the many independent bookstores and the blues museums where you can buy the book.

We’ve had a fun time promoting the book — our first signing took place here in Oxford at Square Books, where Jake Fussell and Jamison Hollister provided entertainment. At the official release party at Underground 119 in Jackson (following a signing at Lemuria Books) the band of my good friend Jesse Robinson performed, and he was joined by his old boss Bobby Rush — both Jesse and Bobby are featured in the book, so that made it particularly special.

We’ve gotten nice write-ups in Living Blues, the Southern Register, and local papers, and we received a great push from Ken and I’s mutual friend John Evans, owner of Jackson’s wonderful Lemuria Books. John wrote the preface to the book, and authored a number of posts on it for Lemuria’s blog — they’re all collected here.

The newly established magazine Legends out of Meridian had a nice feature that you can read on their website, and the southern cultural magazine Garden and Gun also did a nice web feature on the book and put up an online gallery that features images that aren’t on our website — check it out!

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