Synopses & Reviews
Set in an era as harsh and fertile as Delta silt, The Land Where the Blues Began reveals how the river of African-American culture overtook its repressive banks to give us R & B, soul, rock 'n' roll, and the only purely American art form, the blues. Alan Lomax takes us on an adventure into the "bad old days" of the post-slavery, Jim Crow Mississippi Delta the birthplace of the blues when railroads and levees were being built and cotton boomed at the expense of Southern working-class African Americans. Singing of their misery and their barely concealed rage, the Bluesman enlisted their African heritage to keep their souls alive and in the process created the first satirical song form in the English language. We meet Muddy Waters (the father of modern blues), learn how Robert Johnson met his end, and are introduced to Fred McDowell and Son House, who taught Mick Jagger and Eric Clapton how to play the blues.
"If not for Lomax, few people would have heard 'Tom Dooley' or 'Goodnight Irene, and Bob Zimmerman might be singing 'Feelings' at Holiday Inns around Hibbing, Minnesota." Newsweek