The blues have traveled far and wide over the last century — exerting a vast cultural influence worldwide, yielding myriad offshoots, and generating fortunes for some of the biggest musical acts of our time. But it's also still the product of local conditions, and bound by hardscrabble local concerns.
On this episode of Jazz Night in America, we'll go to Clarksdale, Miss., to get a temperature reading at ground level, where struggling musicians are finally beginning to reap the benefits of a recent wave of blues tourism.
We'll speak to some of the key players responsible for this, including Roger Stolle, founder of The Juke Joint Blues Festival; Bill Luckett, Clarksdale's mayor, and the co-owner (with actor Morgan Freeman) of the Ground Zero Blues Club in Clarksdale; and, of course some of the incredible talent keeping the blues alive, like Terry "Harmonica" Bean, Anthony "Big A" Sherrod, and 18-year-old blues prodigy Christone "Kingfish" Ingram.
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