Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Blues is Still Alive

Roger Stolle, owner of Cathead Delta Blues & Folk Art of Clarksdale, visited the campus of the University of Mississippi on Wednesday to talk about his background and his love for the blues. Stolle who is not originally from Mississippi recently completed a documentary about Mississippi blues artists which took him to eight different towns in a week and interviewed 12 people during his journey.

Being a real big fan of blues music and Mississippi history, I was really inspired by Stolle’s presentation. One of the artists he mentioned, Big George Brock, was actually born in my hometown and I was considering doing a research paper on him in my Anthropology of the Blues class.

As Stolle stated in his presentation, blues is not dying but the original blues artists are so we should cherish them and their music. His documentary was a great way to promote their music and adventurous lives which are in every sense of the word adventurous. After the Stolle’s presentation I searched other blues artists like T Model Ford. After a quick search on YouTube, I found an interview where he stated, “I ain’t never been to school a day in my life. I can’t even spell my own name.” Although I fully support education, you just can’t find people like this these days. They only live once and Stolle is capturing it while they still live. I have to commend him on his efforts.

One of the major things that interested me about Stolle was his passion for blues and how he left the corporate world to pursue his dreams. He left his comfort zone and a steady paycheck to take a chance on something that held no promises. However, it seems pursuing his dreams paid off in the long haul. In 2008, he was the recipient of the Blues Foundation’s Keeping the Blues Alive Award (Retail).

I also went to the website to find out the price for the documentary. After seeing the steep $40 price I was forced to reconsider my thoughts about purchasing a copy. Hopefully, whenever I’m not so “cost-efficient” I will get a copy.


Anonymous said...

Hi Kenny, Thanks for coming to the presentation yesterday. I enjoyed it, myself, and appreciate Prof Dolan for asking me to do it. I'm glad you found it interesting and inspirational. So, are you from Grenada where Big George was born or Mattson where he grew up? Just curious. If you're from Grenada, Magic Slim and Magic Sam (and probably other bluesmen) were also born there. As for the new "M for Mississippi" road-trip blues documentary, I just want to mention again (in print) that Jeff Konkel, Damien Blaylock, Kari Jones and Bill Abel were all essential to make it happen. Also, the good news is that the "M for M" DVD is available at Cat Head for $20 plus tax ($21.40); hopefully, that's a little better than the package price for the CD soundtrack and DVD on the movie web site. Again thanks for coming out to watch and listen yesterday. I appreciate it. Best regards, Roger Stolle at Cat Head,

Kenny said...

I'm from his birthplace, Grenada. I originally decided to do my research paper on Magic Slim and Magic Sam ; however, after seeing and hearing Big George Brock it would be nice to actually do the paper on him instead. Is there anyway you can get me in contact with him to get a quick sense of his background and his future in blues. Thanks. My e-mail address is