Sunday, 1 June 2014

Lou Bopp | The Blues Musicians

Photo © Lou Bopp-All Rights Reserved
One of my earliest music loves was the Delta Blues (aka Mississippi Blues), and consequently a major must-do on my bucket list is photographing authentic non-famous blues musicians in Clarksdale, Mississippi, and spend time with them to document their music making.

It's more than a major's an itch that keeps recurring every now and then....especially when I chance on the work of talented photographer such as Lou Bopp who traveled in the Mississippi Delta to do just that.

Originating in the Mississippi Delta, the Delta blues is one of the earliest styles of blues music. The area is famous both for its fertile soil and its poverty, and as consequence gave birth to a soulful and passionate vocals.  Guitar, harmonica and cigar box guitar are the dominant instruments used, with slide guitar (usually on the steel guitar) being a hallmark of the style.

The Blues Musicians is one of the many galleries on Lou Bopp's website that features his work on the blues. He had long been a fan of the music, so he knew he had to go to Clarksdale and surrounding areas in order to photograph some of its remaining legends. He drove on Route 61— the “Blues Highway”—and ventured down dirt roads and stopped into juke joints that featured these legendary musicians.

Much more on this project can be found on Behold, Slate magazine's photo blog. He also participated in the production of Moonshine & Mojo Hands, a web series about the Delta Blues. It'll give you a little taste of what this type of blues is all about.