4. The Blues
The Blues is a natural feature of the Mississippi Delta, a renewable resource. It oozes up out of the cracked dirt furrows of the cotton fields, underneath a lizard’s heel, and all around the trumpet-trunked cypresses in the chartreuse swamps. Then it streams beneath the cars parked at odd angles in front of the cinder-block juke joints before surging over the levee in a great slow wave. And when it hits the flat caramel river, there’s no stopping it, just like there’s been no stopping it for a century or more. It goes south to New Orleans, north to Memphis, west to San Francisco – and it fills the cars and streets and buildings of those cities, and the ones beyond them and the ones beyond them. And from there, the Blues flows all over the world, just as it flowed to me decades ago, never let go, became the music I must hear always and forever.