The migration of the blues from the fields of the Mississippi Delta to clubs on the southside of Chicago has been well-documented by historians and musicologists, but there is also a rich tradition in and around the Appalachian mountains that has received scant attention. A new album, “Classic Appalachian Blues” by Smithsonian Folkways, helps to set the record straight.
It’s just after closing on a Friday night at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washington. In the darkened auditorium, a jazz quintet is building a rhythmic floor on a soft, steady percussion line and lilting piano chords.
Recent outrage over the Smithsonian’s management practices tarnished the cultural and scientific giant’s image. Days after its National Museum of American History reopened in Washington, Jeffrey Brown reports on changes that are underway and new funding challenges. Continue reading