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Smithsonian Institution
Louisiana, Where Music is KingAmericans Old and NewMidwestern CrossroadsSouthern FusionLouisiana, Where Music is King
Kenny Bill Stinson

 
In northern Louisiana, country and blues came together, and a quirky breed of songwriter was born. Jerry Lee Lewis and his childhood friends and cousins Mickey Gilley and Jimmy Swaggart come out of here, as does swamp country singer/songwriter Tony Joe White. Kenny Bill Stinson is part of a long tradition.
       "Where I'm from is kind of like a train-wreck of country music and blues," Stinson says. "They kind of crashed together and blew up there. So I play a blend of country, blues, rock 'n' roll -- whatever I can throw together to make a living. I've been playing music, it seems like, ever since I was a baby. My mother said that I came out singing, not crying, and I've been hollering and yodeling and warbling ever since."
       Stinson leads a band that rocks parties and barrooms throughout northern Louisiana, but River of Song filmed him doing a solo set on the porch of a riverside saloon in Natchez-under-the-Hill, Mississippi. With his guitar chopping out a solid boogie rhythm and a rack harmonica punctuating the verses, he sang good-time, party music that spoke of southern cooking, pretty women, and the bright side of the honky-tonk life.

 
 

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