Search Results for: blues

Mugshot March continues with a special double-header! Most people who follow this blog know of my great interest in mug shots, but these are special. Near Steilacoom, Washington, on McNeil Island in the Puget Sound, a prison was opened in 1875. This was the McNeil Island Federal Penitentiary, with space for 853 prisoners.   McNeil was […]

Huddie William Ledbetter was better known as Leadbelly, and he is one of the greatest bluesmen ever. I need to write a separate post about his life to do him any kind of justice but today I just wanted to write about two of his songs: Take This Hammer and The Midnight Special. I like Leadbelly a […]

I love American roots music. A lot of music can fall into this category – blues, bluegrass, folk, soul, jazz, and country can all qualify – but today I want to write specifically about murder ballads. Murder ballads are uniquely American. There are, of course, songs about murder in every culture, but Americans truly made […]