Road Trip Music in Mississippi
From the red clay roads of its northern counties to the ports and harbors along the Gulf, Mississippi is a state drenched in music. The story of Delta blues is there, with Robert Johnson and Charlie Patton. You could call Elvis Presley a country blues singer as much as he was a rock’n’ roller. Claire Holley is a contemporary writer and singer from the Magnolia state. Country star Faith Hill is from Mississippi. So is songwriter and producer Marty Stuart. The film O Brother, Where Art Thou? with a soundtrack comprising folk, blues, bluegrass, country, and gospel music, is set there.
As the Great American Road Trip: Music makes its way through Mississippi, the soundtrack comprises two albums from another Mississippi native, Caroline Herring. Herring is a storyteller whose music is informed by history, contemplation, faith, and language. Some of her stories are personal ones, some are character pieces drawn from history, some are set in Mississippi and some have their origins in other landscapes. On her album Twilight there is a vividly imagined emotional and geographic journey on the song Delta Highway. Trace, on Herring’s album Wellspring, takes a journey of history through the lives which have been lived along the Natchez Trace.
Herring tells these tales in a distinctive alto voice that well suits her stories, and with melodies that engage. There are gems on both these albums, stories of Mississippi, Texas, the west, and the heart, all well worth your attention.
you may also wish to see
Music Road: Caroline Herring: Golden Apples of the Sun
Music Road: ten songs
Music Road: Road Trip Music in Tennessee
This is part of The Great American Road Trip, in which I’m partnering up with A Traveler’s Library to add musical ideas to the book and film suggestions for journeys through the regions of the United States which you’ll find there. Stop by and see what the Library has in mind to inspire travels through Mississippi.
For more about the road trip (and a look at some great road songs) see Great American Road Trip: Music begins