Bill Steber

Junior Kimbrough Series: Junior 1

Junior Kimbrough Series: Junior 1

Multiple sizes available. Silver gelatin print. ©Bill Steber. For purchase, please call toll-free: 1-877-694-2040 or email: art@theartscompany.com

Junior Kimbrough Series: Couple At Junior's 1

Junior Kimbrough Series: Couple At Junior's 1

Multiple sizes available. Silver gelatin print. ©Bill Steber. For purchase, please call toll-free: 1-877-694-2040 or email: art@theartscompany.com

Junior Kimbrough Series: Dancers At Junior's IV

Junior Kimbrough Series: Dancers At Junior's IV

Multiple sizes available, Silver Gelatin print. ©Bill Steber. For purchase, please call toll-free: 1-877-694-2040 or email: art@theartscompany.com

Junior Kimbrough Series: Dancers at Junior's III, Chulahoma, MS, 1998

Junior Kimbrough Series: Dancers at Junior's III, Chulahoma, MS, 1998

Multiple sizes available. Silver gelatin print. ©Bill Steber. For purchase, please call toll-free: 1-877-694-2040 or email: art@theartscompany.com

Jukin At Thompson Grocery

Jukin At Thompson Grocery

Multiple sizes available. Silver gelatin print. ©Bill Steber. For purchase, please call toll-free: 1-877-694-2040 or email: art@theartscompany.com

David Johnson

David Johnson

Multiple sizes available. Silver gelatin print. ©Bill Steber. For purchase, please call toll-free: 1-877-694-2040 or email: art@theartscompany.com

Deacon Allen Moore

Deacon Allen Moore

Multiple sizes available. Silver gelatin print. ©Bill Steber. For purchase, please call toll-free: 1-877-694-2040 or email: art@theartscompany.com

Jimmy And Friend, Leland, MS

Jimmy And Friend, Leland, MS

Multiple sizes available. Silver gelatin print. ©Bill Steber. For purchase, please call toll-free: 1-877-694-2040 or email: art@theartscompany.com

Junior Kimbrough Series: Junior Stretch

Junior Kimbrough Series: Junior Stretch

Multiple sizes available. Silver gelatin print. ©Bill Steber. For purchase, please call toll-free: 1-877-694-2040 or email: art@theartscompany.com

Junior Kimbrough Series: Junior's Tree

Junior Kimbrough Series: Junior's Tree

Multiple sizes available. Silver gelatin print. ©Bill Steber. For purchase, please call toll-free: 1-877-694-2040 or email: art@theartscompany.com

Mose Vinson, Memphis, TN

Mose Vinson, Memphis, TN

Multiple sizes available. Silver gelatin print. ©Bill Steber. For purchase, please call toll-free: 1-877-694-2040 or email: art@theartscompany.com

Napoleon Strickland, Como, MS

Napoleon Strickland, Como, MS

Multiple sizes available. Silver gelatin print. ©Bill Steber. For purchase, please call toll-free: 1-877-694-2040 or email: art@theartscompany.com

R.L. Burnside

R.L. Burnside

Multiple sizes available. Silver gelatin print. ©Bill Steber. For purchase, please call toll-free: 1-877-694-2040 or email: art@theartscompany.com

Robert Walker

Robert Walker

Multiple sizes available. Silver gelatin print. ©Bill Steber. For purchase, please call toll-free: 1-877-694-2040 or email: art@theartscompany.com

T Model Ford and Jack Daniels, Greenville, MS, 2001

T Model Ford and Jack Daniels, Greenville, MS, 2001

Multiple sizes available. Silver gelatin print. ©Bill Steber. For purchase, please call toll-free: 1-877-694-2040 or email: art@theartscompany.com

Eugene Powell I

Eugene Powell I

Multiple sizes available. Silver gelatin print. ©Bill Steber. For purchase, please call toll-free: 1-877-694-2040 or email: art@theartscompany.com

Hellhound

Hellhound

Multiple sizes available. Silver gelatin print. ©Bill Steber. For purchase, please call toll-free: 1-877-694-2040 or email: art@theartscompany.com

Jack Owens, Bertonia, MS 1995

Jack Owens, Bertonia, MS 1995

Multiple sizes available. Silver gelatin print. ©Bill Steber. For purchase, please call toll-free: 1-877-694-2040 or email: art@theartscompany.com

Bottle Tree

Bottle Tree

Multiple sizes available. Silver gelatin print. ©Bill Steber. For purchase, please call toll-free: 1-877-694-2040 or email: art@theartscompany.com

Doll Head

Doll Head

Multiple sizes available. Silver gelatin print. ©Bill Steber. For purchase, please call toll-free: 1-877-694-2040 or email: art@theartscompany.com

Spiritualist

Spiritualist

Multiple sizes available. Silver gelatin print. ©Bill Steber. For purchase, please call toll-free: 1-877-694-2040 or email: art@theartscompany.com

Burning Field

Burning Field

Multiple sizes available. Silver gelatin print. ©Bill Steber. For purchase, please call toll-free: 1-877-694-2040 or email: art@theartscompany.com

Boogaloo Ames, Greenville, MS 1997

Boogaloo Ames, Greenville, MS 1997

Multiple sizes available. Silver gelatin print. ©Bill Steber. For purchase, please call toll-free: 1-877-694-2040 or email: art@theartscompany.com

Hezekiah Early

Hezekiah Early

Multiple sizes available. Silver gelatin print. ©Bill Steber. For purchase, please call toll-free: 1-877-694-2040 or email: art@theartscompany.com

Bobo Dancers, Bobo, MS 1993

Bobo Dancers, Bobo, MS 1993

Multiple sizes available. Silver gelatin print. ©Bill Steber. For purchase, please call toll-free: 1-877-694-2040 or email: art@theartscompany.com

Otha Goat head

Otha Goat head

Multiple sizes available. Silver gelatin print. ©Bill Steber. For purchase, please call toll-free: 1-877-694-2040 or email: art@theartscompany.com

Rev. Leon Pinson, Clarksdale, MS 1993

Rev. Leon Pinson, Clarksdale, MS 1993

Multiple sizes available. Silver gelatin print. ©Bill Steber. For purchase, please call toll-free: 1-877-694-2040 or email: art@theartscompany.com

Woman with Quilt

Woman with Quilt

Multiple sizes available. Silver gelatin print. ©Bill Steber. For purchase, please call toll-free: 1-877-694-2040 or email: art@theartscompany.com

Willie Foster and Smoke, Greenville, MS 1998

Willie Foster and Smoke, Greenville, MS 1998

Multiple sizes available. Silver gelatin print. ©Bill Steber. For purchase, please call toll-free: 1-877-694-2040 or email: art@theartscompany.com

Willie Coffee, Lake Cormorant, MS 1998

Willie Coffee, Lake Cormorant, MS 1998

Multiple sizes available. Silver gelatin print. ©Bill Steber. For purchase, please call toll-free: 1-877-694-2040 or email: art@theartscompany.com

Scott Dunbar, Woodville, MS 1994

Scott Dunbar, Woodville, MS 1994

Multiple sizes available. Silver gelatin print. ©Bill Steber. For purchase, please call toll-free: 1-877-694-2040 or email: art@theartscompany.com

Frank Frost 1

Frank Frost 1

Multiple sizes available. Silver gelatin print. ©Bill Steber. For purchase, please call toll-free: 1-877-694-2040 or email: art@theartscompany.com

Jessie Mae Hemphill, Como, MS 2000

Jessie Mae Hemphill, Como, MS 2000

Multiple sizes available. Silver gelatin print. ©Bill Steber. For purchase, please call toll-free: 1-877-694-2040 or email: art@theartscompany.com

Will Ed Clemons, New Albany, MS 2000

Will Ed Clemons, New Albany, MS 2000

Multiple sizes available. Silver gelatin print. ©Bill Steber. For purchase, please call toll-free: 1-877-694-2040 or email: art@theartscompany.com

Honeyboy Edwards

Honeyboy Edwards

Multiple sizes available. Silver gelatin print. ©Bill Steber. For purchase, please call toll-free: 1-877-694-2040 or email: art@theartscompany.com

Pat Thomas and Art

Pat Thomas and Art

Multiple sizes available. Silver gelatin print. ©Bill Steber. For purchase, please call toll-free: 1-877-694-2040 or email: art@theartscompany.com

Frank Clark

Frank Clark

Multiple sizes available. Silver gelatin print. ©Bill Steber. For purchase, please call toll-free: 1-877-694-2040 or email: art@theartscompany.com

Rev. John Wilkins

Rev. John Wilkins

Multiple sizes available. Silver gelatin print. ©Bill Steber. For purchase, please call toll-free: 1-877-694-2040 or email: art@theartscompany.com

Adolphus Bell at Schloss

Adolphus Bell at Schloss

Multiple sizes available. Silver gelatin print. ©Bill Steber. For purchase, please call toll-free: 1-877-694-2040 or email: art@theartscompany.com

R.L. Burnside

R.L. Burnside

R.L. Burnside Portrait Chulahoma, MS 2003 R.L. Burnside, known as "Rule" in the Mississippi Hill Country where he was born and raised, played a blues guitar style distinctive from his contemporaries in the Delta. Influenced by fife and drum music and the guitar style of Fred McDowell, Burnside's music had a percussive, driving rhythm that marked the hill country guitar style. Burnside spent most of his life sharecropping and raising a large family, only playing music on the weekends for local parties. In 1967 he made his first recordings for George Mitchell, which put him on the blues festival circuit, but it wasn't until his 1995 collaboration with noise rocker Jon Spencer, Ass Pocket of Whiskey, that Burnside reached a wide audience with his music. In the last ten years of his life, Burnside became an elder statesman for alternative rock fans as much as those in the blues community, releasing a series of experimental blues re-mix albums and appearing on-stage with the North Mississippi All-Stars at Boneroo. R.L.'s sons are keeping his music alive in true Burnside style.

 

Multiple sizes available. Silver gelatin print. ©Bill Steber. For purchase, please call toll-free: 1-877-694-2040 or email: art@theartscompany.com

9 Foot Stacks

9 Foot Stacks

Floyd Hollman and Leona pick cotton with traditional 9-foot sacks on Hollman's farm in Abbeville, MS. The introduction of the mechanical cotton picker in the 1940's marked the end of an era in American society. Many African-Americans, no longer needed for large-scale hand-picked cotton farming, left Mississippi in search of opportunity in the North. Today, only a handful of farmers still harvest cotton in the manner of their slave and sharecropper ancestors. Octagenarian Floyd Hollman owns his own land and still hand-picks at least part of his crop every year to keep his stamina up. "I used to be able to pick over 300 pounds of cotton a day" says Hollman, "But now I can only get about 100 pounds."

 

Multiple sizes available. Silver gelatin print. ©Bill Steber. For purchase, please call toll-free: 1-877-694-2040 or email: art@theartscompany.com

Jimmy & Friend, Lealand, MS 1995

Jimmy & Friend, Lealand, MS 1995

Multiple sizes available. Silver gelatin print. ©Bill Steber. For purchase, please call toll-free: 1-877-694-2040 or email: art@theartscompany.com

Baptism 1

Baptism 1

While most contemporary churches have abandoned river and lake baptisms in favor or indoor baptismal tanks, the rural congregations of the Northwest Delta still gather together on the first Sunday in September to baptise yearly candidates in Moon Lake, just as they have for generations. It is at these baptism ceremonies where one can still hear spirituals sung in a style that predates modern gospel music. Songs are begun spontaneously by women song leaders and the congregation sings the lines as they are introduced in the classic call and response style which is the hallmark of African-American music, from spirituals to work chants to blues and jazz.

 

Multiple sizes available. Silver gelatin print. ©Bill Steber. For purchase, please call toll-free: 1-877-694-2040 or email: art@theartscompany.com

Otha Turner

Otha Turner

African fife and drum music was historically at the center of black musical and social culture in the North East Mississippi hill country and other Southern communities dating back to the birth of the nation. But with the passing of time and traditions, master fife player Otha Turner, in his mid 90's, now heads the last African fife and drum band in America. Turner is teaching the music to his grandchildren in the hopes that future generations will perserve one of the oldest known forms of African American folk music.

 

Multiple sizes available. Silver gelatin print. ©Bill Steber. For purchase, please call toll-free: 1-877-694-2040 or email: art@theartscompany.com

Abe "Cag" Young

Abe "Cag" Young

Drummer Abe "Cag" Young learned drumming as a child by beating on an old gas tank in his front yard. Now in his late 60's, Young is one of a handful of musicians in the Northeast Mississippi hill country that keep alive the centuries-old African fife and drum tradition. His father Lonnie and uncle Ed Young were among the first musicians of this music to be recorded in 1940 and 1957 by folklorist Alan Lomax for the Library of Congress. Cag Young has played for most of his musical career with fife player Otha Turner and other drummers at rural hill country picnics as well as at blues festivals in the US and Europe. Young recently retired from his job as a plantation tractor driver and is devoting more of his time to his music.

 

Multiple sizes available. Silver gelatin print. ©Bill Steber. For purchase, please call toll-free: 1-877-694-2040 or email: art@theartscompany.com

Napolean Strickland

Napolean Strickland

Napolean Strickland has been described as one of the greatest fife players to emerge from a long history of African fife and drum music in the Mississippi hill country. Players like Strickland fashioned their instruments by burning out the middle joint and the finger holes of a peice of riverbottom cane with a hot poker. The fife player leads a group of drummers through a parade ground observing an intricate coreography handed down through the generations. Slaves in this country first adopted the fife and drum from Scottish military music in pre-revolutionary days. History records that Thomas Jefferson's own personal body servant organized a small group to rally the revolutionary war effort. What distinguishes this music from it's European ancestory is the polyrhythmic drom patterns and expressive fife melodies that owe more to African musical tradition. A version of this music is still common in West Africa and the West Indies, but performances in this country, though once common throughout the South, are now concentrated in the Gravel Springs community of Notheast Mississippi. Napolean Strickland died in Senatobia, MS in July of 2001.

 

Multiple sizes available. Silver gelatin print. ©Bill Steber. For purchase, please call toll-free: 1-877-694-2040 or email: art@theartscompany.com

Junior Kimbrough

Junior Kimbrough

Hill country blues guitarist David "Junior" Kimbrough performs at his juke joint in rural Marshall Co. on a Sunday night in late 1996. Kimbrough last performed in early 1997 when an illness forced him to retire from music. He died in January of 1998. Kimbrough was an innovator who combined the traditional elements of hill country blues, (droning, emphatic rhythms and powerful beats) with his own eclectic musical sensibilites to create a music that redefined hill country guitar style.

 

Multiple sizes available. Silver gelatin print. ©Bill Steber. For purchase, please call toll-free: 1-877-694-2040 or email: art@theartscompany.com

Dancers at Jr.'s I

Dancers at Jr.'s I

Dancers at Jr.'s I Chulahoma, MS 1994 David Jr. Kimbrough ran a number of juke joints in and around his home in Holly Springs from 1960 to his death in 1998, providing a focal point for the social life of African Americans in Marshall Co., MS. Kimbrough, a Fat Possum recording artist featured in the documentary film "Deep Blues" played a hypnotic style of hill country music he called "cotton patch blues." Party-goers packed his elaborately-decorated roadside establishment on Sunday nights, dancing to rhythmically complex songs that sometimes went on for almost an hour.

 

Multiple sizes available. Silver gelatin print. ©Bill Steber. For purchase, please call toll-free: 1-877-694-2040 or email: art@theartscompany.com

Hellhound

Hellhound

Lonnie Pitchford holds a dog skull found near the porch of a juke house he used to play in as a teenager. Until his death at age 43 in November of 1998, Pitchford was the most masterful interpreter of the music of Robert Johnson. Like Johnson, Pitchford was a shy genius whose musical gifts set him apart from his contemporaries. Pitchford's approach to his music came from his immersion in and understanding of the same rural Mississippi culture that produced other great blues men of the past, a modern rarity considering that most bluesmen of his generation, both black and white, no longer come from the original culture that produced the Blues. Also like Johnson, Pitchford lived his life on a self-destructive path as if being pursued by supernatural forces. In Robert Johnson's most haunting song, "Hellhound on my Trail," he sang "Got to keep moving, got to keep moving/ Blues falling down like hail, blues falling down like hail/ And the day keeps on 'minding me/ There's a Hellhound on my trail, Hellhound on my trail."

 

Multiple sizes available. Silver gelatin print. ©Bill Steber. For purchase, please call toll-free: 1-877-694-2040 or email: art@theartscompany.com

Bentonia Blues

Bentonia Blues

A black cat stares out from the front porch of blues singer Jack Owens as he plays his dark and haunting blues with harmonica accompanist Bud Spires. Owens, whose canon of songs comes from the minor-keyed Bentonia tradition made famous by the delta legend Skip James, sings in his signature song, "It must have been the devil, changed that woman's mind/ I'd rather be the devil than to be that woman's friend." Songs in the Bentonia tradition are suffused with brooding images of the supernatural. Robert Johnson drew from this tradtion in composing his most haunting blues, "Hellhound on my trail."

 

Multiple sizes available. Silver gelatin print. ©Bill Steber. For purchase, please call toll-free: 1-877-694-2040 or email: art@theartscompany.com

Son Thomas

Son Thomas

A former grave digger and day laborer, James "Sonny Ford" Thomas became internationally known as much for his highly evocative folk art of skulls, corpses and animals as for his talents as a blues artist. In song, Thomas often celebrated "61 Hwy" which runs from Chicago to New Orleans, passing a few hundred feet from the front door of his modest shotgun shack in Leland, MS . Of Thomas' music, William Ferris wrote in his 1978 book Blues From The Delta: "Rural blues men like [Thomas] describe isolation with stark images like an empty room or a highway in the Mississipi countryside." Thomas was known for his wavering, falsetto voice with which he sang songs like, "I'm sitting here a thousand miles from nowhere in this one room country shack/ I wake up every night about midnight, I just can't sleep/ All the crickets keep me company, you know the wind howling round my feet/ Rocks is my pillow and cold ground is my bed/ The highway is my home/ Lord I might as well be dead."

 

Multiple sizes available. Silver gelatin print. ©Bill Steber. For purchase, please call toll-free: 1-877-694-2040 or email: art@theartscompany.com

Willie King 1

Willie King 1

Multiple sizes available. Silver gelatin print. ©Bill Steber. For purchase, please call toll-free: 1-877-694-2040 or email: art@theartscompany.com

Robert Walker

Robert Walker

Robert Walker Stovall, MS 1994 Robert Walker duck-walks down the road behind Muddy Water's cabin on the Stovall plantation outside Clarksdale, MS. Originally from Bobo, MS, Walker has spent the last few decades traveling between his home in Bakersfield, CA and his hometown in Bobo, often arriving in a used limo, van or school bus. Walker is one of the last genuine Delta juke-house rockers, alternating in his set between blues standards to numerous Chuck Berry numbers, as well as the occasional country song. Whether playing in front of 1,000 blues fans at a festival or a dozen hometown fans in the back of a Delta general store, Walker's live shows are always memorable.

 

Multiple sizes available. Silver gelatin print. ©Bill Steber. For purchase, please call toll-free: 1-877-694-2040 or email: art@theartscompany.com

Pinetop Perkins 1

Pinetop Perkins 1

Pinetop Perkins Chicago, IL 1995 Joe Willie "Pinetop" Perkins was born in 1913 in Belzoni, MS and learned barrel house piano style at age 10 from his stepfather, quickly surpassing him and picking up guitar as well. Perkins took his nickname from 20's piano legend "Pinetop" Smith, and began his blues career at age 13, playing with Big Joe Williams, Willie Love, Robert Nighthawk, and eventually securing a spot on KFFA's legendary King Biscuit Hour with Sonny Boy Williamson until 1948. But Perkin's big break came in 1970 when he replaced Otis Spann in Muddy Water's band, a gig that would last for twelve years through one of Muddy's most powerful and prolific musical periods. Today, though semi-retired, Pinetop Perkins is an undisputed elder statesman of barrel house piano style. He still records and tours with other members of Muddy's band.

 

Multiple sizes available. Silver gelatin print. ©Bill Steber. For purchase, please call toll-free: 1-877-694-2040 or email: art@theartscompany.com

Lonnie Pitchford

Lonnie Pitchford

Lonnie Pitchford was discovered in his teen years by folklorist Worth Long and was taken to Washington where he performed on the one-string diddley bow. Since then, Lonnie appeared on numerous albums and in documentary films such as "Deep Blues". In 1994, Rooster Records released his first, and so far only, solo CD. Lonnie first learned the music of Robert Johnson form the musician's step-son Robert Jr. Lockwood. Under Lockwood's tutelage, Pitchford became one of the foremost interpreters of Robert Johnson's music. Lonnie is shown here in the house identified by Honey Boy Edwards as the house he and Robert Johnson were playing in the night Johnson was alleged poisoned by a jealous husband in 1938 at age 26. Tragically, Pitchford himself died in November of 1998 at age 43.

 

Multiple sizes available. Silver gelatin print. ©Bill Steber. For purchase, please call toll-free: 1-877-694-2040 or email: art@theartscompany.com

Mose Vinson

Mose Vinson

Mose Vinson is one of the last practitioners of genuine barrel house blues piano. Originally from Holly Springs, MS, Vinson worked as a clean-up man and part-time pianist for Sam Phillip's Sun label in Memphis. Between sessions, Vinson would sit at the piano and play "44 Blues" so often he eventually convinced Phillips to record him in 1954. In addition, he also appeared on records by James Cotton, Walter Horton, Joe Hill Louis and others, although his own Sun sides went unreleased for 30 years. Mose's first full-length CD was finally released in 1997. Vinson still keeps his regular weekend gig playing at the Center for Southern Folklore on Beale Street.

 

Multiple sizes available. Silver gelatin print. ©Bill Steber. For purchase, please call toll-free: 1-877-694-2040 or email: art@theartscompany.com

John Lee Hooker

John Lee Hooker

Multiple sizes available. Silver gelatin print. ©Bill Steber. For purchase, please call toll-free: 1-877-694-2040 or email: art@theartscompany.com

Jessie Mae Hemphill

Jessie Mae Hemphill

Blues guitarist/singer Jessie Mae Hemphill's upbringing was steeped in Mississippi Hill country musical traditions taught to her by her grandfather Sid Hemphill, aunt Rosa Lee Hill, and her extended musical family. Female blues guitarists of Hemphill's generation are rare because of the social strictures and danger associated with the lifestyle. Jessie Mae, however, has always known how to take care of herself in a hostile world. "My mother carried her gun all the time," says Hemphill. "She was a pistol-packing mama so I'm a pistol-packing mama." Jessie Mae fired her mother's pistol for the first time at age nine, gunning for an 18 year old boywhom she thought was her boyfriend as he passed by her house with his 19 year old girlfriend. "I shot at that boy FIVE times. They were RUNNING! He run off and left his hat. She broke the heel off her shoe. And the only thing that saved them was they were going down a hill and I shot into a bank [of ground]," Hemphill says with a laugh.

Joe Cole

Joe Cole

Joe Cole Bobo MS 1995 Retired mechanic and musician Joe Cole still lives on his former employer's farm in the same small home with no plumbing he has lived in for 50 years. Cole, an accomplished musician who never recorded or played his music beyond Coahoma Co., prefers to spend his time gardening and working on his truck. For decades, Cole twice weekly collected fresh water for himself and his wife from a spigot one mile away and hauled it home for cooking and bathing. Recently, a spigot was run down to his yard to shorten his trip. WIth his wife now living with their daughter in Kansas City, Cole now lives alone and is the last resident of the farm that once gave homes to dozens of families. In a sign of the times, the former plantation home is unoccupied, the few remaining homes and buildings are abandoned and falling in, and the land is rented out to other farmers.

 

Multiple sizes available. Silver gelatin print. ©Bill Steber. For purchase, please call toll-free: 1-877-694-2040 or email: art@theartscompany.com

Elder Roma Wilson

Elder Roma Wilson

Multiple sizes available. Silver gelatin print. ©Bill Steber. For purchase, please call toll-free: 1-877-694-2040 or email: art@theartscompany.com

Charles Cadillac Caldwell

Charles Cadillac Caldwell

Multiple sizes available. Silver gelatin print. ©Bill Steber. For purchase, please call toll-free: 1-877-694-2040 or email: art@theartscompany.com

David Johnson

David Johnson

Until his death in 1997, guitarist/harmonica player/folk artist David Johnson played Delta-style slide guitar at his home in Elba, AL on an old Stella guitar. Slide guitar technique is thought to have developed from a rudimentary single string African instrument played by sliding a bone or rock the length of the string. In the American South, a similar child's toy called a "diddley bow" often served as the first musical instrument for aspiring young blues players in the Delta. Mississippi blues artists used the slide as a way to mimic the human voice and have their instrument "talk" back to them in a call-and-response style often associated with the black church. It's use spread throughout the country with players using everything from broken bottle necks to knives to produce the distinctive, ethereal sound of genuine Delta blues.

 

Multiple sizes available. Silver gelatin print. ©Bill Steber. For purchase, please call toll-free: 1-877-694-2040 or email: art@theartscompany.com

David Johnson 2

David Johnson 2

Until his death in 1997, guitarist/harmonica player/folk artist David Johnson played Delta-style slide guitar at his home in Elba, AL on an old Stella guitar. Slide guitar technique is thought to have developed from a rudimentary single string African instrument played by sliding a bone or rock the length of the string. In the American South, a similar child's toy called a "diddley bow" often served as the first musical instrument for aspiring young blues players in the Delta. Mississippi blues artists used the slide as a way to mimic the human voice and have their instrument "talk" back to them in a call-and-response style often associated with the black church. It's use spread throughout the country with players using everything from broken bottle necks to knives to produce the distinctive, ethereal sound of genuine Delta blues.

 

Multiple sizes available. Silver gelatin print. ©Bill Steber. For purchase, please call toll-free: 1-877-694-2040 or email: art@theartscompany.com

B.B. King at Club Ebony

B.B. King at Club Ebony

Not only is B.B. King the most famous living blues man, he is one of the best known music personalities in the world. King was raised in Indianola, MS where he drove a tractor on a cotton plantation, playing gospel and blues on the street corner for tips. He left for Memphis where he became a D.J. for WDIA radio and then began his long and successful recording career. King has taken his blues all over the world and still returns to his home town every June to give a free concert to the folks back home. B.B. is seen here performing at the club Ebony, an Indianola club he as played his entire career and where he met his second wife.

 

Multiple sizes available. Silver gelatin print. ©Bill Steber. For purchase, please call toll-free: 1-877-694-2040 or email: art@theartscompany.com