In search of the roots of rock and roll, Clash embarked on a pilgrimage across America and discovered the musical foundations the country was built on.
It all began with a deep affection for Alan Lomax. From the 1930s onwards, the esteemed folklorist journeyed across the globe making field recordings of musicians to record the indigenous songs and styles they sang for posterity, and it was his work in America’s deep south - detailed in his 1993 book The Land Where The Blues Began - which really struck a chord.
Tracing the origins of the blues, the book uncovers the sounds heard from plantations, railroad and levee camps, prisons and front porches, and reveals the despair and hardship its pioneers endured. It is truly a fascinating read - one that can’t be recommended highly enough - and it inspired a group of blues enthusiasts to attempt their own crusade of musical enlightenment.
Clash’s objective was to investigate the lineage and legacy of the music in each city we visited, as we followed the Mississippi Blues Trail from Chicago to New Orleans. The Blues Trail, much like the UK’s blue plaques, commemorates significant sites and persons of the blues, but while its originators largely travelled from south to north to find fame and fortune, we worked in reverse, exploring the reasons for their migration and the development of their music. Along the way, we delved into Detroit soul and Motown, the country life of Nashville, Stax and Elvis in Memphis, the fertile genesis of the Mississippi Delta, and the birth of jazz in New Orleans, through incredible and astonishing interviews with The Miracles, Kings Of Leon, The Bar Kays and more.
Join us on our road trip through history...