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Christone Kingfish Ingram, Jimmy Duck Holmes, Marquis Knox, and Jontavious Willis

21 Current Blues Musicians to Know in 2021

At Document Records, our main focus is compiling and sharing historic recordings of traditional American music. These were the works of innovators, artists who helped music to grow and change into what would become the blues (and jazz, and gospel, and country). However, traditional American music didn’t begin or end with the artists represented by … Continue reading “21 Current Blues Musicians to Know in 2021”


Blind Willie McTell recording for the Library of Congress

Nobody Sings The Blues Like Blind Willie McTell

Seen the arrow on the doorstepSaying, “This land is condemnedAll the way from New OrleansTo Jerusalem.”I traveled through East TexasWhere many martyrs fellAnd I know no one can sing the bluesLike Blind Willie McTell.Bob Dylan, “Blind Willie McTell” Semi-mythical in his own time, a shadowy legend to the blues revivalists, and known mainly to blues … Continue reading “Nobody Sings The Blues Like Blind Willie McTell”


Ramona Baker Reviews ‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom’

Even with all the negative comments from serious historians, the most striking element of the film was the attention to detail with the costumes. Any costume historian could tell you that such bright and gaudy colors were appropriately exhibited in the film, and the hairstyles all seemed to match. To clothing historians and collectors it … Continue reading “Ramona Baker Reviews ‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom’”


Bentonia Bluesmen

Skip, Duck, and the Grammy Awards: The Rise of the Bentonia Blues

Bentonia, Mississippi is a small town of just over 400 residents, about the same number it had in 1931. That year, the town’s most famous son went north to record for the Paramount Record Company. The railroad Nehemiah “Skip” James left on still runs through Bentonia, but the station is long gone. Still, not far … Continue reading “Skip, Duck, and the Grammy Awards: The Rise of the Bentonia Blues”


Ball And Chain Blues: 10 Prison Songs From The Document Catalogue

by D’Arcy Rix-Hayes The United States has the highest rate of incarceration in the world, with one in every 15 people in the country expected to go behind bars. According to Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow “more African American adults are under correctional control today…than were enslaved in 1850.” In many ways, slavery was … Continue reading “Ball And Chain Blues: 10 Prison Songs From The Document Catalogue”


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