Muddy Waters and wife Geneva in Chicago, 1951

This 1951 photograph of McKinley Morganfield, A.K.A. Muddy Waters, and wife Geneva was released a couple years ago, but I saw it for the first time today and was floored by its beauty.

Photographer Art Shay on how the image came to be: “Time magazine had sent me to the south side club in which he was performing. I arrived early as usual and there he was, strumming his guitar and cuddling his woman in the hallway. Slivers of dying winter light came down across the pair from some blessed window giving me barely enough natural light. He strummed a greeting using my name letter by letter.”

muddywaters

CeDell Davis, Last of the Delta Bluesmen

I’ll never forget the first time I heard CeDell Davis. I was a junior in high school, and I’d made my way to Mississippi for the first of many blues festivals to come. CeDell had a unique style of guitar playing, imposed by a merciless teacher—Polio. Unable to maneuver his crippled hands, he used a butter knife as a slide, creating a beautifully raw and original sound. A stroke has since robbed him of his ability to play guitar, but at 89 years old, he is still living the blues and chasing his dreams.

A photo I took of CeDell Davis at the Sunflower River Blues Festival in Clarksdale, MS, 2000

A photo I took of CeDell Davis at the Sunflower River Blues Festival in Clarksdale, MS, 2000

If you can, help CeDell make a new record by contributing to his Kickstarter campaign. He’s a real-deal Delta bluesman who has paid his dues and deserves your support.