"The Big Muddy" follows centuries of human efforts to conceptualize this landscape of mud as a place with firm barriers between water and land, and then make these conceptions reality. A few examples: early French explorers repeatedly failed to locate the mouth of the Mississippi out of an inability to imagine a vast, multi-channeled delta. Rice, and then indigo, tobacco, and sugar encouraged settlers to drain, divide, and levee the landscape.
There are certain moments on the River that shine more brightly than others. When they happen, they’re sharp like dreams. It’s like the energy of the earth surges, rises from its core, and lights up something very small. Ditches, low fogs, rocks, and other unremarkable things become geysers of this glow.
Michael Loyd Young, documents the 150 miles of Highway 61, the famed blacktop road snaking from Memphis, TN down to Greenville, MS. At the halfway point, in the heart of the Mississippi Delta, sits Clarksdale, MS, the city considered the birthplace of the blues and the location of Robert Johnson’s famed “Cross Road Blues” intersection of Highway 61 and 49. The Delta has been home to blues legends such as Charley Patton, John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Ike Turner, Cadillac John Nolden, B.B. King, T-Model Ford, Mississippi Slim, Big Jack Johnson, and Willie King, among countless others whose music has become the glue that holds these communities together as they struggle to survive.
The river was up 40 feet at the Greenville Bridge by the time we got there - swelled by the normal snowmelt in many of the 37 States and 2 Canadian provinces that drain into it and also from the floodwaters that flowed down from the Cumberland River that had trashed Nashville, Tennessee a couple of weeks ago - all of this made for some exciting canoeing - with many of the sandbars and islands under water.
By the way, I'm only moving into a different house because my sweetie and I want to buy one together that is truly 'ours' if you know what I mean - Roger Stolle, Cathead Music with a new twist on why you'd sell a house