As patrons begin to fill a room decorated with toy monkeys, beer posters and a silver disco ball, Mr. Seaberry
emerges in a startling suit of red with white pinstripes and a snazzy white hat, and smoking a cheroot. “Po’ Monkey is all anybody ever called me
since I was little,” he said. “I don’t know why, except I was poor for sure.” Transformed in the 1950s from a sharecropper shack that was built probably in the 1920s, Poor Monkey's Lounge
is one of the last rural juke joints along The Trail of the Hellhound
on the Mississippi Delta.Photographs of Po' Monkeys and other Delta Blues History
Blues, Booze, & BBQ
by Michael Loyd Young
Po' Monkey's Juke Joint
by Annie Liebovitz
Early blues musicians you might hear covered at Po' Monkey's Juke Joint. [be sure to click the sound icon to the left of each name for sample music]
's place, not only in the history of Delta blues, but in the overall history of the music, is a very high one indeed. He was a major innovator of the Delta style, along with his playing partners Charley Patton and Willie Brown.
No blues singer ever presented a more gentle, genial image than Mississippi John Hurt
. A guitarist with an extraordinarily lyrical and refined fingerpicking style, he also sang with a warmth unique in the field of blues, and the gospel influence in his music gave it a depth and reflective quality unusual in the field.
No two ways about it, the most influential slide guitarist of the postwar period was Elmore James
, hands down. Although his early demise from heart failure kept him from enjoying the fruits of the '60s blues revival as his contemporaries Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf did, James left a wide influential trail behind him.
Among the earliest and most influential Delta bluesmen to record, Skip James
was the best known proponent of the so-called Bentonia school of blues players, a genre strain invested with as much fanciful scholarly "research" as any.
If the Delta country blues has a convenient source point, it would probably be Charley Patton
, its first great star. His hoarse, impassioned singing style, fluid guitar playing, and unrelenting beat made him the original king of the Delta blues.
Like many of his contemporaries on the Chicago circuit, Muddy Waters
was a product of the fertile Mississippi Delta. From the late '40s on, he eloquently defined the city's aggressive, swaggering, Delta-rooted sound with his declamatory vocals and piercing slide guitar attack.