No Lounld Music
March 5, 2009 3:33 PM   Subscribe

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 Flickr group
American Music 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]

Son House'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.
posted by netbros (10 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
This is epic. Thank you so much!
posted by Maisie Jay at 3:46 PM on March 5, 2009

Nice post, thanks. Love the pics of Po' Monkeys...looks like it would fall down if the wind blew.
posted by gnutron at 3:47 PM on March 5, 2009

Whoa, slamming post, netbros. I SO wanna go to Poor Monkeys.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:14 PM on March 5, 2009

Best post all week. Thanks so much for this.
posted by hifiparasol at 9:35 PM on March 5, 2009

Wow! Thanks so much, netbros.
posted by foxy_hedgehog at 11:35 PM on March 5, 2009

you might also like Junior's Juke Joint
posted by timsteil at 1:37 AM on March 6, 2009 [1 favorite]

I'd just like to take this opportunity to say that timsteil totally fuggin ROCKS.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:41 AM on March 6, 2009

one of the last rural juke joints

No, no it is not. There are many hundreds of juke joints, lounges, shot houses, unlicenced bars, and liquor spots all over the Mississippi Delta. Take it from me, I went to college there, or, more accurately, my parents paid expensive tuition so that I could get hammered in juke joints, lounges, shot houses, unlicenced bars, and liquor spots throughout the Mississippi Delta for four years.
posted by Pollomacho at 4:24 AM on March 6, 2009 [1 favorite]

I should add, great post, thank you!
posted by Pollomacho at 4:25 AM on March 6, 2009

Thanks so much netbros for this post. The Trail of the Hellhound site was created by one of my best friends. Shortly after finishing the site, Sean Styles died of a brain tumor.

He would be happy you guys found his working interesting.

posted by daniel9223 at 4:27 AM on March 6, 2009

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