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Issue 95, Winter 2016

Our 18th annual Southern Music issue: “Visions of the Blues.” Across the 160-page magazine and 23-song CD compilation, we’re celebrating one of the South’s greatest cultural exports: blues music.

The issue comes in multiple covers, celebrating three generations of blues masters: John Lee Hooker, Bonnie Raitt, and Adia Victoria.


Notes on the songs, including

Banning Eyre on Bassekou Kouyaté

Greil Marcus on John Lee Hooker

Ann Powers on Alabama Shakes


Play Me Down Home, by Rashod Ollison

Past Is Present, by Gayle Wald

Going Deep, by Jay Jennings

Picking Up the Piedmont Blues, by Benjamin Hedin

Think Twice, by Elijah Wald

Sip Slow, a story by Regina N. Bradley

That Winsome Moan, by Ian S. Port 

The Thinning of Big Mama, by Cynthia Shearer

Unearthly Laments, by Christopher C. King 

Put on my Clothes and Look Like Somebody Else, by Sarah Bryan

Dig If You Will The Picture, by Crystal Wilkinson

Still Around Here, by David Ramsey

That Look in His Eyes at 4:05, by Nathan Salsburg


Listening for the Country
The shape of Daddy’s hurt
by Zandria F. Robinson

Baby Boy Born Birthplace Blues
A hometown history
by John Jeremiah Sullivan

Sweet Bitter Blues
Encounters in Tokyo 
by Amanda Petrusich 

Mighty Tight Woman
Forty-five years after her debut, Bonnie Raitt still sings where she stands
by Jewly Hight

See My Face from the Other Side
Freedom is a blueswoman’s prerogative
by Daphne A. Brooks

A story by Jeffery Renard Allen


The Blues
by Nikki Giovanni

by Alicia Ostriker

When Lucille Bogan Sings “Shave ’Em Dry”
by Aimee Nezhukumatathil

Making Love to Buddy Guy
by Patricia Smith


Art by: Chris Sikich, Deborah Feingold, Lawrence N. Shustak, Joseph Desler Costa, Michael Abramson, Magdalena Solé, David Katzenstein, Danielle Osfalg, Augusta Palmer, Hongsun Yoon, Tim Duffy, Abetz & Drescher, Fahamu Pecou, Steve Miller, Cathey Miller, Carolyn Carr, Louviere + Vanessa, Danny McLean, Allen Beaulieu, Matt White, Hiraki Sawa, David Driskell, Eleanor Davis, Art Streiber, Delita Martin, Kelsey Dake

Covers: Adia Victoria (Photo by Chris Sikich), Bonnie Raitt (Photo courtesy of Deborah Feingold / Corbis Premium Historial / Getty Images), John Lee Hooker (Photo by Lawrence N. Shustak)

Collect all covers here.