Music & Shows

Published on June 6th, 2023 | by TLV News


Blues Tells The Truth in a World That’s Full of Lies: Charlie Musselwhite

Catch Musselwhite at the North MIssissippi Hill Country Picnic Saturday, June 24

Mississippi-born, Memphis-raised, Grammy Award-winning music legend Charlie Musselwhite will make his official North Mississippi Hill Country Picnic debut Saturday evening with a duo performance. He will be joined by Los Angeles-born and Nashville-based singer, guitarist, and producer Kirk Fletcher.

Musselwhite is renowned worldwide as a master harmonica player, a seasoned, truth-telling vocalist, and an original songwriter rooted deep within the Blues tradition. As many of his fans know, he’s also a country Blues guitarist of great depth, warmth, and subtlety. On his recent release, the Grammy-nominated Alligator Records album, Mississippi Son, Musselwhite’s straight-from-the-soul vocals and deep Blues harmonica playing are the perfect foil to his deceptively simple, hypnotic guitar work.

Musselwhite recently won the 2023 Blues Music Award for Acoustic Album of the Year for Mississippi Son. This is the 34th Blues Music Award of his career. In 2022, Musselwhite was honored in France with the prestigious Charles Cros Academy Grand Prix Blues Award, and writers and editors of French Soul Bag magazine selected Mississippi Son as its 2022 Album of the Year.

Having recently moved back to Mississippi from northern California, Musselwhite recorded Mississippi Son in Clarksdale, right in the heart of the Delta. His honest, soulful vocals, like his every-note-matters harmonica playing and idiosyncratic guitar work, overflow with hard-earned authenticity and lasting emotional intensity. Musselwhite calls his Blues, “secular spiritual music,” a sound he’s been perfecting since he, as a young teenager, played his first E7 chord on his Supertone acoustic guitar. Upon hearing and feeling the chord’s blue note, the future Blues master thought, “I have to have more of that.”

Charlie Musselwhite doesn’t just sing and play the Blues; he is, in every sense of the word, a Bluesman. Growing up, he not only learned the music first-hand from many of the genre’s most influential artists, he also absorbed the lifestyle. “It’s an attitude,” Musselwhite says of playing the Blues. “A way of living life.”
A groundbreaking recording artist since the 1960s, Musselwhite has never stopped creating trailblazing music while remaining firmly rooted in the Blues.

Over the years, Charlie has released nearly forty albums on a variety of labels, his exploratory recordings including straight Blues but often mixing in elements of jazz, gospel, Tex-Mex, Cuban, and other world musics.

Now, with Mississippi Son, Musselwhite has come full circle, returning home to Mississippi after decades in Memphis, Chicago, San Francisco, and points in between. Amalgamating all he’s learned and absorbed throughout his years of worldwide touring, Musselwhite imparts sage wisdom in every song he writes, sings, and performs.

“Blues tells the truth in a world that’s full of lies,” he intones in “Blues Gave Me A Ride,” at once telling his own story and plainly summing up the genre’s timelessness. Through his evocative vocals, masterful harmonica playing, and note-perfect Southern country Blues guitar, Charlie Musselwhite leans forward and delivers the Blues’ honest truth.

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About the Author

The Local Voice is a bimonthly entertainment guide and newspaper based in Oxford, Mississippi, covering and distributed in North Central Mississippi, including Oxford, Ole Miss, Taylor, Abbeville, Water Valley, Lafayette County, Yalobusha County, and parts of Panola County, Marshall County, and Tupelo . The Local Voice is distributed free to over 255 locations in North Mississippi and also available as a full color PDF download worldwide on the internet.

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