Uncensored History of the Blues

For anyone that has even a passing interest in pre-war blues, and early recorded blues songs, I recommend the Uncensored History of the Blues podcast. It is one of the finest and longest running podcasts dedicated to the subject.

Each episode (new episodes occur every two to three months) focuses on one particular subject shared across many songs, with around four to nine songs featured. Topics have ranged from Prison Blues, Policy Blues, and Hardtimes Blues to Hoodoo Women and Furniture Man Blues.

Between each song is a short, but thoughtful, bit of information on the individual song and it’s recording, as well as the overall subject matter. The Uncensored History of the Blues podcast has always been hosted by the matter-of-fact and quite cheerful, Mike Rugel, and has run for the last 6 years. There are over 50 archived podcasts for your listening pleasure!

My favorite episode is definitely the aforementioned “Hoodoo Women” which was show #41. Listen to it, and read all of the lyrics and wonderful flavor here:

UHotB Show #41: Hoodoo Women Episode

This episode features beautiful Hoodoo filled songs by Memphis Minnie, the amazing Memphis Jug Band, Johnnie Temple, Funny Paper Smith, and Merline Johnson (Yas Yas Girl). Included are plenty of Aunt Caroline Dye, Seven Sisters of New Orleans, root workers and black gypsies.

The podcast can always be listened to directly from their blog site, which is located at:  Uncensored History of the Blues Podcast

The show is also part of a larger entity, the Delta Blues Museum located in Clarksdale, Mississippi. The museum was founded in 1979 and is worthy of much praise for the continuous work it has done in furthering the value and history of the Delta Blues. You can also listen to the podcast though their site or just check out the Museum’s calendar of events, etc  here: Delta Blues Museum

The podcast is an invaluable resource to have during those hours of house work and gardening. A fantastic resource! Make sure to give these guys your support. Happy listening!

Joseph Magnuson

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