Mississippi Delta, 2012
Tired of being Tired Introduction by. George Carr
“The project catalogued in the pages of this book is the product of two intentions: a love for Mississippi Delta Blues and a yearning to understand the culture that made it. Ari Gabel set forth in search for those whose hands were still shaking from carrying a torch: men and women, singers and songwriters, and the land that could, just maybe, still cultivate the music that changed so many people’s lives. In a contemporary world where thousands of histories and cultures are able to exist and overlap, the fate of Delta Blues was an unanswered question – a music forged by a situation that we assume society has overcome, but perhaps has only compounded by casting another blind eye in their direction.
What he found there initiated a different dialogue entirely. Cutting across the deep south in a series of haphazard excursions, red eyes and highway diners, the artist was confronted with a people calloused from a history of hatred and difference. They were a people who spent lives and generations fighting to express themselves through an array of genres and art forms. In addition to the Blues we find Rock and Roll, Soul, Gospel, R&B, and countless other iterations of their necessity to be understood and respected as equals:
“I don’t want anything else from you. I respect you as a man, and that’s all I expect from you.[...] Everything, as a person, as a human being, that I’ve been able to get, we had to take it.”
-David Caldwell Holly Springs, Mississippi
Today we may not be able to find the living, lost city of Delta Blues musicians – still plucking their strings and waving their slides – but we can sift through the fragments of the ruins and ghosts from the land that for so many years imprisoned their spirit.”