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Issue Articles — BackTalk

Jimmy “Duck” Holmes talks back

Mississippi’s Jimmy “Duck” Holmes is the keeper of the Bentonia blues tradition flame. He follows such earlier practitioners of the country-blues style as Skip James, Jack Owens and brothers Henry […]

Terence Blanchard talks back

In June, the Metropolitan Opera announced that it will stage an opera by an African-American composer for the first time in the company’s 163-year history. New Orleans jazz trumpeter Terence […]

Little Steven Van Zandt talks back

After press time, Steven Van Zandt announced the cancellation of his upcoming tour, due to sinusitis. He will no longer appear in New Orleans on October 1, 2019, as previously […]

Ken Burns talks back

In early August, documentary filmmaker Ken Burns was in full evangelist mode. Five weeks before the September 15 debut of Country Music, his latest television epic, Burns rhapsodized over country […]

Ricky Riccardi talks back

Ricky Riccardi’s devotion to Louis Armstrong began when he was a high school freshman in Toms River, New Jersey. Then 15, the future director of research collections at the Louis […]

Sheila E. talks back

Sheila E. was just five years old when she took to the stage for the first time to accompany her father, the famed Latin percussionist Pete Escovedo and his band […]

Mitch Woods talks back

Singer-pianist Mitch Woods found his thrill in the pre-rock and roll music of blues shouter Wynonie Harris, the boogie-woogie pianists Meade Lux Lewis, Albert Ammons and Pete Johnson, and the […]

Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Rickey Medlocke talks back

Classic Southern-rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd is in the second year of The Last of the Street Survivors Farewell Tour. In its first year, the farewell trek sold out ninety percent […]

Mavis Staples talks back

There is no more fitting talent to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Jazz Fest than Mavis Staples, who at 80 years of age is celebrating a total career revitalization. Her […]

George Benson talks back

George Benson never dreamed he’d record a tribute to Fats Domino and Chuck Berry. A jazz musician and vocalist who became a major pop star in the ’70s, Benson fetes […]