“Lost in the kudzu” with Reed Turchi

The MFA Program’s Reed Turchi spoke with The Oxford American Magazine:

As a college student at the University of North Carolina, Reed Turchi was a folklore student and an occasional musician, but the driving, rhythmic propulsion of the Hill Country blues grabbed ahold of him like no other music had before. He got a guitar for Christmas his sophomore year and he began to imitate the Fred McDowell licks his professor, renowned blues scholar Bill Ferris, introduced him to. He schooled himself on famous Hill Country blues players, mythic figures who were long gone.

“All I knew was that Fat Possum had stopped putting out records in that genre for the most part,” Reed says now. “R. L. Burnside was dead and his juke joint had burned down. Junior Kimbrough was dead and his juke joint had burned down. Otha Turner was dead. All of the main icons were gone, and the physical places where this music had been played were gone. I wanted to know what was going on other than the North Mississippi All-Stars.” He drove to Mississippi on his spare weekends in college, recording what he could but mostly “using folklore as an excuse to see what the hell was going on down there.”

Read the rest of the article online here. 

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