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What did Shemekia Copeland's father, Johnny Copeland, do to help her career? What are the influences on her singing? Why aren't there more daughters of the blues. Explore these and other questions in Shemekia Copeland's "My Kind of Guy."
How do people come to play the blues? What's the relationship between the blues and the church? Explore these and other questions in Kenny Neal's "Bloodline."
What is stride piano? What does it sound like? What does James P. Johnson contribute to Bessie Smith's rendition of "Back Water Blues"?  Explore these and other questions.
Why did Muddy Waters record an acoustic album in 1965? How does the sound on the LP differ from his electric work? Why is he singing about leaving Chicago? Explore these and other themes.
What do blues and zydeco have in common? What does it sound like when a zydeco artist covers a blues song? Explore these and other questions with Beau Jocque and the Zydeco Hi-Roller's version of "Baby, Please Don't Go." 
What's new about the Chicago sound of Toronzo Cannon? What kind of a contract is he talking about? What does it have to do with the history of the blues? Explore these and other questions.
How does B. B. King tell a story? What are the lyrical elements? What does he achieve with Lucille?  Explore these questions in "Sweet Sixteen."
Why does Lonnie Johnson get overlooked as a blues musician? What's different about his music? What is his social message? Explore these questions in "Don't Ever Love."
What characterizes Buddy Guy's sound? What do the blues symbolize in songs? Explore these and other questions in "First Time I Met the Blues."
Why do a tribute album to Big Bill Broozy? How can songs evoke pain and sadness and still sound happy? Explore these and other issues in Billy Boy Arnold's version of "Sweet Honey Bee."
What characterizes Albert Collins's playing style? How does he achieve that signature sound?  Explore Albert Collins's blues in "Lights Are On but Nobody's Home."
Christmas Blues

Christmas Blues


Christmas blues are rarely about the actual holiday and certainly never religious. They more often discuss loneliness, jail time, illness, cheating or sex.  Explore these themes in songs by Blind Blake, Peetie Wheatstraw, Champion Jack Dupree and Eddie C. Campbell.
How do blind musicians play guitar? What kinds of choices to musicians make in covering older material?  Explore these questions in The Jeff Healey Band's "Stop Breakin' Down."
What draws men to young women? Why are these relationships frustrating? Are the blues full of misogyny?  Explore these questions in Muddy Waters's "She's Nineteen Years Old."
Why don't blues songs talk about guilt or shame or regret? Why does Robert Cray address these emotions that most blues songs avoid?  Explore themes of the modern blues.
What do you get when you combine blues, R&B, honky-tony country, doo-wop, gospel and rockabilly?  Fantastic blues out of Washington, DC with The Nighthhawks.
Why is there talk in some blues songs? Where does this tradition come from? Explore these questions in the urban blues of The Mannish Boys' "Call My Job."
What are the different ways that controlled emotion can be expressed? What's more effective for expressing emotions, screaming or speaking calmly? What about the instruments?  Explore these and other question in Muddy Waters's "Nine Below Zero/"
How do you modernize the Delta blues? What are the innovations that can keep the blues alive?  Explore these questions in Keb' Mo's "Perpetual Blues Machine."
What's the relationship between women and cars? What does Tab Benoit have in common with Robert Johnson? Explore these questions in Benoit's "Too Many Drivers at the Wheel."
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