DELTA BLUES "The blues tells a story. Every line of it has a meaning." -John Lee Hooker The blues come from a deep down place where land, work and a social system converged to produce and/or exacerbate inequalities based on race and class. Reflecting personal as well as collective pain, the blues are a product of a non-fiction narrative. Today's blues are played by black and white women without geographical boundary. Their core, however, will always reside in the Mississippi Delta. They and their southern offspring: Gospel, R&B, Country, Jazz and Rock & Roll transformed music forever. Intrigued by Southern art and culture, a lover of the blues, a civil rights activist in the '60's and a storyteller, my intent has been to capture the cultural context from which the music emanates, both historical and contemporary. The photographs introduce notions of hard times and the corrosive mantle of time on things man-made; the land- those who own it and those who work in it; simple acts that affirm one's dignity and self-worth; the ambiguity of contemporary racial relations; and the transformative power of the blues sung with passion and pride. The photographs are allegorical in their intention to convey tangible evidence of these enduring characteristics. The collection of images is broken into groups separated by studio portraits of the local Delta populace taken using a sheet, rope and duct tape from Walmart and hung on the side of a Morgan Freeman's club. Ground Zero. Black, white, young, old, a hula-hoop champion, members of a motorcycle gang, average citizens- the attempt is to periodically remind the viewer of the simple reality and diversity of lives lived. Accompanied by oral histories they literally lend a voice to the project.