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Touring the Southern Blues Trail

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© R. Crumb, from R. Crumb’s Heroes of Blues, Jazz & Country, Abrams Books

Leland, MS

I’ve been in Texas, I’ve been on the run. I’m going to Leland, Mississippi, mama, You all know that’s where I come from. —Johnny Winter, “Leland Mississippi Blues”

This tiny town has turned out an amazing number of fine blues players, from James “Son” Thomas to Johnny Winter and boogie-woogie pianist Mose Allison. At the Highway 61 Blues Museum (307 N. Broad St.; highway61blues.com), Leland’s musical sons are enshrined in murals and exhibits. Pat Thomas, the son of Son Thomas, can be found at the museum performing every day. The younger Thomas says, “Playing the blues makes me feel good, so I’m just going to keep the good work up. I’m satisfied, and I got an 11-year-old who wants to learn the blues. He’s already got a guitar.”

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