Saturday, March 1, 2008

Blind Lemon Jefferson

What's in a name? I first heard about Blind Lemon Jefferson a few years ago. He was a famous blues artist in the 1920s. He was instantly my favorite bluesman, even before I had heard a recording. You just can't go wrong with a name like Blind Lemon Jefferson. When I heard his music I wasn't disappointed. (A good place to listen to a few of his old tunes is on Rhapsody.)

Blind Lemon grew up in Texas, a contemporary of my grandparents. But the distance from his world to mine is so much greater than that would suggest. The haunting sound and lyrics seem to come to me from a life dimly guessed or long forgotten. Music can transport us across such distances.

Imagine my shock to discover today that Blind Lemon Jefferson has a MySpace page! Perhaps someone younger and hipper than me can explain how that happens. His last login was 2/29/2008 and he has been a member since 6/10/2006. He even has 5254 friends! I was particularly intrigued by this part of the web page:

It just seems too easy to reach across the chasm by clicking on "IM / Call". What will happen if I do? Who will be on the other end of the call?

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