Originally published in our Tennessee Music Issue  There is a remarkable story tucked halfway through Bessie, Chris Albertson’s biography of the blues singer Bessie Smith, in which Smith approaches a circle of robed North Carolina Klansmen, places one hand on her hip,… by Amanda Petrusich | Nov, 2020

Playlists curated by your favorite musicians and writers. by Brittany Howard, Kiese Laymon, Rosanne Cash, Kelsey Waldon, & others | Nov, 2020

An introduction to the Music Issue’s Icons Section Beyond my eye, beyond the death and decay of matters left behind and unsettled, the music ringing up above my head told a thousand stories of bounty and belonging, and it glimmered… by Danielle A. Jackson | Nov, 2020

Originally published in our 2007 Music Issue  In a remarkable 1963 appearance with Juilliard professor and friend, Hall Overton, at the New School in New York, Monk demonstrated his technique of “bending” or “curving” notes on the piano, the most… by Sam Stephenson | Nov, 2020

An essay from the Greatest Hits Music Issue Charlie Daniels was, in one very real sense, hippie to the core. The Charlie Daniels Band’s first hit was a novelty song called “Long Haired Country Boy,” the opening stanza of which… by Elizabeth Nelson | Nov, 2020

Originally published in our North Carolina Music Issue.  I wanted to start with the wild weeds and the creaking wood on the front porch, walking up to Nina Simone’s childhood home in Tryon, North Carolina. I wanted to start where… by Tiana Clark | Nov, 2020

An essay from the Greatest Hits Music Issue The first songs that I listened to by Talibah Safiya had this soft, sweet, plaintive quality. There is something else underneath if you listen a bit closer: a little loneliness. The knowledge… by Jamey Hatley | Nov, 2020

An introduction to the Greatest Hits Music Issue How does the South inform my music? How do I describe the sound that your bare feet make when they pat the cool, packed red dust under them? How do I describe… by Brittany Howard | Oct, 2020

“You just have to see” is always good advice in New Orleans, which is how I ended up at the 2007 premiere of Trixie and the Treetrunks, a ten-part puppet telenovela in which Trixie and her pal Marsha try to make sense of a post-apocalyptic world by starting a band to send secret messages from the center of the earth.

That’s why pop music is the art for our time: It’s an art of crap. And not in a self-conscious sense, not like a sculpture made of garbage and shown at the Whitney, which is only a way of saying that "low" materials can be made to serve the demands of "high" art. No, pop music really is crap. It’s about transcending through crap. It’s about standing there with your stupid guitar, and your stupid words, and your stupid band, and not being stupid.

That is Tyson Cole. Given the ethnic makeup of Uchi's kitchen staff, which is predominantly Asian, and the artful, sure-handed accomplishment of the food, an unknowing customer would not likely guess Cole to be Uchi's owner and executive chef. And it gets trickier.

I knew I wanted to be the first black woman Harvard graduate to write a country song—and I thought I knew DeFord Bailey, the groundbreaking harmonica player, was the first and only black person to perform as part of the Opry.

Nobody had told me about Linda Martell.

Some experts claim all Louisianans contributed to the state's food—except the black ones.

My favorite coat was made by my father’s mother. It is gray like an overcast day, a dark, dirty-water gray, covered in rows of silver-dollar-sized circles, which remind me of cloud-covered suns. It’s double-breasted, with slightly peaked lapels, and it belts at the waist. The hem brushes the backs of my knees.

An installment in Local Fare, a food column by John T. Edge. 

Integration came early to barbecue. (And it remained, after the Civil Rights Movement came and went, while schools and other public accommodations re-segregated.) That’s the story we chowhounds tell, with a whiff of self-satisfaction.

A short story by Barry Hannah, from our very first issue.