"Although today radios play in shacks and jukeboxes bellow in cafés, many black people in Mississippi still make their own music or search out friends who do. However, the number of people who make music is diminishing and many who formerly played have stopped. But the old songs have not yet died in Mississippi." - Taken from a description of the Hill Country and its music written by Mitchell upon his return from Mississippi in 1967.
"I don’t like no fancy chords. Just the boogie. The drive. The feeling. A lot of people play fancy but they don’t have no style. It’s a deep feeling—you just can’t stop listening to that sad blues sound. My sound." - John Lee Hooker interview with John Collis for The Independent
R.L.: We were raised up pretty close to Fred McDowell and I was around him and Rainy Burnet and Son Hibbler.
Kenny: He’s still living isn’t he (referring to Hibbler)?
R.L.: Yeah he play gospel now. When I was coming up he was married to my aunty. He was playing the music and all that and I was listening to them and I finally got that I wanted to do it. I watched Fred (McDowell) and I wanted to do that, you know, after I got to where I could play some. I went up to Chicago. Muddy Waters was married to my first cousin and I stayed about 3 years and I was over to his house about every other night. I’d watch him play, you know. I was working during the day at the foundry and every night Id go over to Muddy’s, we only lived a couple of blocks apart.
Ray: When was that?
R.L.: The late 40’s. My father lived about 2 blocks from him. Friday night he played up at Zanzibar, it didnt cost nothin to get in, you just had to pay something if you wanted to get a seat in there. (laughs) But man on Maxwell Street, on Sunday, there used to be a LOT of blues players out there.