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

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

 A Letter from the Editor, Food Issue. Quiet as it is kept, and widely as it has become forgotten, those who do the cooking and the farming know that those who only eat what is cooked for them and served… by Alice Randall | Mar, 2021

A video conclusion to Osayi Endolyn’s column “Counter Service”

In 2019, Osayi Endolyn wrote “Counter Service,” a column examining how American dining culture is shaped by historic social practices that have often left out, or outright excluded, groups of people including women and African Americans. To conclude her series, she visits Willa Jean, Kelly Fields’s restaurant in New Orleans, to discuss the elements that make a dining experience successful.

A video supplement to “My Mother’s Catfish Stew” by John T. Edge, published in the fall 2019 issue.

“She was a genius, I’ve come to recognize, at recasting defeats as glorious spectacles. Faced with small-town ignorance, fearful of what small-town boredom might wrest from her, she did her best to divert and subvert. Looking back, I see my best self in her flagrancy. And I glimpse what my worst self might have nurtured, had the darker times in Clinton defined my life.”

—John T. Edge, “My Mother’s Catfish Stew”

A video supplement to “Social Engineering” by John T. Edge, published in the Summer 2019 issue.

“Written in tight script on one of those green-and-white guest check pads, her words account a surrealist barnyard: ‘gecko elastic, cookie armpit, giraffe crotch, zebra elastic.’ I had noticed Rachael working on the far end of the bar, pulling costumes from cubbies and then carefully refolding and restacking each one. But I hadn’t realized that she was doing triage, making note of which of the thirty or so costumes they stock needed repair.”

—John T. Edge, “Social Engineering”

A video supplement to “Oaxaca Wreck” by John T. Edge, published in the Spring 2019 issue.

“When I moved to Mississippi in 1995, I became a quick regular at Bottletree Bakery, just off the square, across from the church that my family would subsequently join. At that low counter, with a thick china mug in hand, I ate scones pocked with crystallized nuggets of ginger and pored over grad school texts. I befriended the charming misfits and dreamers who poured refills and stared at their shoes and beamed guileless smiles. And then I quit the place. Because I got jaded. Because I got busy.”

—John T. Edge, “Oaxaca Wreck”

A video supplement to “Folk Witness” by John T. Edge, published in the Fall 2018 issue.

“Joints and shacks offer witness to the environments where design and operation incongruities . . . often bespeak honesty. The creative responses of that grocery store manager and that breakfast joint operator confirm that humans are at the helm in such spaces, singular and complicated souls capable of responding to circumstance and necessity with brilliance.”

—John T. Edge, “Folk Witness”

Christopher King has been digging through old barns and cellars looking for 78-rpm records for his entire adult life. An obsessives' obsessive, he has accumulated one of the most fascinating collections of once-overlooked music anywhere. Join us on a visit to his home studio in rural Virginia.

A video supplement to “Dixie Vodka” by John T. Edge, published in the Summer 2018 issue.

“General Beauregard Dixie Vodka Set to March Across South” announced a September 25, 2013, press release. One hundred and fifty years prior, when P. G. T. Beauregard marched toward Charleston, he fought to preserve the economic system that shackled black Southerners and made possible extraordinary white Lowcountry wealth. This press release raised the question: Why march now?

—John T. Edge, “Dixie Vodka”

A video supplement to “The Question of Dinner” by John T. Edge, published in the Spring 2018 issue.

“At the end of a meal, people expect to leave having had a good time. At the end of these dinners, the matrix is different.”

The films and young filmmakers of the Summer Documentary Institute at Appalshop’s Appalachian Media Institute.

Introducing the film “Justice for All” and its creators, Oliver Baker and Aaron Combs.

The films and young filmmakers of the Summer Documentary Institute at Appalshop’s Appalachian Media Institute.

Introducing the film “Go Your Own Way” and its creators, Jaydon Tolliver, Elyssia Lowe, and Joshua Collier.

The films and young filmmakers of the Summer Documentary Institute at Appalshop’s Appalachian Media Institute.

Generations of eastern Kentucky youth have had to contend with the question of whether to leave, alongside the demeaning narrative of the rural “brain drain.” This reductive theory posits that the best and brightest minds leave rural communities for urban communities. This simplification of data ignores the stories of those who choose to stay or are not able to leave. For many young people here, it is an act of resistance to stay in the community they love.

’Til the Day I Die is a visual exploration of gospel and blues, shot on Super 8mm film.

A video supplement to “The Harris Hegemony” by John T. Edge, published in the Fall 2016 issue.

“I wish I could tell you that I saw a burning bush or God spoke to me. But the truth is I became increasingly aware of the negative unintended consequences that came from the industrialization, commoditization, and centralization of agriculture.”

"Some country songs sound like they have simply always existed," Rick Clark wrote of Hayes Carll's "Chances Are" in the liner notes of our Texas Music Issue CD. Lee Ann Womack's version of the song, from last year's The Way I'm Livin' (her first release in six years), is track 18 on the disc. Today we are happy to premiere the video of the in-studio live recording, courtesy of our friends at Sugar Hill Records.

Texas inmate Michael Lee Ford's spectacular and heartbreaking autobiographical drawing, "Ten Minutes of Stupidity," tells the story of a haunted puppy, a dead chicken, and the painful repercussions of a single choice.

The crumbling Centennial Baptist Church in Helena, Arkansas, has deep roots in the African-American community. But poverty and other concerns in this Delta town have made raising restoration funds difficult—and the effort to keep the church in black hands has sparked tensions with local preservationists.

Dom Flemons performing "Can You Blame the Colored Man" by Memphis string band leader Gus Cannon.

How to describe our hero... Musician? Artist? Furniture maker? Visionary hermit? All-of-the-above? Yes, all-of-the-above. That would be it. Hidden away in a secretive corner of a haunted-looking house in the fading Delta cotton town of Rosedale, Mississippi, Mr. Moore seems equal parts R. Crumb, Daniel Johnston and Boo Radley—with a dose of PT Barnum thrown in.