Tombstone Blues Captures Greatness of the Mississippi Delta

A new book, “Tombstone Blues, ” features a collections of original essays, interviews and photographs about the Mississippi Delta and the blues

Milwaukee-based freelance author Larry Widen has published a new book, Tombstone Blues. The book is a collection of original photographs taken in the historic blues cemeteries of Mississippi, Texas, Memphis and Chicago. Muddy Waters, Sonny Boy Williamson, Howling Wolf, Robert Johnson and Blind Lemon Jefferson are some of the bluesmen whose final resting places are profiled. In addition Tombstone Blues features a collection of new interviews with Gregg Allman, Buddy Guy, B.B. King and other blues musicians.

“I’ve always been a blues fan, ” says Widen. “Early on I learned that these African American pioneers were the inspiration for Cream, Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones, and other bands.” The book features essays on Clarksdale, Memphis, Chicago and the forest in Mississippi where the Lynyrd Skynyrd plane crashed in October, 1977.

Widen says Tombstone Blues was a dream project because the research involved locating the sometimes hidden graves of the bluesmen in long-forgotten cemeteries of the South. “Sonny Boy Williamson is buried in a churchyard where the church no longer exists, ” he says. “You can drive right past what remains of the cemetery if you don’t know what you’re looking for.” Tombstone Blues preserves the history of the blues and passes it on to yet another generation of fans.

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