Today is the first day of Black History Month. And throughout this month I’ll feature Black artists across a wide and eclectic array of genres and styles that I think can guide you towards understanding the Black experience. Throughout the month I hope that you’ll appreciate these facts:
- Black culture is American culture — and Black music is American music.
- America’s greatest and beloved contributions to the world are Black music styles — the blues, jazz, rock ‘n’ roll and hip-hop.
- Black art matters.
- Black lives matter — all of them, all of the time.
I’m a huge blues fan. Howlin’ Wolf is one of my favorite Mississippi Delta/Chicago bluesmen. Songs like “Smokestack Lightnin,'” “Killing Floor” and “Spoonful” have long been blues rock standards — but his work heavily influenced Led Zeppelin, Eric Clapton, Steve Winwood, Bill Wyman, Charlie Watts and countless others.