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Talking ’bout the Blues

NATHANIEL WEATHERSBY / Maxine Minter helps set up the George Mitchell exhibit earlier this month.

NATHANIEL WEATHERSBY / Maxine Minter helps set up the George Mitchell exhibit earlier this month.

The Brookhaven Regional Arts Guild will host the reception for its current exhibit, Mississippi Hill Country Blues: Photographs by George Mitchell, this Thursday, Jan. 30 from 4 to 6 p.m. in the Lincoln County Public Library.

The event, which will feature a short presentation by Shaw Furlow of Copiah-Lincoln Community College’s music department. Furlow serves as band director and director of the college’s rock band, The Sojourners. In the classroom, Furlow is an instructor for music appreciation.

“We [Mississippi] were the first recorded Blues. We were the first recorded Rock. We were the first recorded Country,” Furlow said. “I’m just a home boy when it comes to Mississippi and our music.”

Furlow said he is fascinated by all music, but his interest in Blues originated in the early 1970s when he was attending school at Delta State University. Since then, Furlow said he’s studied the Blues quite a bit in the last 20 to 30 years and enjoys sharing the information he knows.

“I try to include Mississippi music in my class,” Furlow said.

He said he was delighted to hear that BRAG wanted him to speak at the reception for the George Mitchell show.

Furlow said he plans to talk about how Mitchell came to do what he did and how he did it. From there he plans to go as deep as one can go within the time frame he has about the state of the Blues in Mississippi including certain musical instruments and styles from West African cultures and how they transferred to the Hill Country Blues. He also plans to discuss the difference between Hill Country Blues and the Delta Blues, which he says is “a whole different ball of wax.”

Furlow is set to speak at 5 p.m. Thursday evening. The event is free and open to the public and light refreshments will be served.