Amanda Petrusich on blueswoman Bessie Smith: “She got what she wanted by working hard at it, finding new ways to profit from a cultivated skill. Some of the notes she hits are so robust, so fixed and powerful, listening to them feels like walking directly into a sliding glass door. You are stunned and embarrassed, looking around to see who else saw. Her forcefulness just sneaks up like that.”
For the New Yorker, Amanda Petrusich tours Paisley Park, the home and recording studio of the late Prince.
For some northern Albanians, justice comes from vengeance. Sometimes vengeance keeps killing for generations.
When an American writer visits Tokyo to see a Mississippi Blues musician perform, she tries to figure out why Japan has a particular fondness for American Blues, the ways cultures metabolize each other, the place of Black America in Japan, and the complex forces that draw foreign people, and their music, together.