Highway 61 – The Blues Trail, 2010
Clarksdale, MS – New Orleans, LA

The first time I ever heard of the Blues Highway was in 1965 on Bob Dylan’s album “Highway 61 Revisited”.

Oh God said to Abraham, “Kill me a son”
Abe says, “Man, you must be puttin’ me on”
God say, “No.” Abe say, “What?”
God say, “You can do what you want Abe, but
The next time you see me comin’ you better run”
Well Abe says, “Where you want this killin’ done?”
God says, “Out on Highway 61”

That winter I sprung for tickets for me and my folks to see Dylan’s concert at Cleveland’s Public Hall, 1965. The show’s first half was Dylan solo on acoustic guitar. After an intermission he came back on stage plugged in with The Band! Rock on!! Mom remarkably fell asleep. Dad complained of a headache.

Then in a very hot and humid August, 2010 my pal and colleague Dale Gunnoe told me of a journey he was about to undertake to document the Blues Highway from Clarksdale, Mississippi to New Orleans, Louisiana, hitting juke joints and notable locations, meeting as many folk as possible. Count me in! We piled our camera gear, food and clothes in my ’98 Dodge conversion van and hit the road.

These images represent my favorites from this trip. I alternated between my Nikon DSLR for color and Hasselblad Xpan with Kodak HIE 35mm Infrared film for black and white.

A truly grand time was had, although the heat was brutal. We managed to pull exhausted into two different campgrounds on this trip without electricity. No A/C! At least we had propane to cook with but that only raised the temp. We sweated a lot. When we rolled back into my driveway in Gainesville, Fl, my lady came out to greet us. Opening the side doors and poking her head in, she screwed up her face and growled, “It smells like boy in here!” and retreated to the house. A successful road trip, I’d say!

I want to dedicate this work to my pal of several decades, Dale “Homestyle” Gunnoe. Over the years we’ve taught each other photography and computer skills, as well as inspired and supported each other, even when things went south and sour.

Special thanks to another longstanding friend, Rob Dark, without whose assistance and inspiration this book wouldn’t exist.

Most of all, I lovingly thank my lady, my muse, my favorite traveling partner, Lea “ScooterTrash” Hale. It seems everything I do with heart, with meaning and with love, has to do with her.