Via Bradenton Blues Fest, meet Mojohand who makes blues pop in more ways than one

Devils Crossroads sign Clarksdale Mississippi

An ad for the Bradenton Blues Festival in Florida popped up on my Facebook feed, and I checked out the comments. Someone remarked the promo poster for the festival looked nice, and it happened that the artist who did the poster saw the comment too. The artist gave a link to his website, Mojohand, and I followed that. Talk about blues art. I was, as is sometimes said in the South, like a rabbit in a briar patch.

Robert Johnson image US Library of Congress
This image of Robert Johnson comes from a collection at the US Library of Congress. The photo is not credited.

The Mojohand website belongs to Grego Anderson who on his Mojohand Facebook page self-describes as “Graphic Designer, Illustrator, Painter, Musician, Stand Up Comic, Dog Lover and Pain in the Ass.” I read some at his page, and came away with the impression this guy is a true individualist who thinks for himself and isn’t afraid to express opinions. Such individuals are my favorite types of artists.

Like my daughter, Anderson is an admirer of Robert Johnson. Frankly, if you love blues, I don’t see how you can not admire Johnson whose short life remains shrouded in some mystery. The US Library of Congress houses some of Johnson’s work, and brief bio notes.

Mojohand features a poster of Johnson as well as posters of others like Howling Wolf whose real name was Chester Arthur Burnett, whose voice remains a one of a kind instrument that, in my opinion, no current blues vocalist can come close to. There’s a rare online video of Burnett, shot in the United Kingdom at a festival, doing “Smokestack Lightning”.

My daughter covers the Howling Wolf  Muddy Waters song “I Can’t Be Satisfied,” and it always lights up the crowd. She also covers Killing Floor by Howling Wolf.

The blues are part of the Southern heritage regardless of skin color. The blues probably built more bridges between people than any politico ever could aspire to. Rebecca has studied blues for quite some time, and she works the music into her shows. She’s written a couple blues tunes, and they’re among her most popular originals.

Finding the Mojohand website was a very nice note in my day. I’m glad someone is keeping these legends alive because early blues music, raw and authentic, is a treasure for all of us. I’m also glad because now I have a place to shop for gifts for the blues enthusiasts in my life.

As always, I don’t receive any benefits from telling you about Mojohand or the founder Grego Anderson, or the Bradenton Blues Festival. I just enjoyed looking at Anderson’s work so much I thought I’d share it with my readers as I work on recovering from birthday celebrations. ?

(Kay B. Day/July 31, 2019)


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