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Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Jake Blount tells an Afrofuturist story in ‘The Downward Road’ : #NowPlaying : NPR


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The artwork of spoken phrase hasn’t typically intersected with one in every of this nation’s first unique music genres: old-time acoustic music, heard first in an explosion of string bands within the 1800s. Virtually two centuries later, although, Jake Blount infuses spoken phrase into “The Downward Highway.” At turns each spoken and sung, the music revives a Bizarre Previous America standby, accompanied by the hypnotic drone of devices like banjo and fiddle, in addition to a contemporary, looping percussion approach courtesy of producer Brian Slattery.

Lyrically, Blount and visitor Demeanor inform an Afrofuturist story set in a world devastated by local weather change: “The water rising, surrounding everyone that is in it / And little Silas wanna come house / All he acquired is a cot that he drum on.” The music turns into a part of Jake Blount’s bigger thematic arc of local weather refugees migrating north, with parallels to his personal ancestors’ historic flights from slavery and Jim Crow.

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