♫ Big Bill Broonzy, Volume One – Mississippi Blues
🍺 Ratsherrn Dry-Hopped Pilsener
Words & photos: Vincent Abbate
I usually post these things on Friday afternoon. Perhaps my favorite feel-good time of the week. I generally go pretty hard from Monday to Friday, working and looking after my family. So when Friday afternoon rolls around and I close up shop, a satisfying weekend feeling of freedom sets in. I have pushed through and gotten things done and the Listening Party is one way I reward myself for not being a total goof-off in life.
This time, though, it’s a lazy Sunday. I’m recovering from a friend’s Saturday night birthday party. It involved live music and a healthy variety of adult beverages. As it’s Sunday, I’ve decided to turn this Listening Party into a kind of casual backyard barbecue. We’ll have beer of course, and good, down-home southern-style cooking … aww, who’m I kidding? I’m a New York boy. The barbecues I knew growing up were burgers and hot dogs, roasted peppers, Italian sausage and corn on the cob. We’d eat out on the patio with maybe a ballgame on the radio or my dad’s favorite music playing.
I can definitely imagine the great Big Bill Broonzy having played a barbecue or two during his time on this earth. In fact, I believe there are stories of him playing the fiddle at such gatherings before he switched over to guitar. We’re going to listen to a few classic Broonzy tunes from Volume One – Mississippi Blues, a vinyl EP released in 1955 on the British Nixa label that somehow found its way into my collection. Broonzy mastered rural and urban blues styles during his career and the four-song disc touches on each.
Our beer, Ratsherrn Dry-Hopped Pilsener, comes from the city of Hamburg.
Let’s take it slow and easy this time, shall we?