Rambling with the blues, Mississippi on my mind

by Steve Gardner

HELD Affiliate
(B-2) Rambling Steve Gardner 1.7
Young boy at his window in Sunflower County, MS 1986. This boy was living with his mother and seven other children in a two room shack out on the edge of a catfish pond. The boy had been out in the field playing with the irrigation hose when his mother called him home. The day was hot and the inside of his house must have been hotter. They had no electricity. The best that they could hope for was a cool evening breeze off the catfish pond which also brought swarms of mosquitos along with the smell of catfish through the torn screen.

When I was growing up in Mississippi, I would often hear people blowing on harmonicas or picking out tunes on a guitar.   The sounds always seemed magical to me.  But it was only when I started blowing on a harmonica myself that I really understood just how close to the land and how deep in the people’s hearts that musical magic really is.  It was that same place, and that same magic that gave birth to the blues…and it sounded a note that was heard around the world.

The blues spawned both Jazz and Rock ‘n Roll and many other current music genres.  But ‘Let’s not eat the fruits without praising the tree’ – and expression I often heard when growing up in Mississippi.  When you play or listen to blues music its always worth remember its roots; the face of the land and the eyes of its people.


Rambling Steve Gardner, born in 1956 Jackson, Mississippi USA, 1978 journalism major University of Southern MS. Based in Tokyo, Japan since late 1980. Worked for Jackson (MS) Daily News, Pacific Press Service (PPS), Mega Press, Newsweek, Time, Playboy (Japan), Kodansha publishing, Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising (Tokyo). Photographic exhibitions Tokyo Nikon & Kodak Salons. Member of the Tokyo Photo Workshop. Published RAMBLING MIND, 1994 Verso Gallery Publishing (Tokyo) a collection of black and white photographs made between 1977 and 1993 of Mississippi, called by Library of Congress documentarian, Alan Lomax , “…the land when the blues began.” Based In Tokyo, Japan, Rambling Steve Gardner Plays Original, Acoustic Roots And Country Blues Music; Finger Picking And Slide On National Reso-Phonic Guitars, And Harmonica. You Know, Big Leg Acoustic Stuff.

With More Than Seven CDs Of Traditional And Original Music, Rambling Steve Gardner Plays And Tours Solo And With The JERICHO ROAD SHOW In The Southeastern United States, Austria And Germany As Well As His Home Base Of Japan, Where Many Of His Tours Have Been Sponsored By The Cultural Affairs Section Of The United States Department Of State.

Rambling Steve Gardner, Based In Japan Since 1980, Grew Up In Mississippi, Listening To, Learning From And Sometimes Playing With Many Of The Legendary Blues Greats From: Sam Chatmon Of The Mississippi Sheiks, Booby Barnes, And James “Son” Thomas In The Mississippi Delta; Jessie Mae Hemphill, The “She Wolf” Of The Mississippi Hill Country; Down To Central Mississippi Blues Man Jack Owens From Bentonia, To Name But A Few.









Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s