Walt's Look Around: Delta musical roots - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Walt's Look Around: Delta musical roots

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GREENVILLE, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Greenville song writer and singer Steve Azar has recently moved back to the Delta after a quarter century in Nashville.

It's not a retirement by any means, or a retreat, but a re-attachment to his musical roots, the Delta, which is coincidentally where all of American's music is rooted, too.

He picks up one of his numerous guitars and tries out his new studio in his new home in Greenville, the town where Steve Azar grew up, in the heart of the Delta and the birthplace of the Blues.

Steve (sings): Flyin' down that levee road, tryin' to see how fast she'll go, I got my baby along for the ride.

Walt: Steve got his interest in Delta music associating with the old bluesmen who frequented his daddy's liquor store in Greenville.

Steve: He had the first legal liquor store in Mississippi, I love telling that story 'cause I'm wondering who he got that. While I was hanging out behind the store every once in a while with Eugene Powell who was Sonny Boy Nelson. There was Roosevelt Booba Barns and Little Milton would come into town. And that blues background has always been at least half my show and half my records.

Walt: Now Steve Azar is on a campaign, maybe even a crusade to being the music back home to where it came from. Back to the Delta.

Steve: We've influenced country, rock, jazz, folk, we were the beginning, we have always been the beginning and the world's made a living off of us.

Walt: Steve Azar is on the interview circuit, going from radio to radio unveiling his latest offering, his new C.D. "Delta Soul Volume One." It's a marriage of blues and country.

Steve Azar: The one thing in Nashville was, they always talked about, 'Oh you're from the Mississippi Delta.' And they, everybody was going, like, 'Oh my god, you're the singer songwriter that's actually getting to do that in the country format. That's impossible.'

Walt: But it's not impossible. The mix has always flowed through the juke joints of Nelson Street and in Delta bands, black and white, jamming. Now with academic accreditation like the Delta Music Institute at Delta State, and the National Grammy Museum about to be located, not in Los Angeles or New York, but Cleveland, Mississippi and the artists like Steve Azar coming back home, the Delta musical star seems ready to shine brighter than ever.

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