In 2008, lou bopp’s journey deep into the south began on a motorcycle, down Highway 61, through the heart of Mississippi. His love of the blues fuelled his explorations, during which he found not only Delta bluesmen and their juke joints, but also a lasting affection for the culture enveloping the music and the people of the state.
His passion developed into a life-long love affair, which begged to be documented and memorialised. “The people of Mississippi are so rich with life, their stories are embedded in their scents, hands and gazes; they are draped in history,” explains Bopp. “My goal was, and still is, to document all that is Mississippi. The authenticity of Mississippi can stop you in your tracks, it’s an amazing place.” His photographs are compelling portraits of the people and places of Mississippi and blues music.
Bopp has pledged to record as many of the now-elderly musicians who have contributed to the blues. Till date, he has made portraits of over 70 artistes.
About the photographer
Lou Bopp is a freelance still photographer and commercial director. He was cinematographer on the blues documentary, We Juke Up in Here (2012), and his photographs were included in Hidden History of Mississippi Blues (2011) by Roger Stolle.
Big George Brock, harmonica musician, at his home in St Louis, Missouri. Originally from Clarksdale, Mississippi, he often plays back home
Text and images by Lou Bopp