Thursday, August 20, 2009

Searching for Lead Belly's Grave

Every summer I get the urge to hit the road, call it restless energy from being home all summer, and now that it's August, and the humid weather has settled in like a wool blanket, I am itching to get out of town and feel the wind in my hair. Suzie and I are heading to Rhode Island this weekend, sans kids, and hopefully it will cure my traveling bug, at least for the time being. While searching for places to eat in Providence, I started thinking about road trips. I've always wanted to visit Lead Belly's grave, in Shreveport, Louisiana. I first became aware of the music of Huddie William Ledbetter from the Nirvana cover of "Where Did You Sleep Last Night?", which was on the 1993 MTV Unplugged album. From what I can tell, Lead Belly didn't write the song, but he did record it on many occasions. Much of the folk music that has been recorded can be linked back to Lead Belly, from Pete Seegar's "Goodnight Irene", to CCR's "Midnight Special", just to name a few. Now a road trip is nothing without a destination, and what better destination than the final resting spot of one of America's most notable musicians? I've heard that his grave site is actually pretty difficult to find, no signs on the highway or other markings, which makes it all the more intriguing. The following video beckons you to gas up the old Subaru and hit the highway.


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