On the second Friday of every month you'll hear live music coming from downtown Navasota. But it's not just any kind of music. The blues are coming from The Blues Alley, Navasota's shrine to the music it's known for.
Blues great Mance Lipscomb called Navasota home and lived in the community for 80 years. His legacy is what drives others to play on at the annual Blues Fest.
"We have musicians who are standing in line that would love to play at this blues venue because it's the home of Mance Lipscomb. So it's become a really coveted place in Texas blues," said Russell Cushman with the Navasota Blues Alley.
In this part of the Brazos Valley, the blues was first played by slaves who once worked on the local cotton plantations. But now the music is doing something else.
It's not until you listen to the blues in Navasota that you realize just what it does for the community and how it brings them together.
"This music is really like a bridge across cultures. So we really find that we have something in common and we enjoy each others company. We have a shared history. It's a great thing to remind ourselves," said Cushman.
Dancing isn't forced, it just kind of happens. Even in the middle of a conversation. Then again, it could just be the Texas Tea flowing through their legs.
Suprisingly enough, it's not just the south that the blues has invaded. Turns out, our friends across the pond also enjoy the American music.
"People from all over Europe are very familiar with Blind Willie Johnson, Texas Alexander, that they collect their albums, collect their original 78 records, anything to do with them," said Cushman.
Its popularity doesn't have to do with heritage but it's more of an understanding. Most Europeans got their first taste of the Blues when it was becoming popular in the 1940's.
"People during World War II suffered a lot and they identified with the black people of America and the blues music that they played," said Cushman.
Seventy years later, the meaning of the music remains the same but now new memories are being forged and friendship sparked.
That's what makes listening to the blues in Navasota a must hear on our Brazos Valley Bucket List.
The annual Navasota Blues Fest runs from August 13th - 14th this year and you can find a link to the event below.
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