Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Mind and Music of Mighty Mo Rodgers

By Robert Horn 
This post is a precursor to a much more extensive article I'm penning for the Washington Blues Society's  Bluesletter about Mo Rodgers. A while back, when I first set out to develop a website called the, I decided I wanted some music that was representative of the topic. The first song I thought of was "Blues Is My Wailing Wall" by Mo Rodgers. I felt that it was the most perfect song for the website.

(Listen to the entire track at

That is when I first contacted Mo. It was almost three years ago...

Blues Is My Wailin' WallNow days I am in touch with Mo on a daily basis. Whenever there is any political or cultural event in the world that gets people talking and debating, Mo has an opinion. Sometimes on Facebook he will post a few song lyrics as a statement. He goes deeper into philosophy, psychology, history, and other fields. His academic background includes philosophy and humanities, and Mo would he would fit nicely into a sociology or black history department too. Mo is not at all narrow in his consciousness either. He credits Europe as well as Africa for some of the pre-conditions for the blues to come into being. He also discusses with me and others how he thinks the south is haunted and how the blues has a healing characteristic.

Recent events in Arizona have he and I in communication a lot lately, and Martin Luther King Day is another time we've posted exchanges online.

On YouTube there are many things you can find about this artist. Mo was a Handy Award nominee and is perhaps more known in France than in the United States. His roots go back to the Chicago and Indiana areas, but currently lives in Southern California. At the bottom of this article you'll find a YouTube "playlist" posted with six videos that are a must see. The first video is Metaphysical Blues: New Frontiers in Music Making. In it, Mo is interviewed by a sociology professor about black history and the significance of the blues. He discusses how Africans had the drum taken from them when they were kidnapped and taken to North America. Mo also talks about how they later got the drum back. One of the video clips is his song, Took Away The Drum. Some other songs with a lot of power embodied in them include: Happy As A Runaway Slave, and Shame.

Mo's music is well done, his art has a lot to say, and conversations with him are great ones. I highly recommend taking the time to watch these videos:

Editor's note: For more on The Healing Power of Blues visit: Also, check out these articles:
Blue Genes Evolutionary Musings on All American Blues by Rand De Mattei
Blues as Therapy By Robert Horn

1 comment:

  1. Via the links there is a whole lot a stuff here.