April 16, 2024 @ 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Barnard Obervatory
Afton Thomas

Deep Inside the Blues

Margo Cooper, Joe Ayers, and Trent Ayers

In this SouthTalk, photographer and author will be joined in conversation by blues musicians Joe Ayers and his son Trent Ayers. Cooper had the privilege of interviewing both Ayers men for her book Deep Inside the Blues. She describes Joe Ayers as kind, wise, and passionate about playing guitar. Trent Ayers grew up listening to a variety of blues music with his father—tapes of Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup, Muddy Waters, R. L. Burnside, and Junior Kimbrough, and Trent and his father recently worked on an album together called A Father Son Legacy. Joe and Trent Ayers will play music during this SouthTalk.

The panel will be moderated by Holly Harris, who comes from a musical family going back five generations. She is a veteran blues radio DJ/producer, and emcee in the Boston area.  She currently hosts Spinning the Blues on WUMB on Saturday and Thursday nights and hosts King Street Blues online. She is the percussionist with The One Dime Band, plays at Juke Joint Fest in Clarksdale, and is a recipient of a W.C. Handy award.

Margo Cooper’s recently published book, Deep Inside the Blues, collects 34 of her interviews with blues artists and is illustrated with more than 160 of her photographs. Many of the key blues players of the period have already passed, making their stories and Cooper’s photographs of them all the more poignant and valuable.

SouthTalks is a series of events (including lectures, performances, film screenings, and panel discussions) that explores the interdisciplinary nature of Southern Studies. This series is free and open to the public, and typically takes place in the Tupelo Room of Barnard Observatory unless otherwise noted. Visit southernstudies.olemiss.edu for more information about all Center events.

black and white photo of man playing fife