"Rock N Roll," Mos Def

Muddy Waters said, "The blues had a baby and they named it rock and roll," and few had as much influence in bringing that baby to the wider world than Elvis Presley, who would have turned 85 last week. In this 1999 track, Mos Def has some words for those who might credit The King with inventing the genre and ignore the contributions of the African-Americans from whom Elvis was directly drawing his inspiration.


"The Intricacy of the Simple" -  by Vic Varney, The Bitter Southerner

Elvis' relationship to the black music -- and the black people -- that he loved and emulated when starting out has been subject to much scrutiny through the years, and musician Vic Varney's 2018 essay about Elvis takes a close look into it, all while wondering what it is about the man that keeps us fascinated so long after his death.


"Why Some Hear 'The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down' As A Neo-Confederate Anthem" - On the Media

Speaking of classic rock with complicated relationships to race, last week's On the Media featured an interesting piece on a song that is often read as "a nostalgic retelling of the end of the Civil War history... laden with grief but not a trace of white supremacy." But the story of the song's writing, and its ongoing life in popular consciousness, is a bit more complex.
Rough Mix is a newsletter about all things audio curated by Aaron Rester and brought to you by Beartrap Spring Records. Every other week, I highlight great music, articles, podcasts and more that I think are worth sharing and spending some time with. Have a suggestion for something to share? Email, or connect with Beartrap Spring on YoutubeFacebook or Twitter. Music highlighted in these emails is available on our Spotify playlist.
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by Theodosia (2020)

The first single from Beartrap Spring's newest project was recorded at historic Sun Studio in Memphis, and is available on Youtube, Spotify, Apple Music, Bandcamp, Amazon, and on just about every streaming service around.

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