J.B. Lenoir’s “Alabama Blues” is a rather well-known blues protest song. It stands out because, by the 1960s, it was increasingly rare for blues musicians to sing about poverty, despair, and social injustice. And, fifty years since the tune was recorded under the supervision of Chicago blues master Willie Dixon, its lyrics still carry a deep resonance.
In Philadelphia, musical artists Janelle Monáe and Jidenna led a rally and march on North Broad Street on August 12. The demonstrations were in support of the movement for black lives, and they were intended to complement the release of a new Black Lives Matter-inspired protest anthem. The anthem is called
It was the anniversary of the death of Mike Brown, the black teenager in Ferguson who was gunned down by Officer Darren Wilson. To mark the event, a concert of revolutionary musicians called “Ferguson Rocks” was held in St. Louis. The lineup included Tom Morello and the Freedom Fighter Orchestra,
There’s a popular idea, often repeated in the media, that all the protest music is gone. Kevin Gosztola’s new Protest Music Project will highlight the best protest music of the 2010s, and provide new artists a forum to highlight their best work. Most of all, it will help end the myth that protest music died with the 1960s.