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Them That's Got Shall Get, Them That's Not Shall Lose

Posted by Stacy Reece on

Them That's Got Shall Get, Them That's Not Shall Lose

If there is one musical genre the South can claim for its own, it’s the blues. Through its calls both mournful and joyous, black Southerners chronicled the life and times of the early 20th century through the blues.

Georgia bluesman Blind Willie McTell

It’s hard to imagine a time, a mere century ago, when men could fly but polio still ravaged rich and poor alike. Penicillin was still decades away from curing the relatively minor infections that could steal loved ones from your arms and leave a gaping hole in your heart forever.  For a people with so few tangible goods and predictably unpredictable futures, all you had was each other — you had to abide your misfortunes with friends and family and store up your treasures in heaven.

Grinding poverty birthed the blues, and through it voiced the pain of the voiceless. You might be broke and hungry. You might be threadbare and poorly shod. You might have to give thanks for beans at every meal. You might also be a sweet woman’s angel child. You might have a lamp to chase away the darkness or cloak a sin. You might get a warm belly or redemption in somebody’s kitchen. You might have someone love you enough to keep your grave clean long after you are gone.

The only known photographs of Blind Lemon Jefferson, left, and Robert JohnsonLamps and stoves and gravestones are things that money can buy. But they can’t make you whole. Only love, forgiveness, and acceptance make us feel truly safe and warm. They are the irreplaceable prescriptions for the human condition — the salve for a sickness you didn’t know you had. At Down South House & Home, we celebrate the poetry of these blues artists.

We recently featured these artists on a collection of tote bags. And now we have them on dishtowels for your own kitchen. We will be releasing a line of T-shirts with these designs in very short order. We also plan to bring you more blues quotes, so if you have a favorite, we’d love to hear from you.

To listen to the music that inspired our Blues Bags and Dishtowels, click here to listen to a Spotify playlist beginning with the three songs represented by our designs, plus a few others for fun.




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