As with many things in 2018, it started with a tweet. Chef Sean Brock asked Twitter, "Hi Nashville! I'm looking for someone to give me some guitar lessons. Mainly interested in North MS Blues. Thanks!!!"
As luck would have it, a friend of mine saw this tweet and sent me a text saying, "Wouldn't your buddy Reed be perfect for this?"
Turns out he would and now, over a year later, Reed and Sean have collaborated on a special dinner to celebrate the release of Reed's latest record, "Just a Little More Faith."
In his college years Reed became obsessed with the "hill-country" sub-genre of blues epitomized by artists like Fred McDowell and Junior Kimbrough. It's the kind of blues that lives at a picnic on Sardis Lake near Holly Springs, MS. The kind that drones like Tuareg nomads trekking across the Sahara. Over the years, Reed has steeped himself in this style of guitar playing and the unique properties of corn liquor that set the hill-country blues apart from the more widely-known Delta style.
In the same way that Sean Brock searches for fried chicken and heirloom grains, Reed went to the source, spending plenty of time in Mississippi and Memphis soaking it in. He even helped Jim Dickinson's family sort through Jim's personal archive when he passed away. As you'd expect, Jim kept all his stuff well-organized, so this was no small task. (You might know Jim from The Rolling Stones recording "Wild Horses" or his sons' band, the North Mississippi Allstars.)
Here's how Reed describes the intention behind the dinner:
"Making food and making music are two forms of expression that go back as far as humanity itself, and the social act of enjoying them together may be the very cornerstone of civilization. Chef Sean Brock and slide-guitarist Reed Turchi joined forces to celebrate this ancient connection, focusing on their shared passion for North Mississippi Hill Country Blues. “Just a Little More Faith,” as an album and as an event, highlights the importance of singing together, breaking bread together, and continually renovating traditions to make them resonate today."
If you get a chance to visit Husk, take it, and check out the full interview with Sean Brock and Reed on the latest episode of our podcast.