Pandemic Blues: a playlist

Listen on Spotify or Listen on YouTube (which includes two tracks not on Spotify)

Fred McDowellA blues playlist for the Covid-19 pandemic is an idea only slightly less obvious than a metal playlist, though the results are likely to be considerably more popular. There’s no shortage of blues songs about being home alone, or about sickness, hard times and death. I used a very broad definition of blues here, including some jazz, gospel and R&B. And I grouped the songs thematically, so listeners may experience a bit of whiplash as it goes from sad to rollicking or vice versa. The one Sahelian track, “Djam Leelii” by Baaba Maal and Mansour Seck, concerns the plight of refugees, so it’s only tangentially related but it’s such a great song with such deep blues feeling, I couldn’t leave it out. A similar logic dictated my inclusion of Geeshie Wiley’s “Last Kind Word Blues.”