On December 15, 2022, blues icon Charlie Musselwhite was honored with the coveted Charles Cros Academy Grand Prix Blues Award for his Grammy Award-nominated Alligator Records album, Mississippi Son. The Grand Prix Awards for Jazz, Blues and Soul Favorites were announced on France Musique (French national radio) on Alex Dutilh's Open Jazz show. The full list of jazz and soul winners can be found here.
Vintage Guitar magazine recently reviewed Mississippi Son, calling Musselwhite a "beloved blues harp great" with "formidable guitar chops" who, on the new album, "transports" the listener "straight to the Delta." Of this stark, acoustic performance video of the song Blues Gave Me A Ride – one of 2022's top ten tracks at SiriuxXM Radio's Bluesville channel – Vintage Guitar simply says, "It just doesn't get much cooler."
Charlie Musselwhite doesn’t just sing and play the blues; he is, in every sense of the word, a bluesman. Growing up, he not only learned the music first-hand from many of the genre’s most influential artists, he also absorbed the lifestyle. “It’s an attitude...a way of living life,” Musselwhite says of playing the blues. Musselwhite's life story reads like a classic blues song: born in Mississippi, raised in Memphis and schooled on the South Side of Chicago. A groundbreaking recording artist since the 1960s, Musselwhite has never stopped creating trailblazing music while remaining firmly rooted in the blues.
Over the years, Charlie has released nearly 40 albums on a variety of labels, his exploratory recordings including straight blues but often mixing in elements of jazz, gospel, Tex-Mex, Cuban and other world musics. Four of those albums—1990’s Ace Of Harps, 1991’s Signature, 1994’s In My Time, and 2010’s The Well—were released on Alligator Records and remain among his best-selling titles.
Now, with Mississippi Son, Musselwhite has come full circle, returning home to Mississippi after decades in Memphis, Chicago, San Francisco and points in between. Amalgamating all he’s learned and absorbed throughout his years of worldwide touring, Musselwhite imparts sage wisdom in every song he writes, sings and performs. “Blues tells the truth in a world that’s full of lies,” he intones in Blues Gave Me A Ride, at once telling his own story and plainly summing up the genre’s timelessness. Through his evocative vocals, masterful harmonica playing, and note-perfect Southern country blues guitar, Charlie Musselwhite, on Mississippi Son, leans forward and delivers the blues’ honest truth.