Thursday, September 23, 2010

Myron Walden's Countryfied Pushes the Boundaries of Soul

Photographer Jacob Blickenstaff recently exhibited his solo show "Still Life in Soul" at the Stax Museum of American Soul Music. Since the show, part of Jacob’s continuing work has been an intimate one-on-one documentary project with multi-instrumentalist and composer Myron Walden.

Myron Walden's new group 'Countryfied' bring the soul of American roots music forward through blues-centric composition and dynamic improvisation. It's the spirit of the blues brought into new context. Neither homage nor throwback, ‘Countryfied’ is a genuine mining of feeling, memory and idiom.

“The music of Countryfied is based in American music,” says Myron. “And American music is based in the blues.”

Myron is inspired and driven by his memories of soul and blues music he absorbed as a young man. He grew up in Florida and moved to the Bronx with his mother at the age of 10. Many of his relatives in New York also hailed from the South, surrounding him with a mix of urban and southern culture. One relative in particular, Aunt Othelle, was a special presence in Myron’s life, baking cornbread especially for him and playing Percy Sledge and Otis Redding records while doing chores. ‘Countryfied’ is an expression of that transplanted heritage and a discovery of the blues and soul influences on Myron’s musical identity.

In this multimedia slide show, Myron speaks about the intentions driving his music and the memories woven throughout it. We at the Soulsville Foundation are excited to see Soul Music growing and expanding in new and interesting ways.

Myron Walden's Countryfied from Jacob Blickenstaff on Vimeo.