doesn't just get the blues, he has to go out and find them. Thanks to his efforts, fans of authentic country blues have been able to hear the real deal without making the kind of road trips required of a dedicated producer, editor, musicologist, and folklorist. The listener who knows the real cosmic purpose of a bottleneck, knife blade, or small metal tube should drool over an account of Mitchell
's exploits in the Deep South: "That night Mitchell
returned to Burnside
's place with a case of beer and some whiskey. Ten months later, Burnside
had his first release."
was out roaming the South, scouting for stylistically eccentric blues musicians during the late '60s and '70s," summarizes another report. The previously mentioned performer was R.L. Burnside
, a bluesman of particular delight in an era when death's scythe seemed to be severely limiting the ranks of such unique senior statesmen. Mississippi Joe Callicott
and Jimmy Lee Williams
are other artists who Mitchell
brought to light in a big way as a result of his research trips; he is considered a specialist on the subject of Callicott
. Credits for Mitchell
can also be found on recordings of more famous performers in this genre, including Furry Lewis
and Skip James
, his involvement ranging from recording new material to, in the latter case, fine-tuning a reissue. Mitchell
, who worked quite regularly with the Fat Possum label, presented an annual folk festival in Columbus, MS. He also published a book, Blow My Blues Away, which has been difficult to track down since its early-'70s release. Fat Possum Records issued as expansive seven-disc box set containing the bulk of Mitchell
's field recordings in 2008.