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People's Picks: Adia Victoria

People's Picks: Adia Victoria
People's Picks: Adia Victoria | Smithsonian Folkways Recordings

Ambiguously Missing You: A Blues Playlist

Lately I have been preoccupied with my losses. Not the concrete fact and circumstance of these losses, but rather the way I lack a clear assailant at which to aim my grief.

The official medical term for this kind of loss is “ambiguous loss” but I would just call it the Blues. After all, spectacular loss, so breathtaking in its scale, is the bread and butter of the Blues.

The fourteen songs I featured from the Smithsonian Folkways archives are clear examples of that kind of haunting “everywhere and nowhere” unease that keeps the Blues at the forefront of our cultural imagination. These songs exemplify the pain that has no place and no name; the kind of pain so wide in its reach that all of God’s creation - from the sun, the moon to the weeping willow, could be indicted as co-conspirators in our suffering.

And while clinicians may shy away from appointing this pain with a title writ large, I would just call it nothing but the Blues.

Adia Victoria is a Blues musician, poet, essayist and eccentric local born and raised in South Carolina. Currently based in Nashville, TN with her husband and army of cats and a coonhound, she is still not sure what in the world is going on. But she keeps making art out of the questions that life keeps throwing her way. Her latest record A Southern Gothic, executive produced by T-Bone Burnett, is out now.
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