Segrest and Hoffman posit that while Howlin’ Wolf did not talk much about his difficult childhood, he did sing about it in his music. What songs that Wolf sings display portions of the narrative you read in the first two chapters of the biography?
What did you learn in Chapter 3 about the spaces in which blues musicians played in the Delta area, and how was it different or similar to what you already knew about juke and barrelhouse joints?
Discussion Question for the Week of Sept 29 – Oct 5
How do you see and understand the dynamics of musician mentorship as described in this biography?
Discussion Question for the Week of Oct 6 – Oct 12
Chapter 6 features discussions of Wolf’s early recording career. Many people discuss why they thought Wolf was such a sensation, what made his sound unique. What about Howlin’ Wolf’s music draws you to it? Do you have a favorite song of his? Why is it your favorite?
Discussion Question for the Week of Oct 13 – Oct 19
Based on the information in this week’s chapter, what would you say are defining features of Chicago blues?
Discussion Question for the Week of Oct 20 – Oct 26
How did Chess Records affect Wolf’s career? What can you learn about how Chess Records influenced the blues genre in the chapters we’ve read so far?
Discussion Question for the Week of Oct 27 – Nov 2
How and where do you see the influence of romantic relationships in Howlin’ Wolf’s music?
Discussion Question for the Week of Nov 3 – Nov 9
What influence does a quality drummer have on the blues when you listen and/or dance to it?
Discussion Question for the Week of Nov 10 – Nov 16
What relationship does Europe have with blues music and blues artists? Feel free to discuss what you see modernly as well as what you’ve read in the book and elsewhere.
Discussion Question for the Week of Nov 17 – Nov 23
Why is it important to support your local musicians/talent? What types of support can you offer, and how do you see it affecting the artists and the community?