Jake Blount - Where Did You Sleep Last Night?

Song of the Day
Hosted by DJ Riz

Today's Song of the Day, as chosen by KEXP DJ Riz and very special guest (and former KEXP DJ) El Toro, in honor of Pride, is "Where Did You Sleep Last Night?" covered by Jake Blount, from the 2020 album Spider Tales on Free Dirt Records. Hear their special Pride edition of The Weekly Mix here.


 
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photo by Michelle Lotker
written by Janice Headley

The song "Where Did You Sleep Last Night?" has been covered hundreds of times before — the track is often associated with blues musician Lead Belly, but the Nirvana version from their 1993 MTV Unplugged performance is perhaps the best known rendition. And now, banjo player and fiddler Jake Blount has added his own interpretation, influenced by his research into Black and Indigenous cultures, as well as his own experiences as an LGBTQ activist. 

“Connecting with my family history and my father’s childhood history, he’d talk about people disappearing,” he reflected in a press release. “Those lynchings didn’t all happen in broad daylight; my dad talked about people in his community ‘disappearing’ and you’d kind of assume what had happened. For me there was a very direct connection between what I’d gone through in the queer community and this narrative of disappearance and loss that surrounded the Black community in the South throughout much of our nation’s history, and still arguably does.” 

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