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Three faces of authenticity (and the diddley-bow)

Today’s post is part of #BeeryLongReads2020. Look for the hashtag on Twitter or visit to find more long reads. Also, note that I’ve embedded tweets, but also included the words in the story for those who may not see the embeds.

About a week ago, Jenny Pfäfflin—a beer, baseball and Danish hot dog enthusiast who happens to be exam manager for @cicerone—tweeted, “I pretty much lean into tradition when it comes to beer and brewing—because it’s what I’m interested in—but the discussion around ‘authenticity’ is often exhausting. That somehow, if it isn’t ‘authentic,’ it isn’t good. And who bears the right to deem something authentic anyway?”

Perhaps authenticity is worth considering within the context of music.


Lonnie Pitchford, who was listed among the artists who would be playing Delta blues on this steamy 1992 August night, slid himself onto a barstool somewhat unsteadily and ordered a cocktail. A fan approached him cautiously to ask what time he expected he’d make it to the small stage at the Rivermount Lounge in Clarksdale, Mississippi. R.L. Burnside has just finished and The Jelly Roll Kings were setting up.

“Nah. Can’t. I’m messed up,” Pitchford said. “Tomorrow.”
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